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I drove It!!

11961 Views 57 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  jaak
Well Murano Friends-

Guess what I got a call at work today, a local dealer took delivery of one that was earmarked for the Nissan Rep.. I got to drive it, My knees are still knocking!

Describe it? It was breath-taking the vehicle is DROP DEAD gorgeous inside and outside!

I took it out on the freeway, acceleration was peppy and brisk- the CVT almost drove me nuts, silky smooth almost too good to believe it was happening, and at lower speeds my right foot became my worst enemy as everthing you do is translated to the engine-

On the freeway it was an eyestopper, several folks stuck their heads out the window and gasped "Wow" what is it?

I am a hairs breath away from Nixing my MDX order and taking a Murano- The vehicle is beyond spectacle, it is gorgeous, and exciting.

I am going back to the dealer tommorow night to try again, as I need to do a walk-around and pre-flight the Murano as though it was a Fighter Jet-

Missing immediately- Rain Sensing wipers, On Star telemetrics and High Pressure Headlamp Washers for the Xenon's- Theatre Lighting Auto Dim Down would be nice.

I have to also say after having a Lexus RX300 for 4 days that th4e Murano put the Lexus RX300 in the Garbage Can permanantly no contest- Other vehicles the Murano "Nixed" or put in garbage can:

Pilot: Not even a remote chance
GMC Envoy with the whole works, 41k MSRP what a piece of Junk
Audi A4 and A6, Nice Cars but Murano runs circles are them
Bravada: Yunk no hope at all-
Buick Rendevouz- What a Joke-
GM-Ford Trailblazer and Escape No way Jose-
Toyota: 4 Runner Limited, alot of money but nice vehicle
Highlander, LIke a undersexed Rx300 didnt like

The only real competiton is the Acura MDX and now the question becomes Dollars a sense- I cannot slight the MDX and I cannot slight the Murano they are both gorgeous. The MDX has an established track record, I recently visited a Acura dealer who had a 2002 available used with the custom wood steering wheel added- it was 1500.00 less than a 2003 MDX at Full Sticker- The vehicle lasted exactly 1/2 a day on the lot it was sold in hours! The MDX typically commands an awesome resale price.

Now comes the Murano which has stole my heart away- the dealers are talking Full MSRP- I find that hard to swallow on a completely new and unseasoned model that has absolutley no track record. Z Car full sticker absolutely yes in a heart beat, it is a seasoned veteran of many years of refinement with a proven track record, Murano Full Sticker absolutely not, Copeditive pricing, absolutely yes, get them out there in numbers, and let Nissan shake their fanny at the world, "Look what we did"

Although I drove a fully loaded SL AWD today with the Navi Unit, I have to tell you Im sticking to my guns and will grab a SE AWD with the whole works except the Navi- where does that leave me?

around $36,500- I also have to say that today I visited with probably the best of the best when it comes to Nissan Dealers, Impressed ? Yes, but my original worry is still in place:
How will Murano fare with regards to it is retail value, its percentage ALR is unknown (Residual %) anyones guess. The bottom line boils down to dollars and sense. There is absolutely no question in my mind, that if I buy a MDX and divorce it a year later, I probably will only lose around 1500-to $1800.00 and resale will be no problem whatsoever-

What about the Murano? No history, no numbers, no track record-

I will however clearly make a wager, Murano is going to put a big dent into the "SUV or Crossover Gang" I would even not be surprised if the Muarno takes Best SUV or Crossover awards, Oh yes, I also got my hands on the New Volvo as well, Hate to say it but for some one whos got nothing better to do with their money than throw it out then maybe the XC90 is okay?

