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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, im new here. I plan to purchase our first family SUV - mainly looking at ride comfort, safety, response, and fuel efficiency. It will mainly be used for city driving, and long distance driving at times (ie. 4-8 hrs)

So far, ive test driven a Highlander V6 4WD (without all the accessories that the limited model comes with). My first impressions was that it was considerably cheap (price wise), accelerated very smoothly, the engine is really quiet, and it has a third row folding seat (although, it is very very small and tight for the avg. person to sit in). What I didn't like was the bland styling, and light colored interior. Although, after owning 2 Toyotas (86 Corolla and 01 Celica), I can honestly say that I have had no major problems with their vehicles.

Did a little more research online and now I am also considering the Murano SE AWD too. It is about 2-3k more, but probably performs better (both speed and handling) than the highlander, and supposively gets better MPG too. The styling is definately a lot better. I plan on test driving it over the weekend, but have a couple of questions:

1. Any problems/issues with the Murano that I should know about?
2. What the heck is "privacy glass" on the Murano? Is that just tint?
3. Highlander comes with traction control. Murano does not. Should I worry about that?
4. What price should I expect to pay for a 04 SE AWD with reg. cloth seats and no sunroof? (don't really care for that stuff)
5. Any good dealerships in the SF Bay Area?

Any other experiences/comments on the two vehicles? Any help would be appreciated.

-Chris
 

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Hi Chris

I don't mean to sound obtuse, but you may want to check the section of this forum under Problems for problems.

Privacy glass is tinted.

The Murano does indeed come with it's form of traction control.

You could expect to pay around 29k for what you want.

I think the highlander is more trucky than the Murano---you need to drive one, that will settle any wonderings.

:)
 

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Mo Betta
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ChrisSF,

The Murano can be gotten with stability/traction control. However, you can only get that package (dynamic control) if you get the Touring package, which includes the premium package, the sunroof package, the leather package, and some extras.

Use edmunds.com to get the invoice price for the vehicle configured the way you want it.
 

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ChrisSF

You may also want to consider the Murano SL AWD. Not taking anything away from the SE AWD but you mentioned ride comfort as high on your priority list. The SE AWD is strung a little tighter which is fantastic for handling but not for absorbing bumps and pot holes. Just a suggestion.
 

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I agree with the above post. The Highlander is a very comfortable crossover, probably the most sedanlike of all the crossovers out there in terms of quietness and ride comfort. The Murano SL would be a good match for it, as the SE rides more firmly for sharper handling.

In terms of features, the Highlander might have a small (and useless) 3rd row seat for small kids, but the Murano has the additional coolness factor of the smoooth CVT and HID headlights (maybe the Highlander has HIDs now too, I am not sure).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey thanks guys. Actually, I made a mistake. I thought the SE was the base model. So, im really looking at the SL (doh) because it's more in my price range without the extra features.

Also, what is the best color to keep and look clean? Im looking at either the glacier pearl or midnight blue. And both come with cafe latte interior? Hopefully it isn't as light inside as the highlander.
 

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The SE and SL have the same equipment if you fully equip each of them. The only difference is that the SE has a sport tuned suspension, different 18" wheels, and the front airdam below the bumper is painted gray (I guess, for a sportier look).

There really is no "base" Murano. Even the stripper model is very well equipped.
 

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The Highlander, like many of the SUVs out there, has a terrible back seat. My last contact with one, you couldn't adjust tilt on the driver's seat.
 

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Mo Betta
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ChrisSF,

The hardest colors to keep clean are black, white, and that dark blue.

I have not looked at the sunlit copper when dirty, but when I was making my choice, I picked based on looking decent when dirty.

The best colors for that are pewter, gold, and silver. Of course, it depends on what color dirt you have. Down here in south Louisiana, the pewter shows the least dirt, but gold and silver aren't much worse.

I picked the gold because I liked it best of the three colors.
 

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ChrisSF

I have the Midnight Blue and you don't want it if you are worried about keeping it clean looking. I love the color but is is a pain to keep clean. I think the Glacier Pearl would be easiest. I have the Glacier Pearl Color on a Mitsubishi and it always looks much cleaner than the Murano. Especially when they are parked side by side.
 

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ChrisSF

I have the Midnight Blue and you don't want it if you are worried about keeping it clean looking. I love the color but is is a pain to keep clean. I think the Glacier Pearl would be easiest. I have the Glacier Pearl Color on a Mitsubishi and it always looks much cleaner than the Murano. Especially when they are parked side by side. In fact I wanted to get the Murano in the Glacier Pearl but could not find one locally configured the way I wanted (bare bones).
 

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I have the midnight blue and its a beautiful color. Hard to keep clean yes, but I bought it even knowing it would look dirty often.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ekaxel said:
The Highlander, like many of the SUVs out there, has a terrible back seat. My last contact with one, you couldn't adjust tilt on the driver's seat.
Yeah, that was one of the problems I had. The back seat was really hard to recline/tilt since the small lever was right above your shoulder facing the window.

In terms of color, I guess it shouldn't be a big deal, since CA weather is fairly nice. I only considered midnight blue cause it doesn't look as dark from the pictures as our Celica right now, which is Carbon Blue (very close to black and is hard to maintain clean). But I guess that'll make me wash them more often! And Glacier white brings out the lines of the Murano really well. I don't like the Gold and Copper as much.

But yeah, can't wait to test drive one on Saturday.. :4:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh yeah, i've been reading up on the problems forum and it looks like many of the problems (ie. bad alternator, CVT failing) are more common on the 03's? Im guessing Nissan has fixed them all for the 04's or atleast are willing to cover them under warranty.
 

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Yes unless its a very bright day, the midnight blue looks black. Most people think I drive a black murano and I have to keep correcting them. Some to this day are not convinced and still say its black.
 

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I don't recommend going to Hayward Nissan. I bought mine in Dublin and that wasn't to bad. I think one of you best options is signing up on one of those websites and let the dealers contact you. It was kind of fun having these guys doing whatever it would take just to get me there, a lot better then you randomly going to the dealers and them trying to keep you there with the "What do I have to do to get you buy one now" or the " Lets sit down and run some number and see what we can do. Some of the sights allow you to put the kind of features you want and the dealers that have them will contact you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, im back with the verdict.

Went with the highlander. I am very happy with the purchase. The main factor was that the highlander was very "sedan" like. After test driving the MO SL AWD, it just felt a little more "rough" for city driving. Also, it felt a bit bulky compared to the highlander. Although, the MO did have more power which was a plus. I was quite disappointed with Nissan's inventory as well. They had like 10+ 350z's but only 3 MO's. Overall, I still love the styling cues of the MO. But the highlander is the better vehicle that would suit my family's needs.

Thanks to everyone for the comments.
 

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Congrats on the purchase of your new Highlander.
 

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Congrats on your Toyota purchase! I owned a Toyota a few years back, and along with many of my friends... I attest that you will very likely have absolutely NO MECHANICAL PROBLEMS for the first three to five years! That's something to be happy about.
 
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