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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated May 8, 2024



Have Older Nissan Murano Models Aged Well? Their Reliability History And Possible Mechanical Problems

Related: The Simple Way To Get A Low Price On A "New" Nissan Murano

2014 Nissan Murano

While historically high new and used car prices have forced many buyers to look for "older" vehicles that have aged well as a way of saving money, the issues of reliability and dependability have become even more crucial.

So, how has the Nissan Murano fared over time? Have well-maintained, older Murano models aged well? And by "older", I'm generally referring to models that are roughly in the 10+ year-old range, so those from its first and second generations, which covered the 2003 - 2014 model years.

Therefore, here, ...

- First, we'll look at the reliability history for these two Murano generations.

- We'll then list each generation's possible mechanical issues that have been reported by some owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

- And then we'll do an overview of each generation's model.


But first, and very importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Murano

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: It's important to get dealers to compete for your business by using auto sites such as Edmunds.com and CarsDirect.com (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business is what gets you a lower price, and it's very easy.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.


Older Nissan Murano Reliability

History has shown that the first two generations of the Nissan Murano have received mixed reviews in terms of reliability. While many owners have reported solid experiences without major mechanical issues, others have had some more serious and/or recurring problems.

History has also shown that a well-maintained older Murano can last in the 150,000 to 180,000 mile range, which is right around average, with the key being "well-maintained", which is why it is so important to identify those vehicles before buying.

Car Buying Tips:

Best Time To Buy And How To Negotiate

All About Wholesale Car Prices

Best Trade-In Value Tips

How To Get The Lowest Rate Car Loan

In addition to proper care, a specific vehicle's longevity will also be affected by both the driving environment as well as the driving habits of any previous owner(s), along with a little luck.

And it should be noted that the third generation Murano, 2015 - present, saw significant improvements in reliability and durability and can generally be expected to last in the 200,000 to 250,000 mile range when properly maintained.

First Generation (2003-2007): The first generation Murano had its fair share of mechanical issues, particularly related to the CVT transmission, transfer case, and electrical system.

While some owners reported relatively trouble-free experiences, others encountered significant problems. Overall, this generation tends to have a lower reliability rating compared to some competitors in its class.

Second Generation (2009-2014): Nissan made some improvements to the Murano for its second generation, addressing some of the issues seen in the first generation. However, problems with the CVT transmission persisted for some owners, along with issues such as power steering hose leaks, brake wear, and electrical system malfunctions.

While the second generation generally saw better reliability ratings than the first, it still fell short of class leaders in some reliability metrics. That said, the later years of the second generation (2011-2014) were more dependable.


First Generation Nissan Murano Mechanical Problems (2003 - 2007)

Nissan Murano SL (2007)

This Murano had several reported mechanical issues which should therefore be included in an inspection before buying today:

CVT Transmission Issues: The Murano was one of the early models to feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT). As its most prevalent problem, a significant subset of owners reported issues with it, such as transmission failure, jerking, or hesitation during acceleration.

Transfer Case Failure: There were reports of transfer case failures in some models, leading to issues with the vehicle's all-wheel-drive system.

Brake and Rotor Problems: Some owners experienced premature wear of brake pads and rotors, or a soft brake pedal issue which resulted in reduced braking performance and potentially costly repairs. In addition, particularly with the 2007 model year, some owners experienced an ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) controllers malfunction.

Suspension and Steering Concerns: Some owners experienced issues with the Murano's suspension and steering components, including noises, vibrations, difficulty steering, and hose leaks.

Electrical Problems: A few Murano owners experienced electrical glitches, such as malfunctioning power windows, door locks, or dashboard lights. These were relatively rare but worth noting.

Engine Problems: While not very common, some owners reported engine-related problems like oil leaks, timing chain issues, or engine stalling.

Engine Mount Failure (2003-2006): During these years, some Murano owners reported problems related to engine mount failure. The rubber engine mounts tended to wear out over time, leading to thumping sounds or vibrations in the car’s floor. In severe cases, engine damage could occur, necessitating an engine replacement.

It's worth noting that not all Nissan Murano vehicles experienced these problems, and the severity varied depending on factors like maintenance history and driving habits.


