New Maxima Job #1 in April 2015 The 2016 Nissan Maxima is assembled at Nissan’s huge Smyrna, Tennessee plant. Smyrna has become the highest capacity single plant in the United States with a capacity of over 650,000 units per year. The 8th Gen Maxima Job #1 was in April 2015 and dealers began getting the cars in early June. Competing with the likes of the Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus and Acura TLX, the new Maxima pushes the design envelope with its “energetic flow” styling. The styling is head turning and certain to be controversial.
3rd Generation Murano The 2015 Nissan Murano crossover SUV went on sale Friday, December 5, 2014. The third generation of the Murano pushes the envelope on crossover styling and brings new Nissan design cues to the vehicle. The Murano has been a sweet spot among crossover SUVs since its launch. Each iteration has been very easy to live with and the 2015 version is no exception. Easy to drive, maneuverable, quiet and up to date, the Murano provides Nissan with a suitable vehicle to attract its target buyer. Media attending the product preview in Napa Valley were surprised that Nissan admitted its target market is empty nester couples 45 years of age or older. These people do not need seven or eight passenger seating they might have required during their family formation years, but they do want reasonable cargo capacity and a spacious rear seat. This 5-passenger crossover SUV meets their requirements
The Murano review was held during an early December storm with gale force winds. The Murano handled the inclement weather with aplomb. It was very stable even in vicious cross winds.
Exterior Given its sporty, futuristic styling, you might think the visibility would suffer, and it does to the rear, but overall visibility is pretty good. For years many in the industry have been stripping vehicles of exterior ornamentation, but not the 3rd gen Murano. There is a striking bright flash running from the upper edge of the front door rearward over the rear fender kickup. Very distinctive and nicely done. Murano follows the trend of front lighting with LED signature lights and available LED headlamps. LED “boomerang” taillamps are standard.
Interior The interior comfort is excellent with “Zero Gravity” seating. Ergonomics are excellent with a large 8-inch center stack screen standard. For those who like an open air feeling, the Murano offers a large panoramic moonroof. The top of the line Platinum model includes leather seating surfaces and comes across as a very premium place to be. The lower level SV model, loses the leather, but the interior retains much of the premium feel of the Platinum version. In essence, spending less does not result in a vehicle feeling cheap.
Technology The 2015 Nissan Murano comes with the expected suite of available technology: blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, moving object detection and forward emergency braking.
Powertrain The engine is essentially carryover – Nissan’s venerable 260HP 3.5L DOHC V6 (VQ). The continuously variable Xtronic transmission has been improved with subtle “shift points” added to the shiftless gearbox. The driving experience is effortless.
Pricing The base price of the 2015 Nissan Murano os $29,560 for the S model. The next step up is the SV at $32,620. Then the SL at $35,950 and the range topping Platinum at $39,000. Adding all wheel drive adds $1,600 to each model. Checking all the boxes on a Platinum – adding premium paint, Technology Package and 20-inch wheels – brings the price to $44,975.
Production While Nissan’s huge Canton, Mississippi plant is the main source for the Murano worldwide, there is a secondary source in Pusan, South Korea should the USA need more volume. The Pusan plant is part of the Samsung Renault Nissan relationship.
Research Results Over the years, Murano has done very well in AutoPacific’s Satisfaction Research. The 2015 Nissan Murano promises to deliver strong satisfaction results just as did its predecessor generations.
As the owner of a 2011 Murano, I was very skeptical of the Murano CrossCabriolet and the ability to deliver on the ‘cross’ bit of the name with only two doors and four seats. After a brief test drive in Del Mar, CA, I realized that the word crossover was being redefined right before my very eyes.
There are amazing automobiles and then there are amazing appliances. For example the Nissan GT-R is an amazing automobile. It’s 0-60 times, braking distances, and lateral G capabilities rival the new Porsche 911 Turbo. The Nissan Murano on the other hand is an amazing appliance. No, wait… don’t hit the back button… not yet. Let me explain…
Personally, I think there is a place for both. The GT-R would be perfect for weekend getaways up coast highway and the Murano, well, for everything else. You see – I’ve come to appreciate vehicles that do a lot of routine things really well, but nothing perfectly. In my youth a stripped down Porsche 911 without any sound deadening material, without back seats, or even a stereo – but extremely taut suspension would be the perfect vehicle – it did one thing perfectly. Today, I know there’s a difference between a perfect vehicle and one that you can live with. I also appreciate things like my kidneys, teeth, and ability to hear passengers… although that may change when I have children.
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If you’re looking for a great car or truck to buy this fall, one that’s not only stylish and powerful, but reliable and a great value, we’ve got a foolproof way for you to choose your next vehicle. Just look at which models won the inaugural AutoPacific – IntelliChoice Motorists’ Choice Awards. Unlike other trophies handed out in the automotive industry, this award measures owner satisfaction and the value of the vehicle. AutoPacific surveys owners to determine how satisfied they are with their vehicles. IntelliChoice analyzes the cost of ownership. The result is a strong benchmark combining the emotional relationship a person has with their car and the value they receive. What you get are some pretty extraordinary vehicles that are worth the purchase price, even years after the purchase.
The Orange County Auto Show set the stage for the 2006 Motorists’ Choice Awards presentations. We’ve got a few highlights right here in this week’s podcast.
Show Runtime – 4:30
00:41 2006 Nissan Armada , best Utility
01:21 2006 Nissan Murano , best Midsize Crossover
02:49 2006 Subaru Legacy Wagon , best Midsize/Large Wagon
03:37 2006 Infiniti QX56 , best Luxury Utility and Top Ranked Vehicle Overall