Nissan's Murano has always been among the more striking designs in the mid-size crossover category, a fitting characteristic for a vehicle that treads the line between the mainstream and upscale ends of this popular segment of the marketplace.
Depending on how you look at it, the Murano slots in below or above the larger Pathfinder: below if your viewpoint is based on size and seating capacity, but above if styling is your yardstick.
For 2018, the Murano gains a few significant standard features. Among these are automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, which are now included across the range. Other active safety items shift downward in the lineup, like radar cruise control, which is now standard in SL trim where it was previously limited to the top-end Platinum model.
Also new this year is a Midnight Edition option package for SL trim that adds black wheels, grille, side mirrors, roof rails and splash guards, and illuminated kickplates.
The Murano's fundamentals remain the same. A 3.5L V6 (260 hp/240 lb-ft of torque) and continuously variable automatic transmission are standard; the only choice you have to make is which trim you want: the basic S variant is a front driver, while SV, SL and Platinum models are AWD.
Standout features include NASA-inspired zero-gravity seats designed to reduce fatigue during long drives, and some really slick-looking interior materials that justify Nissan's intent to appeal to shoppers looking for a premium vehicle.
Standard features in S trim include 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED taillights, automatic emergency braking and collision warning, navigation, backup camera, dual-zone climate control, passive keyless entry with push-button start and heated front seats.
SV AWD trim adds a power driver's seat, heated steering wheel and leather trim for steering wheel and shifter.
SL AWD gets a 360-degree view camera system, blind spot alert and intervention with rear cross-traffic alert, radar cruise control, garage door opener, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable front passenger seat, leather seating and replaces the base six-speaker stereo with an 11-speaker audio system.
Finally, Platinum trim includes 20-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, LED headlights and electric steering column adjustment with memory.
Fuel consumption estimates are 11.0/8.3 L/100 km (city/highway) for the front-drive S trim and 11.1/8.4 for AWD-equipped trims.