PLEASANT UNDER GLASS
2012 Nissan Murano Platinum Edition
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sat, May 26, 2012
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
It’s named after an Italian island famous for its colorful glassware. It’s also the name of the glass itself. Nissan wants you to regard its 2012 Murano Platinum Edition crossover as work of art. While we won’t go that far, we do think Nissan has cooked up a tasty, likeable and ultimately very pleasing vehicle in the Murano. Harvey Schwartz reports in “Pleasant Under Glass”. By Harvey Schwartz Midsize crossover sport utility vehicles continue their strong demand by consumers looking for a vehicle they can use for many purposes—comfortably transporting up to five adults, cargo carrying flexibility, and towing capabilities for their boat, ATVs, jet skis, and other items up to 3,500 pounds. With its distinctive styling, high levels of performance, luxury, comfort infotainment inside and advanced technology inside, the new Platinum Edition is like no other crossover sport utility on the road. This new addition to the Murano nameplate is distinguished by adding standard 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, DVD players behind the front head restraints, and Nissan’s latest Navigation system.
All 2012 Muranos feature a powerful yet fuel-efficient 260-horsepower VQ-Series 3.5 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC V6 engine that incorporates a Twin Nissan Variable Induction Control system, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces. Diamond Like Carbon coated valve lifters, resin intake manifold, forged crankshaft, digital knock control system, high capacity mufflers round out this truly high-tech engine. It’s mated to a smooth and quiet Xtronic CVT transmission that is one of the best that we have tested. It also comes with Nissan’s Adaptive Shift Control, that provides you with a sporty driving experience but with a smoothness that only a CVT can offer. Murano is available in standard front-wheel drive or the optional Intuitive All-Wheel Drive system, and all Muranos come with standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control to help you maintain control of the vehicle when driving on the edge of adhesion in sharp turns. Murano’s sculpted exterior features a wide front end, with a dynamic front fascia design and wide grille. Murano is again available with quad-cylinder style HID, bi-functional Xenon projector headlights and standard fog lamps to lighten the darkness up ahead and increase your safety. The wide hood sweeps into the sculpted dynamic bodylines, with pronounced wheel arches that the Platinum’s 20X8 inch tires and wheels fill up giving it a more aggressive stance. Large chrome door handles and optional roof rails add both functionality and visual accents. The Murano’s equally distinctive rear end features a rear glass shape that flares out, integrated rear roof spoiler and large rear LED taillights that accents the body side character lines. Dual exhaust outlets with chrome tips give the rear another aggressive look. Our loaded Platinum model came with rain-sensing wipers, a power rear lift gate, and a large dual panel power glass moonroof with second row skylight that provides an open-air experience for the rear seat passengers.
Nissan’s advanced D platform provides a solid foundation for family adventure-style crossover duties and fun. This platform, which is similar to that used in the 2011 Altima, has been optimized for the Murano, using aluminum and high-strength lightweight steel. Taking advantage of the rigid torsional structure is the standard four-wheel independent suspension also with an extensive use of lightweight aluminum for a reduction in unsprung weight. The suspension design features a cradle-type front subframe and multi-link rear design with improved geometry and large front and rear stabilizer bar, provides increase stiffness with no noise, vibration or harshness. The suspension, in combination with high performance dual flow path gas-charged shocks, helps provide sure footing and increased ride comfort on rough surfaces. Helping to guide you around slow moving city traffic, at high speeds on the freeways and when busting trails if you order the AWD model, is the twin-orifice speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system that provides the proper levels of boost with excellent feel for the road, quick reaction to your inputs and a great on-center feel. It’s a pleasure guiding this exceptional CUV around town and on the freeways.
Quickly and safely slowing the Murano Platinum down from speed are great, four-wheel disc brake with vented discs at all four wheels, very unique. Up front are 12.6 inch rotors clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.1 inch discs in the rear clamped with single-piston calipers. Keep your in control during severe braking time and when braking on slick or wet pavement are standard ABS, EBD and BA. Open the doors of the new Platinum and view a sumptuous, well designed interior cabin with the latest technology, safety and infotainment features. The eight-way power bucket driver and four-way passenger seats are double-stitched, very comfortable and very supportive with a memory system for two drivers. The beefy leather wrapped steering wheel features power tilt-telescoping for the optimal angle and reach. The advanced ‘mobile suite’ interior, embodying warmth and modern style starts from its sweeping instrument panel, easy-to-see instrument cluster, it its wide console, all with ambient lighting. The center console features rich wood trim, dual cupholders and two-tiered storage box under the padded armrest. The 60/40 fold-flat rear seat is available with a convenient power return feature, with the touch of a button on either side, while heated seats are standard front and back. The back also features a pull-down center armrest with dual cupholders. Standard equipment in the new Platinum Edition Murano not mentioned above includes wood tone trim on the door switch plates, console, cruise-control with steering wheel controls, rear view TV camera, seven- inch QVGA color display, Bose audio system AM-FM-CD with nine-speakers and dual subwoofers, XM satellite radio, USB with interface system for iPod, Bluetooth hands free phone with steering wheel buttons, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control with front/rear vents, Nissan Intelligent key with keyless entry, push button start/stop, power front windows with express up-down, power door locks, dual pane sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-remote/heated sideview mirrors, Homelink Universal garage door opener, aluminum door kick plates, dual head-restraints mounted monitors, and voice recognition.
The new 2012 Nissan Platinum Edition puts the proven Murano up to a higher level competing against the best luxury crossover vehicles from Germany and Japan. © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SIDEBAR COMMENT My time in the Murano was as pleasurable as Harvey's. The Platinum trim offers even the most picky driver or passenger the luxuries more often found in luxury vehicles. But then again (as with the Murano Platinum and some of the other fully loaded vehicles from the middle class), the gap between luxury automobiles and the car for for the everyday person is decreasing with each new model launch. I might note that the Murano is a capable loader. Even though the vehicle is small in comparison to many of the SUVs on the road today, this will most probably be able to haul whatever your daily activities might throw at it. To test this, we managed to load eleven pieces of luggage (no, not carry-on size, these were full blow maximum weight checked luggage), plus two carry-on sized pieces. We still had room for the two travelers up front, without having to move the comfortable seats forward. Driving characteristics are great (with and without the above mentioned load). This vehicle handles just like it should. You can feel that you are not driving a tightly sprung, low-to-earth sedan, but there aren't any "heavy-SUV" tendencies either. No body roll, no nothing. The Murano sits nicely on any road, and is very easy to drive. Tooling around town or for the longer road-trip, the Murano will not let you down. - John-Fredrik Wright For more information about Nissan products, go to www.nissanusa.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2012 Nissan Murano Platinum Edition FWD Price: $42,840.00 including destination EPA-rated fuel economy ratings: 18mpg/city, 24mpg/highway Engine: 3.5 liter, aluminum alloy, DOHC V6 with Continuous Variable Timing Control Horsepower: 260 at 6,000 rpm Torque: 240 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm Transmission: CVT Continuously Variable Transmission Suspension: Front: independent, twin-tube struts, coil springs, 25mm solid stabilizer bar Rear: independent, multi-links, twin-tube shocks, coil springs, 20mm solid stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: 20X7.5 inch aluminum alloy, titanium finish/235/55R20 inch all-season radial tires Brakes: Front: 12.6 inch vented discs/dual piston calipers Rear: 12.1 inch vented discs/single piston calipers, ABS, EBD, BA Dimensions Total length: 189.9 inches Total height: 67 inches with roof rails Total width: 74.1 inches Curb weight: 4,025 pounds