With the launch of the Murano, Nissan was the first car company to really acknowledge that most SUVs never left the asphalt. The Murano is built for urban practicality, with a comfortable ride and spacious interior.

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With its slanted front end and smooth sides, the Murano looks nothing like a truck-based SUV. Nissan made minor updates to the look for the 2009 model year, and changed the platform.

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The 3.5-liter V-6, an engine Nissan has used in many of its models, makes 265 horsepower--plenty to get the Murano moving.

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The Murano's plush seats easily seat five, with plenty of leg and head room.

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Nissan fits the Murano with stabilizer bars, which prevent wallowing, but the car really isn't meant for hard cornering.

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Ample rear cargo space and fold down rear seats gives the Murano plenty of flexibility.

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The interior is nicely appointed, but in this S trim model there are no tech options available. And given the dashboard design, the car does not look very aftermarket friendly.

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Tech is so minimal in the S trim that there are no audio controls on the steering wheel.

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Nissan's tiered, three-gauge design looks good on the instrument cluster.

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A continuously variable transmission comes standard in the Murano. This one offers no manual shifting option, but it does have some low ranges.

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In the S trimmed Murano, an MP3-compatible six-CD changer sits in the dash, with an auxiliary input nearby. Climate controls sit just below the orange screen.

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With an MP3 CD in the changer, the screen shows artist, song, or album information in big letters.

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