With all due respect, you can get a "factory-installed" hitch. When I purchased my 2004 Murano, I ordered it from the factory to include the hitch. Dealer had a vehicle that was close to what I wanted but was missing a few items, including the hitch. He did offer to install, but said that coming from the factory would be cheaper. The reason being that in order for a dealer to install the "factory hitch", they have to tear apart the rear end to replace the bumper reinforcement plate with a new one that has notches cut in so that the hitch will sit higher up under the bumper. Those can (and are) installed at the factory - or in some cases, at the port of entry at Nissan's "vehicle preparation centers," which are considered part of the factory (at least for U.S. safety and emissions certification purposes!).
That all said, you are correct in that the "tow package" for the Murano constitutes only the draw bar and electrical hookup. There is no larger radiator, oil or transmission cooler. Apparently, none are needed to achieve the factory rated 3,500 pounds towing capacity.
Since I would guess the vast majority of MOs are bought off the dealer's lot, and since the 100 or so that I viewed when buying mine did not have hitches, I assumed they were all installed by the dealer.
Went to the "build your vehicle" part of Nissan website and they only show the hitch as "dealer installed" option. If indeed you can order it from factory- do we know how much (roughly) you can save doing that ??
Guys- Many thanks for taking the time to chat about this
Can't remember what my "factory installed" hitch cost. I know that it was a couple of hundred bucks less than the dealer was going to charge. It could also very well be that you can only get the "factory" hitch from an ordered vehicle. That's the way I got mine. Of course, this is only in the U.S. Our bretheren in Canada, for example, get the aftermarket hitch by Hidden Hitch as the "authorized" hitch. Of course, this was also all on my 04 Murano. The 06's could all very well be dealer only?
According to my dealer, my hitch was installed at the PORT when the MO arrived in the Seattle area (but before it got to the dealer). He said if the dealer orders it from the factory with the hitch, sometimes it's installed at the port and sometimes it isn't (and they have to install it at the dealership). He wasn't sure why, and it would have cost the same to me either way.
Other dealers, of course, might not be so nice and would charge you extra for THEM to do it. Might even charge you that extra bit if it was done at the port and they never had to do anything.