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Nissan Murano

Broadcast dates : 12th February 2006
18th February 2006

European understatement is something that obviously never crossed the minds of Nissanís stylists when sculpting this chunk of metal.

More like Gotham City, with a hint of Steven Spielbergís Jaws at the front end. Yes, the Murano makes a statement with a capital M.

And yet, the genius of it is that it somehow avoids being in-your-face in a rasta-gangster kinda way. Thatís due to the softening of the profile and the sloping rear end.

Donít expect voguish innovations inside, however. Apart from a rather garish instrument pod itís pretty ordinary.

The constantly variable system consists of a series of opposing cones interconnected by a belt drive. As torque is applied to the transmission the belts slide up and down the opposing cones.

In this way the ratios are varied without any steps as they would in changing gears.

Don't expect real sports car performance from such a large vehicle, as its power levels are competitive with the likes of the Lexus RX300 and the Ford Territory. Itís the sporty vibe that Nissan is referring to here.

As many of you will know by now, the Nissan Murano is a Car of the Year Contender, and it impressed many jurors with its acumen, particularly on the racetrack where it was super agile for a car of its size.

As for off-road ability, it was about as much as youíd expect. Reasonable traction, good bump absorption.

But in all reality, not the sort of vehicle youíd like to tackle the Kalahari in and get all that beautiful paintwork scratched up.

Our question remains with all these soft-roader SUV'sÖ why?

They chomp fuel, they donít provide much more space than a conventional station wagon and they block the view ahead of anyone else in a normal car.

Having said that, the Nissan Murano is one of the nicest of the breed.

Nissan Murano
  • Engine: V6 petrol, 3498cc
  • Power: 172 kW @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 318 Nm @ 3 600 rpm
  • Transmission: CVT all-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 9,08 seconds
  • Top speed: 203 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 13,1 litres/100 km (Car Magazine figures)
  • Price: R379 100
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