moves" can indicate a number of things when it comes
to driving, like the swift, effortless flow in and out of
tight road corners by a technically superior driver. It
can also mean the sleek exterior curves of a "sculpture
in motion" vehicle that looks more molded than designed.
Or the quiet progression from idle to speed with scant hint
of transmission gear changes.
Nissan's curvy crossover, Murano, has pushed unconventional
styling to the forefront -- deliberately aimed at "wild
thing" American tastes -- it adds another smooth move
for 2005 with the launch of a new base model designed to
expand its scope and appeal. Until '05, more budget-minded
shoppers might simply have admired it as it cruised on by.
Now, a new S model lowers the entry point to $27,000 for
front wheel drive, and brings the Murano model mix to six,
along with SL and SE, all in front or all-wheel-drive.
smooth touches: Ample interior room for five; easy handling;
a stable, wide stance on solid, standard 18-inch tires;
a feeling of motion when standing still; and a sense of
rakish fun. All models are powered by a 245-HP, 3.5-liter
V6 mated to Nissan's Xtronic CVT (continuously variable
transmission), that smooths out the normal gear change surges.
Those have been eliminated for seamless acceleration.
the S package omits some neat add-ons such as Dynamic Control,
leather trim, and DVD entertainment system, it still can
have roof rails, tow package and other convenience package
goodies such as adjustable pedals. Keyless entry and ignition
with Nissan's Intelligent Key become standard on the SE
and SL Touring models for '05.
a rare auto maker offering both Sirius and XM satellite
radio for all models. Want both? They're $400 each. And
if Murano's similarly-designed, upscale and far pricier
cousin Infiniti FX catches your eye, it's the only crossover
with an Advanced Lane Departure Warning System to keep a
driver safely on track. That's smooth.