Third generation Murano delivers on Resonance Concept’s promise

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In the past, when car manufacturers would introduce a new concept car, it was used to show the design capabilities of the brand. When the concept went into production, it almost never looked anything like the concept.

But lately, car manufacturers have been taking concepts almost directly into production. One of the best examples coming onto the market this year is the new 2015 Nissan Murano.

Based on the Nissan Resonance Concept, this third-generation Murano delivers on the bold exterior styling and lounge-like interior of the concept. When it comes out later this fall, it will re-enforce the Murano’s position as the flagship crossover of the Nissan brand.

Needless to say, local dealers in Pittsburgh are anxious to see it arrive. The features have been enhanced. It should have more power and get better fuel economy than the current Murano, which has been a runaway hit for the brand.

Though one was conceptual and the other production-based, Resonance and the new Murano were created on parallel tracks – with shared design themes and key attributes such as their boomerang lights and unique floating roof treatment.

Like the first-generation Murano, the 2015 version is a highly sculptural, highly emotional design – one that once again stands out in a field known more for uniformity and utility-based styling.

The 2015 Murano will be available at launch with a standard 3.5-liter V6 rated at 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Also standard is an advanced Xtronic transmission tuned for quick response and smoothness. Fuel economy is projected to be enhanced by approximately 20 percent versus the current generation Murano, due to the approximate 130-pound overall weight reduction, enhanced aerodynamics and engine/transmission efficiencies.

Like the previous generation, the new Murano will offer responsive handling and a comfortable ride through use of a four-wheel independent suspension featuring a front strut/rear multi-link design. Also standard are four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. Sporty 18-inch or 20-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels are also available.

"While driving a new Murano is designed to be an exciting social experience, we also intend it to be a safe one," said Andy Palmer, chief planning officer and executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "We've given Murano 'an extra set of eyes' – a suite of advanced safety features designed to help look out for you."

The new Murano incorporates up to four onboard cameras (front, rear, and two side) and three radar systems (one front, two side) to provide input to a range of available technologies, including: blind spot warning, predictive forward collision warning, forward emergency braking and intelligent cruise control. The new cross traffic alert system utilizes radar to detect a vehicle approaching from either side of the Murano when backing out of a parking space.

Parking a new Murano is also made easier with the available class-exclusive Around View monitor with moving object detection, which is designed to reduce the normal complexity of parallel parking by giving an all-around view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras.

The system is not just for parallel parking, however, helping view the vehicle's placement in pull-in spots, garages and against curbs. The moving object detection system helps the driver to detect moving objects such as shopping carts or strollers when backing out via an on-screen notification and warning chime.

The 2015 Nissan Murano will be offered in four trim levels when it goes on sale in late 2014: S, SV, SL and Platinum. Each is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Pricing has not yet been announced, but should be a little closer to the vehicle’s November launch target. Also, availabilities may be tight for the first few months, so if you’re interested, you may want to talk to a Pittsburgh area Nissan dealer before November. Also, there will likely be great incentives on the 2014 edition, the closer we get to the 2015 model’s launch.

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