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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks, I've recently discovered your fine forums. Allow myself to introduce.....myself </Austin Powers>.

My name is Alex and I live in Knoxville, TN. I'm investigating a Murano for my wife, in preparation for the birth of our first child this August. Other vehicles I'm seriously considering are the Touareg, XC90, and RX330. I haven't taken the time to seriously test drive any of the vehicles we're interested in, so I would imagine that would automatically rule out some of the potential candidates. I've got a couple of questions about the Murano that y'all might be able to help me with...I tried searching, and browsed around fairly extensively, so my apologies if my questions have already been addressed.

I noticed on Nissan's website that it says that the interior trim is real brushed aluminum. As I recall from a brief test drive sometime last year, all the aluminum-looking stuff inside was just painted plastic, and looked to be prone to chipping/wear over time. Is this no longer the case? I'm thinking in particular of the center console/cupholder cover and all those nook/cranny covers in between the front seats. Also, if they are still made from painted plastic, how have they held up?

One of the reasons that I'm also considering the Touareg is the dealership. I've got an Audi that I bought from the same dealership that sells VWs, and their service is fantastic. Finding a dealership that you can trust to do reliably good work is worth a lot, IMO. However, the price of the T'reg (I'd get a V8), combined with very spotty VW reliability makes it tough to justify. I have no idea about the reputation of the Nissan dealers (particularly the service departments) in my area (Knoxville, TN). Is there any resource where I can check to get peoples' experiences with my local dealers?

Any other tips/advice? Obviously there are plenty of people who really love their Muranos, and a few people who've had bad experiences. Every automotive board I've spent any time on is the same way. But any advice/insight that any of you might have to offer would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi Alex,

it is aluminum, not plastic. Don't know how the drivers of the other cars feel about the Mo, but we snicker at them.
:D
My last dealer experiance was great.
The one before that was terrible.
The only two before that were fabulous.
Ur right, you have to find a reputable dealer.
I love my Mo, as most do here.
It is the most unique xover there is: once you drive it, you will see.
 

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If you're looking for a TRUCK, a real work-horse, with not very good handling or ride, then the Tourag is what you want. One quick test drive and you'll see what I mean. The other three that you list (XC90, RX330, MO) are all MUCH more car-like in their ride, with the XC90 being the roughest most truck-like of the three (primarily because it's bigger). So, assuming that you don't really want a large pickup type ride and a gas guzzler (especially the V8), I'll ignore talking about the Tourag from here on out.

The RX330 is very similar to the MO in many aspects. Both very nice. When I was pricing out what I wanted, the RX330 was much more expensive, so I would say that the MO is the better bang for the buck.

The XC90 is the only one of the three that has a 3rd row seat, if that is something you're looking for.

My opinion, take one day and drive all four of these back-to-back. That will probably make up your mind pretty quick.

Obviously, since you're posting on a Murano forum, we're all going to say that the MO is definitely the right choice! :)

Remember that if price is a consideration, make sure you're comparing apples to apples by pricing out the options that you would get for each vehicle.
 

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Hi Alex,

I was considering a used Toureg which was in the lo 30's so it was comparable to a new Mo in price but the spotty reputation on reliability and gas mileage mde my mind up for me. I did have a Ford Excursion with a 6.8L V10 so gas mileage was on my mind. I went to the EPA's web site and decided I wasn't going to buy anything that got less than 20mpg in the city then went and drove a couple with it comming down to the CRV and the Mo and there isn't really any comparison between those 2. The Mo is much more luxurious. If you really like the Toureg and money is plentiful go with the Diesel but a new one will run about 55K I think. Well good luck in your search.:cool:
 

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Volvos unrealiable

According to Consumer Reports (and one good friend I have who has one) they are very unreliable. Maybe safe in accidents, maybe nice to drive, but it will be in the shop all the time. My 2 cents.
 

