If everyone in the Ice-Cream Shoppe is ordering Fudge Peanut Ripple Marshmallow Mango Royale and you're ordering Vanilla, that new 2009 Nissan Murano parked outside probably belongs to you.
Since making its debut as a 2003 model, Nissan's sporty, midsize crossover has sold well -- even into old age. The 2006 edition nudged out three rivals (Ford Edge, Toyota Highlander, and Hyundai Santa Fe) for top spot in an TT comparo. Now comes a brand-new 2009 version -- and it's as if someone packed Vanilla into a Mango Royale box.
"Nissan's VQ six continues to impress," writes Kiino. "Delightfully light compared with the LX 570 and the Borrego," logs Markus, adding, "Astute suspension makes for a comfier ride." Notes Lassa: "Does nothing to overly impress, upset, or offend."
Diminishing the Murano's appeal is its standard CVT. "A good transmission for those who don't care about cars," writes Loh. "Uninvolving dynamics punctured by the whiny CVT," comments Lassa. The Murano sabotages its sporty-vehicle pretensions with the CVT's unusual power flow. Exterior styling takes hits. "Polarizing," is how Kiino describes the nose. "Funky, futuristic shape that I don't really get," adds Loh.
The cabin, in contrast, draws raves. Among the comments: "Impressive back seat with good legroom." "Nice, simple layout." "Interior has gone way upmarket, with a richer look plus better materials and textures." "Good enough to give pause to prospective Infiniti FX35 buyers."
Do you think the 2009 Nissan Murano has what it takes to take home the title of 2009 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year? Find out who the winner is at midnight eastern time on Oct. 16.
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Click here to see the full list of 2009 SUOTY Contenders!