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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.

Older 2003 - 2015 Nissan Murano
Overview And Buying Tips

In today's very high-priced used car market, many shoppers are now looking for "older" models that have aged well as a way to save significant dollars. The Nissan Murano is one of those models and can definitely be a viable and more economical option at this time. And relatively lower mileage candidates can still be found out there with careful shopping.

We happen to believe the Murano has always been one heck of an SUV. From its innovative styling, to its feature level, to its car-like handling, we've always been impressed.

And we're far from alone on this. "Expert" reviews for these older models have always been strong for this crossover and commonly note superior steering and handling, transmission behavior, ride stability, comfort and support as well as performance.

For example, said (when describing the 2003 - 2007 Murano), " ... its combination of an SUV-like high driving position and ample cargo room along with sedan-like handling and acceleration was virtually unprecedented".

Nissan Murano SL (2007)

It also doesn't suprise us a bit that J.D. Power rated it a perfect 5 for Performance, Style and Creature Comforts. And owners gave it high grades as well. 228 Consumer Reviews over at gave it an impressive 9.2 out of 10. And whose opinions are better than people who actually own a vehicle?

We'd have to say that its handling is its most impressive quality. The steering is easy and precise and it holds flat in the curves. The engine is very energetic with quick acceleration and highway passing is a breeze. And seating is particularly comfortable with excellent back support. Plenty of legroom and interior space as well.

The first-generation Nissan 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 was mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). 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.

This first-generation gets high scores for design, power, handling and feature availability. On the downside, the CVT was a bit sluggish which somewhat diminished its lively driving capacity and there were also some lower-grade cabin materials (both of these issues were successfully addressed in the second-generation). But these drawbacks were minor in comparison to the positives.

2009 Nissan Murano LE

The Murano entered its second-generation with the redesign for the 2009 model year and was produced through 2015. Available in S, SL, SV and top-of-the-line LE models, the Murano 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 the new Murano was a 3.5-liter V6 that pumped out 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 telescoping steering wheel, a split/folding rear seat, 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.

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 include a hard-drive navigation system, a dual-panel sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system.

2011 Nissan Murano interior

Overall, this Murano version was well-regarded for its stylish appearance, attractive interior, strong engine and athletic handling abilities. On the downside, its fuel economy is only so-so (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.

All in all, an older, lower mileage Murano scores well for looks, power, handling and creature comforts and we think it can make a solid choice as a used crossover SUV purchase. We also have some suggestions to help you save money when buying one.

How To Get The Best Price

There are actually several different ways to buy an older Murano at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a super effective method, one that often beats down prices even 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 the Public Auto Auctions 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 in your own area.

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

Other Pages Of Possible Interest:
  • 2011 Nissan Murano
  • 2013 Nissan Rogue
  • Nissan Rogue 2011
  • 2012 Nissan Rogue
  • 2013 Nissan Altima
  • 2011 Nissan Versa

  • Additional Models Of Possible Interest:
  • Nissan Pathfinder 2010
  • Used Nissan Xterras
  • Used Nissan Pathfinders
  • Used Nissan Maximas
  • Used Nissan Altimas
  • Used Nissans At Wholesale Prices

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