RAV4 vs Murano
I'm a new (2010) Murano owner....coming from 15+ years of owning nothing but Rav4's, and have a few general observations/comparisons.
I'm actually a big fan of older Rav's. I owned one of the old/early 1996 models...and although bare-bones - it was nearly indestructible, got great gas milage, and lasted my family almost 200K miles with nothing but regular maintenance. I also owned a second gen 2004 model. Again, it was an amazingly well-built and reliable vehicle....we had zero problems with well over 100K miles! That Rav honestly felt like it had near-Lexus engineering and quality. Most recently, my family has had a 2007 Sport and 2010 Limited. The 07 was good from a reliability standpoint, but the 2010 was definitely a step-down. It had numerous squeaks and rattles, the materials were sub-par (especially the factory leather...very cheap), and it did have a few mechanical problems (trans/radio/alloy wheels).
My point is - you could see and almost graph the quality of this Toyota line. There was a distinct downward swing in overall quality - the factory floormats of the 2010 wouldn't have been acceptable at Walmart! It's shocking to see Toyota move in this direction...
SO, having done much work on all these vehicles myself, and having spent the last 6-7 months around Murano's - it's fascinating to see the differences. I know the Murano is a more expensive class vehicle - but still. AND, my Murano was only slightly more $ than my loaded 2010 RAV4 Limited!
: Thicker sheetmetal and glass - everywhere.
: Higher quality of materials - from headliner, to fasteners, to leather.
: It just seems like in the Murano - there are extra connections, layers, and reinforcements that Toyota doesn't have.
The Murano IMO is "much" quieter, smoother, more comfortable, roomier (despite only being slightly larger dimensionally than the Rav), better driving, safer, and simply a much better engineered and produced vehicle.
OK...end of rant. Now I'll go play with my new Murano!