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Alex:

The interior trim is real aluminum - but be forewarned, dropping things on the center console may cause scratches or dings on the aluminum. Also, my three year old's car set is behind the front passenger seat. He's hit the aluminum trip back there and put a ding in it. Frankly, it doesn't bother me much. Sure, I would have liked to have it stay perfect, but I'd rather drive it!

I also compared it to many of the cars you're looking at. For me, it came down to the RX330 and Murano. After driving both, I liked the ride and handling of the Murano better. Much more connection with the road. The RX330 felt like I was suspended over the road with too cushy a ride. Of course, I was coming off a sports car so I still wanted road feel. I agree with the other poster, test drive them and see.

good luck.
 

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I can agree with what everyone has posted here, so I can't add much to sell you on the Murano except for the fact that you should not be expecting Lexus levels of treatment at the Nissan dealership. In fact, from most people's experience here, its more important to remember you are there to buy a car, not become friends with the dealership staff.

I bought my Murano the Edmunds.com way with email quotes and phone calls. By the time I actually visited a dealership, I already knew what I was going to pay and which model/options I wanted (in fact I only visited one dealer, the only one with the combination I wanted).
 

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Murano has the least rollover risk among SUVs, better than RX330. I can make turns much faster than other SUVs, almost as fast as a car with a Murano without the slightest hint of rollover. Brakes are also pretty good on the Murano. AWD models have a slightly better rating than the 2WD models

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/specialreports/articles/103163/article.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all for the insight. Like I mentioned, I did take a Mo for a brief test drive last year, but not well enough to get a good feel for it. I think that, when taking price, reliability, and driving dynamics into consideration it'll probably end up being the Murano. VW and Volvo might have good dealerships here in town, but honestly I'd like to spend as little time as possible here. And getting a V8 of either of those puts the price upwards of $50k; for that price the damn thing better not break. I need to drive the RX330 and decide for myself...and get some of the wife's input. It is for her, after all! But I figure that since I'll be the one driving it on any trips we take, I'd like it to be at least somewhat involving and entertaining to drive.

Thanks again to all. I'm sure this won't be my only appearance on here.
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Like it says "It's MO fun in a MO".

My oldest "Kid" lives in Marysville. Check out etherion.com


I had a bunch and the MO is so neato it's indescribable. Grip :D
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Like it says "It's MO fun in a MO".

My oldest "Kid" lives in Marysville. Check out

http://www.etherion.com/



I had a bunch and the MO is so neato! it's indescribable. Grip :D
 

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I have both the Mo and an RX330... its a toss up as to which is better to me.

The Mo is definately sportier and more fun to take in te turns, but the RX is ultra luxury!

My ratings:

Handling: Mo B+, RX C+
Interior: Mo C+, RX A
Exterior: Mo B, RX B+
"Fun Factor": Mo A, RX B-

if you want to throw a lot of money at lexus, you can get the mark levinson sound system and air suspension... that would put the RX heads and shoulders above the Mo... but also put the RX at about $45k!:eek:

You will want a Mo or RX more than the Toureg and XC90, I'm willing to bet!

Good luck!!!
 

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Go Mo, Alex!
I researched a laundry list of SUVs and crossovers for over 9 months last year before settling on the Mo. It was actually at the top of my list after doing all the on-line research. But when I went out to the dealerships one Saturday to do some test driving, I was convinced my wife would nix the Mo....just because it looked "different." But the next weekend we both went roaming and looking, and lo and behold she fell in love with the Mo, especially its interior space.

We've had our Mo for a month and a half, and now my wife is accusing me of falling in love with another woman....our new merlot Mo.

Go for it! Good luck.
 

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VG. said:
I have both the Mo and an RX330... its a toss up as to which is better to me.

The Mo is definately sportier and more fun to take in te turns, but the RX is ultra luxury!

