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Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet review: A funny-looking beast

Nissan chopped the top off its Murano, coming up with the first convertible crossover, an odd-looking vehicle that combines open-top driving with a high riding position.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The Murano CrossCabriolet is an ugly car. You could say it is unique, but there's no use trying to make excuses for the thing. The Murano CrossCabriolet just proves that trying to fit a convertible top on a four-seat SUV is an exercise in awkwardness.

As we drove through the city and over freeways, the Murano CrossCabriolet did not exactly endear itself. The cabin suffered from wind noise with the top up, and the 3.5-liter V-6 offered merely adequate power. The best driving element was the continuously variable transmission, which was notable for its lack of intrusiveness.

Nissan's cabin electronics, of which the CrossCabriolet was fully loaded, helped navigate the road, played music from iPods and Bluetooth-enabled devices, and let us place calls through voice command. It makes for a good electronics suite, but Nissan has other, prettier cars with the same equipment.

The only place where the Murano CrossCabriolet came into its own was on a little trafficked road through wine country. The high riding position and open top made for excellent views all around of sun-drenched vineyards and dry, California mountains, an environment that made it possible to forget what we were driving, for a time.

Read the full review of the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.