Can you believe it, I have absolutely probably palyed with ten of the best of the rest SUV's or Crossovers-

First Place is tied: Acura 03 MDX touring and Murano SL AWD-

Who am I? I have absolutely no ties to any car manufacturer, I dont sell cars, and no one has paid me a rotten nickle to do what I have done here- I am a Professional Consumer who works hard for his money and is tired of getting ripped off all the time. Just like the rest of you, I want to maximize my Purchase and get the biggest bang to dollar-

Both cars are missing several important things to me... The Vehicles should both have ON-Star telemetrics, "it is worth its weight in gold when needed"- One has rain sensing wipers and no Xenons, the other has no rain sensing wipers but has the Xenon bilevel lamps-

The CVT trans was absolutely almost too good to believe it was silky smooth, and I am still trying to find out if the accelerator is "Live by Wire"

The vehicle overall is flawless, seams fitted wonderful with equal spacing on both sides, 100% accurate, leather was really nice could have been better. Both Vehicles are beautifull-

Any comments from anyone out there would be gratefully apppreciated, contact me at-
[email protected]

Hope this helps some of you-
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Test Drive

Thanks for all the great info after your test drive...I can't wait to test drive the SL myself! Has anyone else been able to test drive either model and if so, please post your opinions. :p
Am I safe to assume based on your email address that you are in Ohio??

It's only a matter of time until we can see them in Atlanta.

Quick large a person are you? At 6'5" and 250lbs, the interior size is of concern to me. First impressions of brief test drives, the MDX is quite comfortable, the Highlander is quite cramped.

For me, sight unseen, it really comes down to the MDX and Murano.

Tick, tick, tick...
Great News on your test drive!!!

I had a few questions about your first ride. Did you notice any of the noise from the CVT that had been reported in the online article? Also, any other observations an the transmission?

I spoke to several dealers in the Orlando area and one had a date of Dec 5th for the first one or two demo units. I am told all the dealers will have only one or two for demo purposes until larger shipments hit the street.

Addtiional to I drive it!!!

Someone emailed me about the interior quality-Mary you are welcolm to call me. Leather Cafe Latte a Light Saddle color, in Leather- If you compare the RX300 to the Murano Interior only the RX300 is substantially more "High quality" than the Murano, that is the only area that the RX300 excels, otherwise it goes to the Garbage Can-

I am still stuck on the Acura MDX, let me tell you why- I am looking at a MDX Touring, Navi with running boards the net and toneau cover or cargo cover, a wind deflector for the hood at about 41k- There is a Acura dealer up north from me they have a 2002 MDX with several additions to trim including the stupid rosewood trim to the steering wheel- it has 18k miles and they are asking 38.9 k!!! about 1500.00 betweem model years, the resale value on the damned MDX is incredible- If I am unhappy with it after a year I can walk away without 'Tears" better yet the loss would be minimal-

WHAT CAN you tell me about the Murano? Its totally unproven, and if you look at past history the only "Shaker" from Nissan is the Z car-and recently the Altima- They want full sticker for the Murano and they are unwilling to Drop the price- Im looking at a fully equipped Murano SE AWD with everything except Navigation- stickers for almost 37k

Frankly Im scared that I will lose a ton of money on it when I roll it out of the show room and the CVT requires Nissan Intervention Only including fluids for it. Depreciation on a Nissan is typically 10%-18% out the Dealership doors on delivery, the Only Nissan Product at this time that I know of that has a High Resale Value is the "Z" car and the Maxima with the 6 speed, otherwise all the other Nissan Products take a substantial hit when delivered,

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Let me know. Im still inclined to go with the MDX.

Some one else asked about the CVT making some strange noise, Yes I heard the "ticking" noise as though a sewing machine wa srunning, it was howeve "Faint" but noticeable, and the Triptronic Trans was done away with, the Clutchless Shifting is not there-

Its a Tie Murano and MDX- My heart and sole says Murano, my Wallet and Wall Street friends say MDX

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I feel your pain Larry! :cry: You are about to spend $38K - $41K and you want to make sure you make the right decision.

