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Review: New Nissan Murano Platinum AWD Offers Luxury At Below Luxury Price

We drive the new 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD model this week. Why is it a good choice for families?


Are you looking for a luxury SUV? Check the Murano Platinum out before you buy one. Families looking for a near-luxury offering at a below luxury price, the new 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD needs to be on your shopping list. Murano Platinum trim offers a versatile, five-passenger crossover with ample room, V6 power, without the luxury brand premium price.

What’s new for 2017?

The Nissan Murano adds Apple CarPlay functionality and a drowsy driver warning system for the 2017MY. New driver assistance features are now available for the SV trim, and the Platinum trim gets a new Midnight Edition styling package.

Features and options

The 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD ($40,780) comes well-equipped with navigation, remote engine start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, fog lights, power-adjustable front seats, heated side mirrors, driver seat/mirror memory settings, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting and a power lift-gate.

The top-line Murano Platinum is loaded and also adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, LED headlights, additional memory settings, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, and power-folding rear seats. Platinum models have added safety features that includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

This tester came with the Technology package ($2,260) that includes the panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking. Total MSRP including destination: $44,165.

Interior highlights

If the exterior is a bit bold for you, the cabin of the Murano Platinum is less daring. The interior offers up just enough excitement to keep it interesting with its quiet and refined ambiance. When we stepped inside, we noticed a light, airy and open space with lots of attention to detail. It’s a very “panoramic space” as Nissan calls it, with lots of passenger room and abundant cargo options.


The cabin in the Platinum model is near luxury with its heated and cooled leather-trimmed seats up front, heated rear seats, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and driver’s memory seat. The controls are unlike some luxury SUVs that can be confusing. The controls are clean with simple interfaces and intuitive buttons. But like the German rivals, the gauges and matte-metallic trim offer a touch of sport.

The Murano offers up a new infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, voice recognition for navigation and audio, and SiriusXM Travel Link services for weather, movie listings, fuel prices, stock information, and even sports scores.

Out back, the rear seats are extra comfortable and kids and adults won’t mind spending time there and they’re better than most luxury cars. They are taller and you can see better from their higher position giving you a more commanding view. When you need the extra cargo space, the rear seat folds flat, offering up enough room for two-by-fours, although they will extend to the front dash.

Engine and fuel mileage specs

The 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque), mated to a XTronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The EPA/DOT fuel mileage estimates come in at 21/28 city/highway mpg and 24 combined mpg. This model comes with the intuitive all-wheel-drive system.

Driving dynamics

If you are looking for sports-oriented SUV you will be disappointed with the Murano. It’s a near-luxury family hauler with ample power for most driving situations the average family will give it.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s in the Murano Platinum is a proven Nissan workhorse so you’ll know you are getting a reliable ride. It offers smooth power, with no surprises and it even sounds good. The double-overhead-cam V6 powerplant is not terribly quick, but it’s quick enough, with 240 pound-feet of torque giving ample pulling power if you take it up a steep mountain pass.

The automatic CVT transmission shifts down, the revs raise, the Murano goes, and climbed its steps as we pushed it hard into the mountains west of Denver. If you want a car-like ride, the Murano is the vehicle for you. The crossover’s chassis is soft and smooth and it absorbed the big bumps and nicely connects the car to the road. The suspension isn’t especially responsive and is tuned for comfort over sporty performance. It leaned considerably in the tight mountain corners, but didn’t completely lose its composure. But we tend to put all our testers through rigorous maneuvers that you never will. Keep in mind, the Platinum’s 20-inch machined aluminum alloy wheels look cool, but they do affect ride quality. You could opt for 18-inch wheels if you want a more cushy ride.

Conclusion Go to Page 2

Families looking for a near-luxury SUV should look at the 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum trim. Take a ride and you’ll see it’s as comfortable and outfitted with the options on more expensive luxury models. It also offers the most current safety features and all-weather capability with its all-wheel-drive configuration. It’s roomy enough for a growing family and it won’t break your budget and comes well-equipped with a price well under $50,000.