Car Review: 2006 Nissan Murano

The Nissan Murano got its name from Murano glass, a famous product of the Venetian Island of Murano. It is a crossover SUV based on the front-wheel drive Nissan Altima platform. Murano models are offered in both front- and all-wheel-drive trim. All use Nissan’s 3.5-liter V-6 in 245 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of trim, with that power transmitted to the wheels through the Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Overview: The 2006 Nissan Murano is offered in S, SL and SE trims. This car-based SUV (considered a Wagon body style) offers passenger capacity for up to five, with a 245 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with 2WD or AWD depending on the configuration. In addition to ABS brakes, standard equipment includes dual zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped adjustable steering wheel with audio controls, AM/FM/CD and rear window defoggers. The Murano also features front/side-body/side-head airbags, ABS brakes and child locks.

Engine: The Murano’s engine choice is the 245-hp 3.5L DOHC V6. What separates the Murano from other V6 SUVs is a continuously-variable transmission, which is the only transmission option. The main component of a CVT is a steel belt running between two pulleys that can vary in size. Driving a vehicle with a CVT is a bit different: it’s slower from the start and as you accelerate, gear ratio is changed gradually, without shifts.

Fuel economy: The Murano’s fuel economy is not bad for an all-wheel drive V6 powered SUV, estimated to consume an average of 13.8L per 100km.

Safety: The 2006 Nissan Murano’s anti-lock brakes, side and side curtain airbags and stability control are optional. In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal crash tests, the 2006 Nissan Murano earned five perfect stars in front and side crash tests as well as four stars in rollover tests.

Mechanical: The Murano’s electronically controlled AWD system automatically sends the power to the wheels for more traction. The AWD “LOCK” function locks the front and rear axles at speeds up to 18 mph (29 km/h). 18-inch wheels are standard.

Handling and ride: On the road, the Murano is fun to drive despite its size. Thanks to large wide tires and firm suspension, the handling is sporty and well-controlled, with minimal body roll. The V6 offers plenty of power and is very smooth. The steering is light but precise. On the other hand, the ride is firm and some road noise is noticeable.

The Murano is not a bad choice for a city SUV. It is roomy, comfortable and fun to drive. However, we expect the maintenance and repair costs to be higher than average. Click here to check out a 2006 Nissan Murano for an unbeatable price!