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Discussion Starter #1
ok im a new forum member, my wife and i just purchased a sl awd model with every option possible, we get it tomoroow night! except nav, this is her car and im really concerned how it will handle snowy icy conditions, we live in westchester county ny, we have a lot of hills and turns....heavy snowy winters, will this car be ok , or am i gonna be in the same boat as i am with my 2003 cadillac cts rear wheel drive..cant go anywhere with 1 inch of snow on the ground, ive seen praise and hate on here about the awd systym. i need to know i still got time to get out of the deal..i dont want to but shes gotta to be safe especially with the little ones..help me guys let me know!
 

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Love to live w/ MO
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419 Posts
welcome to the brotherhood of the MOs.......

as far as winter is concerned, dont even worry about it. i live in saskatchewan..... lots of snow and the MO has done the job really well.... shouldnt be a problem for it. plus u can always get the snow tires for the MO.

there are lots of threads on snow tires...... just have a search for them.....
 

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NO-MO-SNOW
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The stock tires worked really well when they were brand new, but after a season of aggressive driving I thought that new tires were really necessary (@ 21,060). The MO offers very good confidence and sure footedness in the yucky white stuff.
 

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Winter tires make a huge difference. My confidence in the stock tires in snow is minimal at best.
 

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I'm west of you in Rochester, we get a fair amount of snow here, too, and I've been very happy with the Mo in the snow. Wife previously had an MDX, and even though the MDX can vary torque side to side in the rear and the Mo just locks them in together, I like the Mo better. One problem I have with AWD systems, as opposed to true 4wd systems is that the front wheels need to slip before the rears kick in. That was very noticeable in the MDX, very counter intuitive, if you felt yourself slipping, had to gun it a bit to get the front to slip to kick in the rears. I have yet to notice it working in the Mo. Not that it's not working, I definitely am getting traction from the rears, it's just that I don't notice the front slipping at all before the rear kicks in. All in all, I'm very happy. Plus, with the big wheels, it rolls through deep stuff pretty well, I idled right out of my driveway with 8 inches on the ground, higher than the ground clearance (there were tracks in the snow from the transmission cooler and some other stuff).
 

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I agree, the Mo is great in the snow and my 17 going on 23 year old daughter really appreaciates how well it drives in the snow in AWD mode. She feels real safe in driving in snowy conditions.
 

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I would recommend that you bail out of the deal if you still can.

I have the stock tires and find that the AWD provides very good traction in a straight line on snow packed or icy streets. Unfortunately, as you slowly progress through a turn, the MO alternates between oversteer and understeer. This can make it difficult to stay in your intended lane unless you negotiate the turn very very slowly. I assume this occurs as the AWD kicks in and out, but I can't feel that happening. The AWD Lock does not help much.

Compared to the Ford, Chevy, Jeep, or Suburu AWD systems, or even most FWD cars that I have driven in similar conditions, the Murano's AWD is disappointing. This and the very serious windshield wiper issue are probably the least attractive atttributes of the Murano, especially if your wife is driving the kids around in it. She probably won't appreciate the added distractions of the AWD and wiper problems on a snowy day.

Otherwise, it is a very nice vehicle. If I didn't live in a snowy climate, I'd probably consider this one of the best vehicles that I have owned. I don't think there is a better crossover vehicle in this price range so I would suggest that you look at a small SUV instead.

Do a search and check out the windshield wiper issues.
 

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I don't think VDC is part of the AWD problem, but I don't have VDC so I don't know for sure. Again, I'm not sure, but I don't think that having the VDC pump the brakes while the AWD kicks in and out will result in a smooth and controlled turn. There is a fairly technical post about the type of AWD that the Murano has versus some other AWD vehicles. You should probably read it.

The wiper issue:
1) The shape of the cowl area leaves very little room between it and the wiper blade and arm. Snow accumulates and packs into the cowl area. This interferes with the movement of the arm. Snow packs into the wiper blades causing them to become frozen and useless. Winter blades might help a little.
2) When you can no longer see out of the windshield and are forced to pull off the road, you can't lift the wiper arm far enough away from the windshield to thoroughly clear it and the cowl area of snow and ice because as you lift the arm (about 1 inch) it hits the hood. It isn't very easy to reach over the hood and dig out the packed snow using your finger, which is the only thing that will fit past the wipers and into the cowl area. You can't lift the wiper arms so you can't easily reach the blades to clear them of ice. Besides, it will just pack in again in a few more miles.
3) The defrosters don't help this situation.
4) Even without snow, the very long passenger side wiper does not have much tension and does a poor job of cleaning the windshield.

I can live with these quirks, buy I wouldn't want to hear from my wife after a snowy drive in the Murano with a car full of kids.
 
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