Nissan Resonance
John Goreham's picture

Nissan to unveil possible Murano replacement called Resonance

Nissan will show the world a new, sleek and modern hybrid crossover prototype next week at the Detroit Auto Show. This could be the next Murano or Rogue.

Nissan will soon introduce a new crossover vehicle that is sleeker, more stylish, more fuel efficient, and much more modern than the current Murano and Rogue. Nissan will display the concept at its booth at the Detroit International Auto show on January 15th. Called Resonance, the teaser graphics show a swoopy, swept back design now the current trend.

New Fuel Efficient Crossovers
Nissan now joins Honda in hinting at a very fuel efficient compact / mid-size crossover. These automakers are looking closely at the marketplace and evaluating what the current products can do, and how they can augment, rather than replace those. One month ago Torque News broke the story that Honda will soon release a new compact sport utility vehicle with an eye towards super fuel efficiency with a hip modern urban flair. Please click this link to view that story. We plan an update to that story next week when the new vehicle is shown. Now Nissan too is bringing forth a new crossover with an emphasis on fuel efficiency and style.

The Current Compact Crossover Marketplace
Presently, compact and mid-size sport utes are following two parallel paths. Using the Nissan and Toyota brands as two examples we see that a three-row crossover with 7 passenger seating is necessary for the market. Dealers without one would be in big trouble. That vehicle needs to be powerful enough to haul all the weight of the passengers and be able to tow a mid-size boat trailer occasionally. At Nissan this is the all-new Pathfinder. At Toyota, the due for updating Hylander fills the role. This size vehicle satisfies about 90% of the crossover markets needs. However, a smaller vehicle can also work for most families. These two row, 5 passenger vehicles can either be sporty and powerful, or they can be super frugal. It is hard to combine both. Toyota has just updated its winning RAV 4 and Nissan actually has both the Rogue and also Murano in this segment. What Nissan and Honda are likely to try is to offer a premium, sporty essence, but with a very fuel efficient drivetrain. These vehicles will be priced accordingly (higher than the base compact ute they now make). Given the Pathfinder’s new success, the Resonance may foreshadow the new Murano design.

One fly in the ointment is Hyundai. Hyundai offers the new Santa Fe in two versions. 7 passenger and also 5 passenger. The vehicles are different in wheelbase and also drivetrain offerings. With its 264 horsepower, the Santa Fe Sport offers 26 mpg in 2WD versions. With its base engine that vehicle can achieve 29mpg highway. Those numbers are very hard to beat with a new conventional drivetrain. That is why both Honda and Nissan are looking at alternative drivetrains for their new prototypes.

Look for four-cylinder, gas-electric hybrid powertrains in these new vehicles with plug-in versions optional. Fuel economy of 2WD versions will surpass 30 mpg, but it will be the city fuel economy that jumps up. That could also be 30mpg giving these vehicles a 30/30/30 mpg rating that would set a new bar for the class. The question remains will the cost be too high and the performance too dull?

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