Used Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano is one of those crossover vehicles so beloved of car manufacturers these days. This one however didn't get the cross breeding particularly right first time. Not that it was a bad car, it wasn't. It was just that Nissan decided to mix their big SUV luxury saloon with a huge and thirsty petrol engine. They changed this a long time after the 2005 introduction but by that time word had got around about the gas guzzling Nissan Murano and sales remained on the modest side. Not that this is a bad thing for used car buyers, it just means that there are some bargains to be had if you look hard enough. The shame about the engine was that it was actually quite good. It even appeared on Ward's 10 Best Engines list from 2002 all the way through to 2007 and does a good job on Nissan's 350Z.
Married to the bulk of the Nissan Murano though, it was just too thirsty for these frugal times. In 2009 Nissan eventually woke up to this problem and stuck a much more suitable 2.5 litre diesel unit into the Nissan Murano. In the interim they had introduced a new model in 2008 with an improved chassis and enhanced interior and engine. The two models were then sold together until the car disappeared from showrooms in 2011.
Bang for your buck
The approved used Nissan Murano is not a shy, retiring car and its distinctive looks stand out even more on such a big car. The revised 2008 model got a nose job to cope with the demands for cool air for the new diesel engine and the revised grille and front end work pretty well together. The striking look is continued with big wheels housed inside macho, bulging wheel arches and the overall package is one that will get you noticed, whether you like it or not.
The Nissan Murano's interior is pleasingly upmarket, with lots of switches hinting at all the kit you get. The modern finishes and luminescent dials are pleasingly contemporary and there is a huge twin panel glass roof as an option. Where this wasn't taken up by original owners, you will find a roof mounted DVD stereo system. The rear tailgate is powered and there is a nice safety feature in a passenger side kerb camera that keeps an eye out for the little 'uns at speeds of up to 12mph. The electric seating system is particularly impressive, automatically folding the rear 60/40 split bench in just 8 seconds.
What you'll pay
You can get one of the earliest 2005 Murano models for around £4,800, on a 05 plate, with a stonking 100,000 miles on the clock and one of those huge 3.5 litre V6 petrol engines under the bonnet. The newest models will set you back considerably more. A 2010 (60 reg) model with top spec, 2.5 litre diesel engine and just 27,000 miles covered will cost around £22,000.
What to check
The Nissan Murano for sale is a solid and reliable car and shouldn't give you any trouble. This was never a serious off-roader though and an overly keen previous owner might have done some damage. The ground clearance isn't good enough and the 4x4 drive system is just about butch enough to cope with a wet grass car park on school sports day. Have a good look underneath for signs of damage but otherwise both the petrol and diesel engines are tough and the car is rock solid.
Looking at one of the newer 2009 Muranos, You are looking at around £80 for a set of front brake pads with the rear ones coming in at £60. A new radiator is about £275 and a starter motor costs roughly the same. The big windscreens are steep at nearly £400.
How it drives
This is really a tale of two cars. The big 3.5 litre engines deliver better performance, shooting the big lug to 60mph in around 8 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph. The 2.5 litre is the more sensible choice for most people. The 4x4 system, while not being brilliant on the brown stuff, is great for slippery road conditions. The intelligent system moves the power around to where it is needed and the stiff chassis and suspension set up result in an assured ride. The handling is surprisingly nimble for such a big car and the ride comfort is great, making a used Nissan Murano a good second hand choice in this sector.