Nissan's 2018 Murano could be for you if typical crossover SUVs seem too boring and dull. For starters, dramatic curves and a sleek roofline give the Murano a distinctive look. Inside, the interior is noticeably upscale thanks to high-quality materials, a fetching ergonomic design, impressively comfortable front seats and a generous list of standard comfort and convenience features. We're also fond of the Murano's combination of a standard V6 engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that work together for smooth power and respectable fuel economy.
The Murano does fall short of some competitors in overall cargo space, and its modest towing limits make it less than ideal for those who need an SUV that can tow trailers and toys. But if weekend watersports aren't in your plans, the Murano is a solid choice for an upscale, comfortable five-passenger crossover that delivers a bit more style than the norm.
The 2018 Nissan Murano crossover is offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum. All have a 3.5-liter V6 engine (260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque) and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard; all-wheel drive is optional.
The base S comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Standard technology includes a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary audio jacks, and smartphone app integration (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). There's even a USB port for rear passengers to connect a music device to the audio system.
All 2018 Muranos also have forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking as standard.
Moving up to the SV adds roof rails, foglights, remote engine start, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The SV's optional Premium package adds unique 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats and mirrors, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, and driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree parking camera system, and a drowsy driver warning system.
The SL model comes standard with the SV's options (including the driver aids and Bose audio), as well as a hands-free liftgate, heated side mirrors, driver-seat memory settings, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting. A panoramic sunroof is optional.
The top-line Murano Platinum is loaded with the SL's features plus 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a power-adjustable steering wheel with memory setting, heated and ventilated front seats, power-folding rear seats, and NissanConnect telematics, including automatic collision notification to emergency services and customizable alerts (to keep tabs on teen drivers or valets, for example).
A Midnight Edition optional styling package for SL trims adds special 20-inch wheels and a blacked-out finish on roof rails, mirror caps, grille, lower bumper accents, sill plates, side moldings.