The 2022 Nissan Murano undergoes some trim changes for the model year, including a new Midnight Edition appearance package.
A suite of six driver-assist technologies is now standard across the lineup; the SV trim’s cloth seats are swapped for faux leather; and a premium audio system is available. Every version has all-wheel drive, and its four trim levels start with the S at $38,928, including a non-negotiable delivery fee of $1,880. I had that Midnight Edition, a $1,200 upgrade over the SL trim that brings it to $47,728. Mine then had extra-charge paint for $300, for a price tag of $48,028 before taxes. The top Platinum trim is one above the SL at $49,528.
The Murano is a good-looking vehicle, with its swept-back nose and curvaceous side profile. The dark rear pillar gives the appearance of a “floating” roof, but that handsome sloping profile comes at the expense of some rearward visibility and rear-seat headroom.
The Midnight Edition blacks out most of the exterior accents, including the grille, mirrors, lower bumpers, and roof rails, and adds 20-inch black wheels. I thought the blacked-out fad would have run its course by now, but the good news is that you can leave it off and not lose any comfort or convenience features – and save $1,200 in the process.
The Murano earns the highest Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last tested the 2019 model, which earned the top five stars, and that design has carried over into 2022.
The list of across-the-board driver-assist items include emergency front braking with pedestrian detection, low-speed rear automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure assist, automatic high-beam control, driver alert monitor, and the rearview camera that’s mandatory on all new vehicles. All trims above the base S then further add adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system, and traffic sign recognition.
In addition to the assist technologies, all trims include dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two each of USB-A and USB-C ports, automatic LED headlights, and roof rails. One up from the base trim, the SV further adds a panoramic sunroof, 10-way power driver’s seat, remote starter, hands-free tailgate, heated steering wheel, faux leather seats, and navigation.
My SL-based tester then added auto-dimming mirrors, leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, driver’s side memory, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, ambient lighting, LED foglights, integrated garage door opener, and premium audio, along with the Midnight appearance package. Move up to the top-trim Platinum and you get such items as ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and premium upholstery.
User Friendliness: 8.5/10
The Murano’s centre stack may look old-fashioned to some, with its mere eight-inch screen to go with buttons and dials, but that ultimately translates into it being easy to use. Hard buttons bring up the screen’s menus, while the temperature is adjusted with dials and the heated seats with buttons. The navigation system is intuitive and I was able to enter my destinations with voice commands that the system understood on the first try.
The Murano was originally designed – some 20 years ago! – as more of a conventional car-based crossover than SUV, and so its dimensions pale against some of its sport-ute competitors. It has less front- and rear legroom than two-row rivals such as the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, or Subaru Outback.
Cargo volume is 880 L with a sunroof, marginally more than the Outback but less than the Santa Fe or Edge. You can tow up to 680 kg (1,500 lb) with the Murano, but the Santa Fe can pull 907 kg (2,000 lb), and the Edge and Outback can go as high as 1,587 kg (3,500 lb).
I dropped my score slightly for that tighter legroom, and for rear-seat headroom that falls short of the Edge and Outback, but the Murano’s front seats are exceptional. I took it on a drive of three hours each way and they stayed comfortable and supportive throughout. The ride is smooth, it soaks up bumps very well, and the cabin is quiet.
All trims are powered by a 3.5L V6 engine that makes 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, mated to an automatic continuously-variable transmission (CVT) that behaves more like a conventional unit, quiet and without any “rubbery” feeling. The engine is quick and smooth off the line, and with enough power for passing at highway speeds.
Driving Feel: 8/10
The steering is light but with enough weight and feel for confidence, and it’s easy to spin it around tight parking lots. It’s composed and well-planted around corners, and the brakes do a good job of bringing it quickly to a stop. It isn’t sporty, but it is very pleasant to drive. The all-wheel drive (AWD) system primarily runs the front ones, but sends power to the rear as needed for traction.
Fuel Economy: 8/10
The Murano is officially rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at 12.0 L/100 km in the city, 8.5 on the highway, and 10.4 in combined driving, and it takes 87-octane regular gasoline. In my week with it, much of it spent on highway driving, I hit the mark at 10.4 L/100 km as well.
Overall, it sits just slightly behind the competitors mentioned, all of which offer more than one engine and some with turbocharging. In combined driving, the Edge (in non-ST performance trim) rates 10.1; the Santa Fe is 9.9; and the Outback ranges from 8.2 to 10.0 L/100 km.
The Murano might seem to be a bit dated to those who prefer higher-tech vehicles, but I like its blend of performance and features, and its range of $38,928 to $49,528 seems within reason. Out of my own pocket, I’d likely get the SL at $46,528 without adding the Midnight Edition.
Among some of its competitors, all of which come only in all-wheel drive and including their delivery fees, the Subaru Outback goes from $33,070 to $46,070; the Hyundai Santa Fe from $35,624 to $49,724 (it also comes as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid); while the Ford Edge runs from $41,724 to $49,164, with the performance ST at $55,334.
The 2022 Nissan Murano isn’t perfect but it has a lot going for it, including its good looks, driving performance, and especially the long-distance comfort of those front seats. It’s been around a while, and it’s earned that longevity honestly in Nissan’s lineup.
|Peak Horsepower||260 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||240 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||12.0 / 8.5 / 10.4 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||880 / 1,840 L seats up/down|
|Model Tested||2022 Nissan Murano Midnight Edition|
|Price as Tested||$48,128|
$300 – Three-coat paint, $300