The 2011 Nissan Murano is a top choice among midsize crossover SUVs for drivers who put a high value on engaging and athletic handling. Of course, it doesn't hurt that it also offers a high-quality interior, a long list of available features, a smooth ride, a roomy backseat and a unique exterior design.
Between the 2011 Murano's sleek looks, premium materials, excellent craftsmanship and advanced driving dynamics, it offers buyers an overall quality level typically found in more expensive cars. The Murano features a nicely balanced suspension that provides plenty of athleticim when necessary yet can still move people from place to place smoothly and comfortably. Its 3.5-liter V6 engine packs a solid punch while its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is simply one of the best in the business.
The bottom line? The 2011 Murano's superior performance abilities just aren't matched within its price range. Other SUVs may offer a third row, or more off-road prowess, but for smallish families looking for style, substance and athleticism in and around town, the Murano is hard to beat, with perhaps the Ford Edge being its closest competitor due to its edgy design and high-tech features.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Nissan Murano is a 5-passenger midsize SUV offered in 4 trims: S, SV, SL and LE (a two-door convertible wil be available later in the year).
Standard features on the already decently equipped base Murano S include 18-inch alloy wheels, power windows and doorlocks, engine start/stop button, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6-way manual driver seat, a 4-way manual passenger seat, rear tinted glass, cruise control, a tire pressue monitor, keyless entry/ignition, a trip computer, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a reclining rear seat, a rear spoiler and a 6-speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.
Moving up to the Murano SV adds a panoramic sunroof, an 8-way power driver seat, a 4-way power front passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a rearview camera, a 7-inch color display screen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, iPod integration, foglights, automatic headlights and roof rails, while the SL model then adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver memory functions, a power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, automatic wipers and a 9-speaker Bose stereo system with digital music storage.
The top-of-the-line LE model finishes things up with 20-inch wheels, wood interior trim accents, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, heated rear seats and bi-xenon headlights.
There's an optional navigation system available on the SL and LE models which also includes voice controls, Bluetooth streaming audio and additional digital music storage. There's also a dual headrest-mounted rear DVD entertainment system available for the SL and LE.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering all 2011 Nissan Muranos is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that pumps out 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. All models come in a choice of standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, while all are paired with a CVT (continuously variable transmission).
Whether in front-wheel or all-wheel drive form, the EPA-estimated gas mileage comes in at 18 mpg city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features across all 2011 Muranos include traction and stability control, antilock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, front side airbags, active front head restraints and full-length side curtain airbags.
Government crash tests for the newest Murano had not yet been completed at the time of this writing. Howerver, the 2010 model earned five out of five stars for side-impact occupant protection and four stars for frontal-impact protection.
The 2011 Murano's cabin is attractive, excellently crafted with premium-quality materials and user-friendly. It's actually right up there with its pricier luxury SUV sibling, the Infiniti FX. The seating is comfortable and supportive, both front and rear, while passengers in the rear quarters are well-accommodated on long trips thanks to recling seatbacks and ample legroom and headroom. Cargo capacity behind the rear seats is a useful, and about average, 31.6 cubic feet, but can be expanded to 64 cubes by folding the seats flat.
The Murano's high-tech features, such as the navigation system, iPod interface and rear entertainment systems, are particularly intuitive and user-friendly.
The 2011 Nissan Murano's robust engine, well-tuned suspension and responsive steering has made it perhaps the top performing midsize crossover when it comes to handling and performance. And even with its impressive and fun-to-drive road manners, it's still able to also provide a smooth and comfortable ride, easily absorbing road bumps and imperfections. That said, those opting for the LE will find the ride firmer due to its 20-inch wheels.
Most drivers will be satisfied with the power of the V6, while the CVT is one of the best available with quick, timely shifts in response to throttle inputs and without the increased engine noise typical of many CVTs.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try a Wholesale Car Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
S, FWD: list price: $28,520, invoice price: $26,277
S, AWD: list price: $30,120, invoice price: $27,749
SV, FWD: list price: $31,930, invoice price: $29,412
SV, AWD: list price: $33,530, invoice price: $30,884
SL, FWD: list price: $35,470, invoice price: $32,668
SL, AWD: list price: $37,070, invoice price: $34,140
LE, FWD: list price: $37,560, invoice price: $34,591
LE, AWD: list price: $39,160, invoice price: $36,062