From reading your posts, it seems like you don't intend on keeping the car you purchase very long. Is this correct? Or are you just taking into consideration that you may not like the car after owning it for a while and would be looking to sell it quickly? In either case, it seems to me that you have already answered your question of which car to choose - the MDX. I say that because the MDX has the high resale value and has been around a few years to give you a pretty good idea about its reliability. The Murano is a total unknown.

The other option is to wait a while until the Muranos have been on the road a while and get some feedback from the people who took the plunge.

I've had the car I drive now for the past ten years (Acura Integra). I'm looking to buy an SUV and want to make sure that I won't have to buy another car for another ten years. So for me the big question about the Murano will be its reliability. My plan is to wait and see if the Murano is everything it seems to be. Hopefully, my current car will hold out.

Good Luck!
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I am also a "long term" car owner...I am driving my 1987 Nissan Maxima proudly (I'm the original owner). It has 166,000 miles on it and has only been serviced by my loyal Nissan mechanic (not at the dealership). He tells me that I can easily take it to 200,000 miles, but I am thinking that it might be time to take the Murano plunge. I don't care if I pay a little extra, because I'm the type who will drive it at least 10-15 years (assuming it's as reliable as I think it will be). However, I might wait at least 3-6 months after it's release to see if I can get a slightly better deal...of course, this is all assuming that I fall in love with it when I drive it. Can't wait!
My Nissans

I've had 4 Maximas, starting in '85. My '89 had over 210K on it when I sold it to a friend who put more than 30 more on it. My son is driving the '92 with nearly 100K and our 2000 is just breaking in at 50K! I know Nissan makes good machines and I too am looking for a car to keep 10 years, so I want to make a good selection. The only concern I have is the CVT.

As far as the MDX, I've still got my eye on it too. I hate to betray Nissan for an Acura, but that's what I favored before I heard about the Murano, so now a quandry.

Regardless, the resale values are great selling gimmicks, but how real are they when a private owner trades it in, or sells it directly, especially after just one year.
I quess there are more than one of us in this quandry of which one to get?

This past summer on my way home there was a MDX with a sign on it "For Sale, Private" I turned around real quick followed the MDX and tooted the driver, he stopped I asked- What a laugh, a grown man acting like a child.

The MDX owner told me, he needed bigger thats why, otherwise he would never ever consider selling, "Best Car Ive ever Owned" Put an ad on the internet 3 days latter there is a "War" going on who is going to buy the damned car- some guy flew in from Texas, paid him in Full- The MDX was a Year old had 20k onit he got 38.500K! He lost 1500.00 dollars from the purchase price-

I know the man because he does Commercial Home Cleaning, and my home is only one of many he does- Hes driving a Denali by GMC and curses it, he has 5 small children! He needed the size-

So what do I say, I got bit by the Murano bug? the car is beautiful and then some-

If my dealer takes off 2k from sticker Im in the 34-35k price catagory Im going Murano, however if they maintain their stand of Full Sticker Im going MDX Touring and maybe with the Navi as well-

I got a surprise call from the MDX dealer, they are willing to Work a little with me on Price!

I got another call from a friend in New York who works with the NY Stock Market and Securities, asked him for advise, He said Im right on target- The MDX has one of the Highest Resale Pricing in the Industry, and their is a good reason for it, The vehicle has Industry Standard Awards, It has a proven Track Record, Durability is Incredible, Maintenance Record indicate Incredible Easy to Own and reliable, with minimal repairs, and Acura Loyalty to Customers is unparralleled-

The Murano is just out the gate, for a 5k difference Im going Murano, that is the Murano will cost me 34-35k in comparison to 40k, However the 3 k difference isnt worth the gamble for the new technology on the Murano-

Audi has a extremely successful CVT Trans with the "Manual Mode" Pretend Shift- however their CVT is accessible to everyone service wise-
Nissans CVT requires Special Fluid for the Trans and it is ONLY available Nissan- Dealers tradiitionally are more expensive for service than Lube Stores- The Sewing Machine Noise was present when I drove the Murano, however I was so excited, the noise didnt "ding me"- I was more interested in seeing what the vehicle really had to show me.