My ratings:

Handling: Mo B+, RX C+
Interior: Mo C+, RX A
Exterior: Mo B, RX B+
"Fun Factor": Mo A, RX B-

if you want to throw a lot of money at lexus, you can get the mark levinson sound system and air suspension... that would put the RX heads and shoulders above the Mo... but also put the RX at about $45k!:eek:

You will want a Mo or RX more than the Toureg and XC90, I'm willing to bet!

Good luck!!!
For the exterior, I would definitely give MO an A and RX a C, Its just my opinion. A single exhaust on the RX that jerks on bumps is a major turn off. The Pontiac Aztec like behind of the RX is no comparison to the Macho Mo looks with dual exhausts.

For the interior my rating would be equal for both, an A. MO is more manly while RX interior is more feminine and designed to be more appealing to women, I guess. Again it's each individual's perspective.
 

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You have the same exact questions I did a couple weeks ago.

My wife was looking at the RX330, GX470, MDX and the FX35. We test drove all of them and liked each for different reasons. Actually, we didn't like the MDX cuz the interior looked just like my CL and she didn't feel like it was a "new" car.

Anyway, the RX and GX are just plain superior when it comes to luxury. The GX is a huge car though and we quickly shot that one down. 0-60 in about 3-4 minutes it felt like. The RX is waaaaaay too common around these parts but for a good reason. Very nicely put together SUV. The FX35 was a great car to drive. Plenty of power and handled very well. The back seats are just plain useless though if you have kids. The wheel wells block entry to the rear seats. I can see getting a child-seat a little cumbersome.

On a whim, we stopped at a Nissan dealership and took a look at the Murano and Pathfinder. The Pathfinder was too big and too...trucklike for her. We drove a Murano and the rest is history. Good power, good gas mileage, good looks, nice interior, decent cargo space and a spacious back seat. All that for about $10k less than the Lexus RX330. We couldn't be happier.

Hope that helps!
 

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"The RX and GX are just plain superior when it comes to luxury" Hmmmmmmmmmm............

But I'm glad along with you that you got the MO. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep, a lot of the experiences that y'all are relating are very similar to what I've been going through. The RX330 is kinda "blah" on the styling (IMO), and I've been drawn to the Mo since they were introduced a few years ago. The more I think about it, the more I know that I just need to take them for a back-to-back test drive. The T'reg is just too damn expensive, and we don't need something so trucklike, or something with such spotty reliability, particularly since my wife will be the primary user of it.

I've considered the FX35/45, but, although I'm sure they handle very well, they are just too sporty, and would come with too many comprimises.

I'm sure something like the Honda Pilot would be an absolutely practicle solution, but I get sleepy just looking at it. And if it drives anything like my wifes Accord, I'd need to stock up on no-doze. So that's out of the question.

In any case, she's in her last semester of her PhD, and we won't be getting anything until she finishes, so I've got a couple of months to decide. But in every analysis I've done, I always end up drawn to the Mo. I'll be around, and keep y'all posted on my progress.
 

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While the Murano fit what we were looking for perfectly - the other choices all have something going for them.

The RX330, IMO, is not very nice to look at. I don't care for the floor shifter that is basically on the column. It just doesn't have any flow. However, you are going to get Lexus quality and service.

A co-worker just bought an XC90 with the low pressure turbo I5. He has had really good luck with it thus far and has a great dealership for service. I took a spin in it and the Murano has a much more sporty feel to it.

T'reg - beautiful. I haven't driven one as it was a bit out of my price range. But, I have to stop and look everytime I see one.

The FX - I like the look and feel. The rear seat was horrible. It was tough to get in and headroom was bad. I'm 5'11" and I hit my head on the roof. With a kid it isn't going to be as bad - but if you have any full-sized adults who ever ride with you - they might be a bit cramped.
 

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Lived in knoxville for 6 years while attending UT. My mom still lives there. So from one knoxvillian to another, just get the MO....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
zebelkhan...heh, that's probably what'll end up happening.

I went to UT for grad school, and my wife is finishing up her grad school there this semester.
 
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