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Roadshow Video Reviews
2010 Nissan MuranoNissan's crossover SUV is a good-looking car, but it's too expensive to be a good value, the tech options are confusing and annoying, and the base model feels like something you'd pick up at Enterprise.
[ Engine Revving ] [ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Molly Wood: The 2010 Nissan Murano. It's a good-looking people hauler with a great transmission, but it's not a good value, and it's just not very interesting. I'm Molly Wood. Let's get inside, and check the tech. [music] And that's a wrap. Well, pretty close anyway. See, Nissan gave us the base model Murano, the S, which has absolutely nothing in it in the way of interesting tech. Well, that's not totally true. You do get a six-disc mp3 compatible CD changer. You get an aux jack here, and I do like that you have a dedicated aux button for switching your input, and then, interestingly, even though it's the most low-level trim available, you do get the intelligent key system, which means that you can start and stop the engine with this push button without having the key inserted here. I actually like that because I feel like putting the key here and pressing the button. This is just taking two things to do one thing. Other than that, though, not much going on in this car. You do get all-wheel drive as a $1,600 option. Interestingly, it has a locking differential. So this car basically has old-school four-wheel drive. Now, even the gear shift is about as basic as it gets in our S model here. You have no manual shifting at all, just your basic reverse, neutral, drive, and a low gear. You do have, though, a well-hidden overdrive button on the left side of the shifter here. It actually works pretty well. About the only customization you're going to be able to do in your S model [beeping] is turn on or off the beep here for your radio options. Now, this S model actually has no options available. So if you want to start adding tech, because you're a CNET viewer, you're going to have to upgrade immediately to the SL model. That's going to kick you up into $32,000 range, and you've got to start adding multiple expensive packages to get all the tech you want. This was the same in the 2009 model. It doesn't change here. For example, the technology package is $1,500, but that doesn't get you the Bluetooth hands free. You'll need the premium package for that. Then you'll have to add either the premium or the leather package in order to get the iPod and Bluetooth hands-free connection, and it all gets kind of messy from there. And even the $39,000 LE model doesn't include the standard navigation package. That'll cost you $1,800 on either the SL or the LE trim, and you know, at those prices, you're kind of creeping into Acura RDX territory, and that is a real tech car. [music] The Murano is powered by a 3.5 liter V6, and it's made it to Nissan's almost legendary continuously variable transmission. That thing is unbelievably good. You will not feel a single shift. The Murano's 265 horsepower are more than enough to overtake the other soccer moms on the road. I say that with love. In terms of driving, the Murano offers a fairly smooth ride and super-easy handling. It's nowhere near as rough as more truck-like SUV's like the Toyota Highlander, but I did find it a bit bouncier than expected on rough roads. Like I said, there's plenty of power, especially in overdrive, and the breaking and steering are basically non-intrusive. The thing is, though, between the ultra-smooth transmission shifts and the dead simple point-and-shoot steering, the Murano is so easy to drive that you can actually fall asleep. It's downright boring until you head toward a curb. There's quite a bit of body roll in this car, and it's not confidence inspiring on a windy road. The base Murano runs $29,650 with an $800 destination charge and a little extra for floor and cargo mats. And like I said, a fully-loaded LE model with navigation can get you pretty close to 40 grand before rebates. Mileage on this guy, though, not bad for a small SUV, about 18/23. The thing about the Nissan Murano is that it looks good, it drives OK, but in its base model, it's nothing more than an overpriced rental car. I think you only buy this if you really fall in love with it, and it's just not my soul mate. ^M00:04:00 [ Music ]