The Murano and The MDX Vehicles are the first vehicle's to ever talk with me and say, "Take me home with you" This is the very first time Im in a rut or stuck position- Im also hearing not so impressive reports abt AWD scenarios regarding the Murano's AWD. The Accelerator Fly by Wire is incredible, it is an experience everyone should have and it permanantly ruins you to accept anything less- Combined with the CVT slow speeds will take getting used to, the Live wire is incredibly sensitive in combination with the CVT-

The Trans was silky smooth almost scary to believe this was happeneing to me. The Murano talked to me it said touch me, Drive Me Take me home with you, but the MDX also did the same thing as well-

Help! Im stuck, dont know what to do-

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In a similar boat here...torn between the proven MDX and the unknown (and still unseen) Murano.

It seems that resale value is important to you. And while I don't disagree with any of the points you've made, you may to consider this...

The MDX is now is its third year. For the first two years, most dealers were able to command MSRP for this vehicle, which obviously increased the resale value of those put back into the market. Entering its third year, some dealers are already offering discounts or incentives, even while some 2002's remain on the lot. If you keep your next vehicle three years, that puts us into the 2006 model year. Surely the MDX will be restyled by then, which would likely decrease the value of the "first generation" MDX even more (relative to the current generation). The Murano may still exist in its current design, which would help maintain its resale value. Just something more to think about that may justify that $3000 price gap. :)
Ownersite, I agree with you whole heartedly, however, let me do this, anyone clever enough to come up with a marvelous site like this is smart enough to accept a challenge....

I challenge you to test drive a Touring MDX take it apart and then put it together, and then get your hands on a Murano, and then you tell me..

You point on the Chrono state of the MDX is correct, actually Im surprised, 40k no Xenon lamps, No OnStar, missing certain "Finishing Touches" that other veh in price class have. Both MDX and Murano can put a Lexus RX300 in the Garbage can, including the Highlander Limited, but atlas the one thing Highlander Limited and RX300 excell in the interior, thats it, thats all the RX300 has over the two, and the Highlander Limited Leather Interior is also gorgeous, Murano real nice, but not the same level- MDX a cut above but the leather appounments in both MDX and Murano are not just quite the level of RX300-

Long term Short term, Bah Humbug..... Who cares- I would love to keep the car for long term, but theres allways something coming out, and you know what? Im tired of taking a Bath everytime I buy a car.

The Envoy is interesting, but nowhere near the level of the MDX, but its got certain toys on it that are on other 40k cars-

Im mixed up- The Murano is very sexy, jumps at you, but after listening to my heart and brain, Im cautious and wonder if its worth the risk? The MDX is proven and the damned resale value makes it even more savory- after all if I dont like it and its an Envoy 36k will got to 22-25 k after a year, like major loss- the Murano is a Question that cant be solved, if we go by typical Nissan Stats your looking at a 15 to 19% depreciation out the dealer door, after all its not a Z Car... well the MDX thats another story... I saw a 2002 today used 24k miles on it with navi, they got 39.9k for the damned thing, they paid 41.5! You tell me-

By the way they advertised the MDX on the Internet, it went in 2 days- they had about 150 calls, and 6 deposits fedexed to them! I hope they returned the other 5, but its driving me nuts, Why is the MDX drawing such responses?

