Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share

2004 Crossover Buyer's Guide
by Martha Hindes

Nissan Murano
2004 Nissan Murano

Round and round and round it goes. Where are the angles? Nobody knows. That's the whimsy in Nissan's sporty Murano crossover, with edges so smooth a sharp corner or table-flat plane seem nonexistent. From the rounded nose and thick circular chrome dual exhausts, bulging rear liftgate that flows out and down, and even Nissan's "globe" logo, everything seems to go in circles in a sort of futuristic "Jetsons" way. Even the rear window edge is
rounded at the bottom.

Murano's look-ahead appearance (they call it "wraparound") is only the beginning of its charm -- a word not always associated with Nissan, now recognized for its slap-in-the-face truck grilles and haunchy speedsters. But this is charming indeed, despite some oddly quirky colors (a muddy mustard dubbed "Luminous Gold" for one) aimed at those who like to be different.

This is no-nonsense engineering and cross purpose capability, on a solid underpinning of comfort for five touched with leather trim in near-lux mode. It rides a 3.5 liter, 245 horsepower V-6 with vehicle dynamic control and available all-wheel-drive (plus heated seats) for nasty Northern winters. Handling is crisp.

A slightly raised rear roofline equals stretch room. Rear seats fold for more storage area. The Bose six-CD changer includes a throwback tape deck, and a lockable center console bin houses jacks plus wireless earphones for game-playing on the DVD. A nav system adjusts easily from bright to dim, but mandates a read of the user's manual. Power points are strangely missing.

The handsome interior with moonroof has matte black and dulled metal trim against a soft, midrange beige. Button controls are easy to see and activate, day or night. Side curtain airbags are there for safety. Despite its curvy demeanor, we found one angular plane. High intensity headlamps, in the European manner, severed the black of night from low beam light with razor-edged sharpness about waist high, so glare won't bother oncoming drivers.