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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I know that the 4runner is a great SUV, and I'm debating whether to get a Sport Edition 4R or a Nissan Murano SE. I was wondering if the Murano is made in Japan like the 4runner and how well the Murano handles in the snow compared to a 4runner (which has stock mud and snow tires). The reason why I ask is because I would want the SUV that I'm purchasing to actually have good snow driving capabilities since I plan to take it up to the slopes in Lake Tahoe during the winter season.
 

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I recently rented a 2005 4Runner SR5 and did not like it at all compared to the Murano. Check out the "comparisons" section of the message board for my opinions of the 4Runner compared to the Murano.

Basically the 4Runner is a tough truck, the seating position is uncomfortable and cramped, but the interior quality is superb. The Murano drives better than the 4Runner in every measure, is much more comfortable, and feels more sporty to drive on an everyday basis.
 

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Works fine in the snow. Done it three winters. Now if you plan to go offroading in the snow, or offroading anytime, I wouldn't get the Murano. (I mean real offroading, not just driving down a dirt road.) But just driving through some snow? Don't need the 4Runner, and you'll be so glad you didn't get one...
 

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4Runner or Mo vs. Lake Tahoe

Well, I was in your shoes right around August of 2004. At that time I needed to get rid of my Audi A4 (due to many problems with the car; but in terms of performance that car was the beast in the snow and on the road) and thought of getting into an SUV market. I went to Melody Toyota in San Bruno and test drove a 2004 4Runner Sport (I was impressed with it's XREAS suspension and capabilities), but it was too much of a Truck for me. Despite that fact that the body style has changed, it wasn't quite pleasing to the eye.

When Muranos came out in 2003 they cought my eye right away. I was always a Nissan fan. I had several Maximas, a Stanza and an Altima, plus one of my favorite cars that I have had for a long time was an Infiniti M30 Coupe. So when I did a research in terms of the performance and value for your dollar, Murano kicked everybody's ass in that category. I bought a fully loaded SL with AWD for $33K + fees. The only option I don't have is a DVD entertainment system. If you look into every other SUV over there, there is nothing you coul buy that is that loaded for $33K.

In terms of snow performance. Mo performed withut a hint of hesitation in Tahoe over New Year. As you probably know it snowed like crazy from 12/30 on. We got snowed in on 50 and spent the night on the freeway near Twin Bridges. For the next several days my Mo was flying through the snow covered Tahoe like a fish in the water. I only got stuck once on an unplowed street and only because I stoped ( the snow was up to the belly of the Mo). So when I couldn't go further I've locked AWD, put the tranny into L, and disengaged the VDC botton. With a "light" foot on the accelerator that was all that was required to get me going again.

I would recommend Mo any time. Both cars are made in Japan. Both cars are well built, exept Mo is a better looking one in my oppinion. If you are an off road guy, don't buy Mo, but if you want a practical car that can get you out of snow and perform well in the rain, Mo is the right choice.
 

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I owned a 4-Runner up untill just before I bought the MO. It really depends on what you want the car for. 4-Runner is a great SUV but there is no comparison between the ride and seating comfort of a MO and 4-Runner, or power for that matter. MO will win every time. On the other hand, MO is not an off road vehicle, and on snow or gravel, 4-Runner will give you better handling (in 4WD mode) because of its drive-train. You can also equip a 4-Runner with truck like tires (you will never want to do that on a MO) to give you even better traction. However, better traction will only come if you put the 4-runner in 4WD mode as it is normally rear wheel drive.

Having said that, I once got lost in a mountainous road to the north of Santa Rosa at night time while driving the 4-Runner on a narrow gravel road that sloped towards a drop several hundred feet deep and I have to say using the 4WD not only gave me peace of mind, but was also a big factor in my safe return.

So I guess back to the question: What are you going to need the car for...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, nice to know that there are other people who were in the same shoes as me. I am primarily going to use the car for occassional trips where I will need traction in the snow, but no offroading is planned in the future, so maybe the MO might suit my needs. I see that there is a $500 factory rebate right now for MO while there is a $1k rebate on the 4runner. I'm going for a black SUV and for me, in terms of looks, I really like the look of the 4runner in black with silver roof rails. Black MOs look really nice too, but not too fond of the grill. Oh well, decision time is coming very soon, so I guess the best way is to test drive and really decide on what I need to use the SUV for.
 

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I rented an 2003 4 runner XLE with Nav for a week before I made my decision back in February 2003.

I think if you test drive both, you'll be buying the Mo. It's much more of a flexible vehicle for the "urban environment" where most of us spend the majority of our time.

I found the 4 runner to be really small in the interior (compared to the MO) but seems a lot larger on the outside. Probably just a visual trick due to the vehicles different shapes. (I also thought the runner's seats were a bit more comfortable than the Murano, initially.) Now I like the Murano comfort wise a lot better.

The gas mileage in the 4runner also sucked big time, especially on the highway compared to the Murano.

I'm 35,xxx miles down the road in my Murano and still thrilled with the vehicle. I will admit that the runner's still capture my eye a bit when I see one on the road. They are pretty sharp looking for a major off road capable vehicle.
 

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4runner was top runner when I was looking for SUV, test drove 2003 model, it was lot better riding then previous versions.

Test drove MO and I was sold.

However, from 4WD perspective, for real off-roading, MO can't touch 4runner, it is real 4WD unlike AWD MO. In urbun jungle though, I think MO is an equal match. I have driven MO in snow and frozen sheet of ice, you can't make it lose control, thanks to VDC option.

So if you are serious off-roader, go for 4Runner, else MO is a winner.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great to hear from all of you guys. How is the stock bose system by the way? I have a 2000 accord coupe with a Pioneer DEHP9300 headunit, polk speakers and polk momo sub and I'm wondering how (in terms of sound quality, I know the bass will be lacking compared to my separate 12") the MO's stock bose sytem sounds.
 

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In my opinion, the BOSE is ok if you are coming from a stock sound system in another car. But since you have an aftermarket setup in your Accord, the overpriced BOSE will be weak and muddy. Its not an terrible system, just not as good as a premium sound system should be.
 

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I personally think the stereo in Mo is wicked.

As for Mo or a 4-Runner....we'll as a recently converted fellow on a Murano message board...MO all the way:2:

In seriousness though, the 4-Runner is pretty expensive, and might be argued as overpriced (especially when compared to the Pathfinder). A co-worker of mine picked up a new 4-Runner and she loves it, but says the gas mileage is a couple of notches below brutal.

As for driving in the snow, we recently had (hopefully our last) a fairly significant snowfall; and try as I might, I couldn't make Mo slip.

As for handling, Mo is clearly car based, the 4-Runner is truck based. It really depends on your preference. Coming from a guy who had a Pathfinder, I much prefer the Murano.

Good luck!
 
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