Second Generation Nissan Murano Mechanical Problems (2009 - 2014)

2011 Nissan Murano

Although improved, like all vehicles, the second generation Murano also had its share of mechanical issues which should therefore be included in a pre-purchase inspection:

CVT Transmission Problems: Similar to the first generation, some owners experienced issues with the continuously variable transmission (CVT), such as transmission failure, hesitation, or shuddering during acceleration. While Nissan made some improvements to the CVT for this generation, problems still occurred for some drivers.

Power Steering Hose Leaks: There were reports of power steering hose leaks in some models, which could result in a loss of power steering assistance.

Brake and Rotor Wear: As with the first generation, premature wear of brake pads and rotors was reported by some owners, leading to reduced braking performance.

Electrical System Issues: Some owners reported various electrical problems, including issues with power windows, door locks, and malfunctioning dashboard warning lights.

Excessive Oil Consumption: A few owners reported excessive oil consumption, which could be indicative of oil leaks or engine-related issues.

Catalytic Converter Failure: There were reports of catalytic converter failure in some models, leading to issues with emissions and potentially costly repairs.

As with any vehicle, the severity and frequency of these problems can vary depending on factors such as maintenance history, driving conditions, and individual vehicle build quality.


First Generation Nissan Murano Overview (2003 - 2007)

The first generation Murano was introduced in 2003 and carried through the 2007 model year. (It should be noted that there was no 2008 Murano.) They were equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produced 245 horsepower and were mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Find your next car, truck or SUV on Edmunds.com

Initially, only a sport-oriented SE model and luxury-oriented SL model were offered. The base S model, the price leader although still well-equipped, was introduced for 2005.

The original design was uniquely distinctive and all Muranos were outfitted with a long list of standard features. Even the base S trim came well-equipped with standard features such as dual-zone climate control, 18-inch wheels, a CD player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a 7-inch LCD display screen.

Opting for the SL added features such as a 10-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar support, a rearview monitor, and a cargo cover and net, while the top-of-the-line SE came with a sport-tuned suspension, a manual shift mode for the CVT, and xenon headlamps.

These older Murano models can also be found with options such as adjustable pedals, a Bose stereo, a sunroof, a roofrack, and a DVD-based navigation system.

Pros And Cons: This generation got high scores for design, power, handling and feature availability. On the downside, the CVT, while sometimes problematic, was also a bit sluggish, which somewhat diminished its lively driving capacity. There were also some lower-grade cabin materials (both of these issues were successfully addressed in the second generation).


Second Generation Nissan Murano Overview (2009 - 2014)

2009 Nissan Murano LE

Available in S, SL, SV, and top-of-the-line LE models, this version received some fairly subtle exterior styling changes, additional power, an upgraded CVT, and a still further improved interior design with higher grade materials.

Again offered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive choices, under the hood of this Murano was a 3.5-liter V6 that pumped out a robust 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

Again, even the entry level S was very well equipped, with uplevel standard features including all power accessories, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a trip computer, a 6-speaker sound system, a 6-disc CD changer, and an auxiliary audio jack.

Moving up to the SL added a power driver seat, power return rear seats (return to upright, if lowered, at the touch of a button), privacy glass, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls.

Public Car Auction Database

The SV (introduced in 2011) came standard with a panoramic sunroof, a 7-inch color display screen, automatic headlights, power front seats (8-way driver, 4-way passenger), a rearview camera, roof rails, foglights, Bluetooth, satellite radio, iPod integration, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Standard features of the top-of-the-line LE included leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, power driver and passenger front seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless ignition/entry, roof rails, automatic xenon headlights, a pop-up cargo area organizer, an upgraded Bose audio system, satellite radio, iPod integration, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth.

Many LE features can also be found on the SL and SE via several option packages. Other options included a hard-drive navigation system, a dual-panel sunroof, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

2011 Nissan Murano interior

Pros And Cons: Overall, this Murano version was well-regarded for its stylish appearance, attractive interior, abundance of features, strong engine, and athletic handling abilities.

On the downside, its fuel economy is not impressive (18 mpg city and 23 mpg on the highway for both FWD and AWD models). There are also some rear visibility issues. But even with that said, most competing models have a hard time matching up with the Murano's dual appeal of style and performance.


Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Murano Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another 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 the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Nissan Murano if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.


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