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Just received my April 2004 Consumer Report's annual Car review and apparently, there were enough Muranos sold in 2003 to make the reliability list. Here are the results. The Murano had all solid reds (few problems, excellent) except for Body Integrity and Body Hardware. Both were half reds (better than average). This rating is almost identical to the Honda Pilot (only one half red for Body Integrity.)

On the 2004 reliability predictions, the Murano is listed right after the Honda Pilot (10th and 11th out of 34) The Land Cruiser was first followed by the Highlander, FX, RX330, MDX 4runner, Pathfinder, Montero, Montero Sport.

On the individual review, Reliability is half red, Satisfaction is a sold red and Depreciation is N/A. (Pretty good.)

Consumer report says "The Murano is one of the better SUV's we've tested. Its powerful 3.5-lite V6 is mated to a CVT, delivering strong performance and respectable fuel economy. Handling is responsive, secure, and forgiving with optional stability control. A stiff and noisy ride is a significant drawback. The front seats are fairly comfortable and the interior is stylishly dressed, but the trim doesn't provide the rich feel one expects in this price class. Although access is easy and seating is roomy, cargo space is limited. First-year reliability has been above average. However, due to a steering defect, we don't recommend the Murano."

I personally do not know where they got the noisy ride from and I have not experienced the steering problem.


Overall, owners seem to be happy with their choice, including me! Most of the responses were from 2003 owners. I have a 04, and I intend on responding to CR annual questionnaire.
 

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Nice to know that I have 3rd and 11th.......:D

Anyway, so far i agree with the review with regards to body integrity. the interior finish and materials quality are questionable at least. As to the rest I am more than happy:)
 

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Its rather difficult to judge a car based on its first year reliability - CR tends to do better as the car ages, and its multiple areas of reliability ratings (electrical, brakes, paint, etc...) is very useful for the used car buyer.

That said, the individual Murano review among midsized SUV's placed it second to the Honda Pilot. CR did not recommend the Murano because of the steering problem (which I have experienced).
 

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The power steering pump does not have capacity to keep up boost for lock to lock maneuvers. At idle speed with the engine warm (~650RPM) try turning the steering wheel lock to lock as fast as you possibly can - you will notice the steering boost will cut off abruptly as you use up the "capacity" of the system. This issue has manifested itself as a nuisance during parallel parking, and as a real danger (in my opinion) during low speed evasive turns (such as quickly going around a vehicle that is stopped).
 

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Ahh.. ok. I remember the thread. I wasn't having that problem myself. After I drive up tonight from work I'll try it parked in my driveway. But it hasn't been a problem for me during my usual operations.
 

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I too am an avid reader of Consumer Reports and just received the mag today. I was disappointed that they didn't recommend the MO due to the steering problem, but hoped they had fixed it for 2004. After browsing this forum, it does not appear that the problems have been corrected, and I can't find a service bulletin about the steering correction.

Was all set to buy, but now am considering the Lexus RX330, unless anyone thinks the reliability factor would increase if I moved to the FX35?
 

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muranotemp said:
I too am an avid reader of Consumer Reports and just received the mag today. I was disappointed that they didn't recommend the MO due to the steering problem, but hoped they had fixed it for 2004. After browsing this forum, it does not appear that the problems have been corrected, and I can't find a service bulletin about the steering correction.

Was all set to buy, but now am considering the Lexus RX330, unless anyone thinks the reliability factor would increase if I moved to the FX35?
I don't think it's a problem... Obviously I don't work for CR. Go drive one.... Don't give up so easy.
 

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I do not think this is an issue. But try for yourself.

As to FX - it is a completly different car. Definitely better fit and finish, higher quality interior materials. Reliability - only time will tell. By the way - the engine is the same. Just tuned to 280 HP.
 

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Even though I have experienced the issue, it would not stop me from buying a Murano. Simply put, there is no other crossover in the Murano's price range which delivers a better combination of performance and style.
 

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I think the steering "problem" CR makes a fuss over is a virtual non issue. It doesn't effect the Murano's safety or performance. Unless it gets much worse than turning the wheel rapidly at a virtual stand-still (why would you want to do that anyway?) it's just nothing to draw attention to. Why CR witholds a recommened rating for this seems much ado about nothing.

I've felt it for a half second while pulling out of a parking space and then I drive off. You never feel it pnce you're underway. Am I wrong or do some Murano's have a more severe case than this?
 

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I agree with you. I might have notice it once or twice.......It was just barely detectable. I was parking and tried to turn steering wheel from extreme one to another position very quickly. I could feel at one stage steering wheel becoming "stiffer". For me it is none issue. So far I put 13K and except window tick I do not have significant problems.
 

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222max said:
I think the steering "problem" CR makes a fuss over is a virtual non issue. It doesn't effect the Murano's safety or performance. Unless it gets much worse than turning the wheel rapidly at a virtual stand-still (why would you want to do that anyway?) it's just nothing to draw attention to. Why CR witholds a recommened rating for this seems much ado about nothing.

I've felt it for a half second while pulling out of a parking space and then I drive off. You never feel it pnce you're underway. Am I wrong or do some Murano's have a more severe case than this?
The danger is during low speed maneuvers, there may not be enough boost for a rapid lane change maneuver. It is not a marginal issue, as I have had to "fight" the steering wheel during such a maneuver at low speeds. I can imagine how someone who is unprepared for it can accelerate too fast and not turn back on time.
 

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About two months ago, I called Nissan about the steering problem. The woman I spoke to was very nice, researched the topic, and called me back a few days later. She told me the following.

1. The steering problem affects some, but not all, 2003 Nissan Muranos.

2. Nissan has a fix for this problem. If you are experiencing the problem, your dealer should be able to correct it at no charge.

3. Nissan is working with Consumer Reports on this issue and hopes to resolve it to their satisfaction.

4. No information was available about the 2004 Muranos.
 

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Great post!

So now one would expect a flood of Muranos at Nissan dealerships waiting for the fix!

At least we know that "some" Muranos are affected.
 

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I tried it just parked by rotating the wheel quickly and I felt it. but the second I get any sort of forward momentum going, I don't get any problems with it. So if I have to make an evasive maneuver while I'm parked, I guess I'm in big trouble! :p
 

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Kris said:
Great post!

So now one would expect a flood of Muranos at Nissan dealerships waiting for the fix!

At least we know that "some" Muranos are affected.
Unless there is a recall or TSB for this, most people will get the BS dealer answer "could not reproduce." I've had my Murano at the dealership for a few days (combined) over several visits and they almost never reproduce the problem unless you show it to them directly - then they usually fail to repair it correctly too!

I find the steering boost issue only shows up during low speed quick turns, such as going around a stopped or slow car quickly. In the other steering thread, one poster said that when his wife stomped on the gas to pass another car, the lack of boost cropped up - this is exactly the low speed maneuver I am referring to. It is not so much an issue if you are stopped or parking (when you are going slow anyways).

Anyways it is nice to know that this problem may have been fixed in 2004 models. It would be great if the Murano can make the CR recommended list.
 

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I have a 2004 Murano and it has the steering problem. It's a little disconcerting when you're trying to go around a stopped car and feel like you're losing control. It's not safe.
 
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