2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet review: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Close
Drag
Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
  •  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
MSRP: $46,390.00
Compare These
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The gearless nature of the continuously variable transmission gives the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet smooth acceleration, and a soft suspension contributes to the comfortable ride. All-wheel drive includes a differential lock. The navigation system features 3D buildings and traffic data.

The Bad The Murano CrossCabriolet looks like a coupe on a junk food diet. Its top comes down with a disconcerting crash. Lacking modern efficiency technology, its engine achieves mediocre fuel economy.

The Bottom Line A convertible SUV, the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet carves out its own niche, but it's an odd-looking design with some serious problems. Its technology is Nissan-standard, very good in the cabin, but becoming dated under the hood.

6.5 Overall
  • Design 5.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0

When automakers innovate, there is always a bit of risk involved. But there is also the potential reward of building a breakthrough vehicle. In recent years, Nissan has shown its willingness to face these risks, releasing innovative vehicles such as the GT-R and the Leaf . But the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet represents a risk with little reward, a vehicle that is more likely to sit alongside the Pontiac Aztek as a legendary design mistake.

The Murano CrossCabriolet does count as a new type of vehicle, a crossover with a convertible top. As such, you can ride with the top down while sitting up high. It's kind of like sitting in an open-top double-decker bus. All the Murano CrossCabriolet needs is a tour guide, pointing out local sights while delivering a spiel through a scratchy microphone.


The Murano CrossCabriolet cuts a unique profile.

The biggest design problem with the Murano CrossCabriolet comes from changing a hatchback crossover to a convertible. Losing the hatchback means instituting a trunk, a place into which the convertible top can fold. Without the hatchback, the Murano CrossCabriolet ends up looking like a very fat coupe.

The top is fully power-operated, and takes up a chunk of trunk space when folded down. Nissan includes a removable cover in the trunk that shows just how much space is available for cargo.


The extra window strip in the convertible top does not increase rear visibility for the driver.

When the top unfolds, its last little bit of business, attaching to the top edge of the windshield, occurs with a scary amount of force. It comes down hard enough to take off the fingers of anyone foolish enough to leave a hand in the way. The Murano CrossCabriolet could also use a single button to raise or lower all the windows, as found in many other convertibles. As it is, the driver has to work four switches, and the automatic, one-touch switches are only for the front windows.

Smooth CVT
Appropriately for a jumbo convertible like the Murano CrossCabriolet, the suspension and drivetrain are designed for comfort, not speed. The car uses Nissan's 3.5-liter V-6, producing 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The engine is solid, but not very efficient by today's standards, getting only 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Nissan has used this engine for many years and in a wide variety of vehicles. It creates enough power to move the Murano CrossCabriolet without fuss.


The 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivers adequate power, but is not the most efficient.

Nissan's CVT is the best in the business, and is the saving grace of the Murano CrossCabriolet's drivetrain. The incredibly smooth power delivery makes for comfortable acceleration, unmarred by harsh gear changes. Although some Nissan models have virtual shift points programmed into the CVT, the company did not bother with that for the Murano CrossCabriolet. Instead, it offers a low range for engine braking.

The soft suspension smoothes out the rough patches, and the standard 20-inch wheels mean a near-luxury ride. The Murano CrossCabriolet trundles along easily, although wind noise intrudes on the cabin even with the top up.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • 2015 BMW i8

    4.5 stars

    Capable of full electric drive, the BMW i8's concept car looks and carbon fiber body hide...

  • 2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

    4.5 stars

    Infiniti's new premium hybrid model uses innovative drive-by-wire tech in its steering...

  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550

    4.5 stars

    The 2014 S550 is an automotive tech juggernaut, featuring every latest advance Mercedes-Benz...

  • 2014 Audi RS 7 Quattro

    5 stars

    Startlingly fast, quite comfortable, and extremely high-tech, cars don't come much more...

 

Discuss 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Conversation powered by Livefyre