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New Nissan Murano Set to Bow this Fall

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Nissan brought the latest version of its midsize crossover to the MAMA crew for a closer look a few weeks ago. The 5-passenger Murano enters its third generation when it hits dealerships late this fall as a 2015.

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Mechanically, the 2015 Murano appears to be comparable to the outgoing model. The powertrain is similar, consisting of a 3.5-liter V6 and a continuously-variable transmission. Front- or all-wheel drive models are offered. Wheelbase is unchanged at 111.2 inches. However, length grows by 2 inches and width by 1.2 inches.

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But that's where the similarities stop. Exterior and interior styling are all new with a look that is every bit as daring as the original was back in 2003. Nissan designers say they were inspired by "Supersonic Cuture" and the "Panorama of Space." Either way, the new Murano looks like nothing else on a road that's teeming with two-box CUV designs.

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Exterior design features include LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights, shark-fin antenna, 20-inch alloy wheels and chrome exhaust tips. Inside, three color themes are offered. All are accented by glossy plastics and chrome-like trim. The center display features an 8-inch screen with smart-phone-like gesture operation and custom widgets and front and rear passengers are treated to Nissan's "Zero Gravity" seats.

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The model lineup remains the same with S, SV, SL and Platnum trims. Safety features include lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, forward emergency braking, predictive forward collision warning, cross-traffic alert and moving object detection.

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Slick aerodynamics (sporting a class-leading .31 cD) and improvements in efficiency to both the engine and transmission lead to what Nissan is claiming is a 20-percent increase in highway fuel economy. Engine power is unchanged from 2014, clocking in at 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.

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One final note, the 2015 Murano won't have to travel as far to get to your nearest Nissan dealership as production moves from Japan to Canton, Mississippi. Look for the new Murano in showrooms late this fall and at the Chicago Auto Show this February.

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