Looking forward to hearing from you- Theres no question Im stuck its Murano or MDX

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No argument here at all. If short-term depreciation (a year or two) is your concern, the MDX is the way to go.
I've driven the Murado twice now and it's a delight to drive, I can't really find much wrong with it. I can't find the loud noise level that a couple of the reviews have talked about and I gave the vehicle a good workout each test drive. BUT, it doesn't drive like it has 240 hp. I know it's heavy (3900+) and AWD but still, it should go better than it does. I'd be glad to be proven wrong when the magazine reviews start coming out but I would be suprised if does 0-60 in less than 8 seconds. My dealer has sold twelve in less than a week, this will be a big seller. Regards.

you mention that there are "Incentives" on the MDX, please share with me anything you know... It is very difficult to get a discount of any kind on the MDX, and the accessories are expensive as well, but I guess that the price you pay if you want something really good-

What kind of discounts have you been offered with regards to a MDX? I would apprciate anything you can share with me-

I am not look at the short term, What I am looking at is the "Mode of Recovery" at 35k to 40k for a car, I have to say, thats alot of money any way you cut it-

I am looking for a car that will offer minimal probllems get in start it and run, minimal "Dealer Time" "Minimal Maintenance" and a maintenance program that is reasonable-

At this time, the fluid for the CVT on the Murano is available only at a Nissan Dealership- The Sewing Machine Noise or ticking was there when I drove the Murano, however it wasnt that loud, I had th stop and listen for it, and then and only then did I hear it for the rest of the test drive-

Power was impressive, contrary to the other post, it had great acceleration and power and the Fly by wire throttle was awesome, at slower speeds you have to get used to " Milking the Pedal" with your foot because the damned thing responds instantly there was no "Lag"-

There is also a substantially less warranty 36k 36 months however that can be cured by purchasing a famous additional warranty for another $ 800.00, which gives you 5 years complete peace-

What, appeals to me? The Murano exterior design reeks of "Hold Me" "Touch me" "Love me" concept- I am 53 years old and wear no line bi-focals, my night vision isnt the greatest anymore, The Xenons are right up my alley, and the main instruments are also wonderful, they are easy to read at night. (My test drive was at night) I didnt like the control layout of the other stuff, However I must admit I really didnt get a chance to understand what it is and what each does, so therefore, its not bad, I just didnt know how to or which button to push- The radio was a real trip because there is NO typical radio control panel, almost everything is translated on the Nav Screen or LCD. Im told that if you dont get a Navigation uniiit the screen is slightly smaller- I liked the layout of the inside of the vehicle, however the Level of Leather was diminished in "Luxury"-

If the Interior of the Murano was same quality as the Lexus RX 300 people would be tearing down the doors at dealerships to get a Murano-

The Interior was "Nice" but thats that- Maybe there will be a ("Coach Edition of the Murano?) The levers in the back were an instant hit, pull the lever in the truck and the back seat lays down!

I also have read several reports were the test driver took the Murano out nto rough AWD terrain and the vehicle "Wallowed" and a towing service had to be called- I would speculate that that maybe a rumor, or the driver took the Murano into something they had no business doing in the first place-

Anyways I have a Tenantive order for a loaded SE AWD polished Pewter with Latte Leather Inside, Im taking everything except -2- items, the Navigation and the crazy Chromed wheels- it comes out to 36.765.00

Hope to hear from you-

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Drove one in SF Bay Area

Drove an SL 2wd Murano in SF Bay Area today.

I definitely like the look.
The 18" wheels seem to have a lot to do with setting the profile.
But definitely unique.

Some comments/concerns:
- Noticed no rear bumper guard to protect loading/unloading from scratching paint.
- Does look a bit more wagon-like than others like MDX. Big billboard near by for this Mitsu Outlander (or something). Have not seen one in person but the thought struck me as very similar.

However the exterior looks did inspire emotion. I like it.

Seemed very high quality overall.
Liked the seats. Leather seemed high quality. Good adjustments.
Like the center console.
Lots of room in front and seemingly for rear passengers. The lack of rear tranny hump is good.
Generally well equipped with auto-climate, separate dirver/pass settings, etc.
Stereo on brief listen seemed better than adequate.

The only things that give me reservation are:
- the long swooping dash (reminds me of the new VW Bug).
- the mounting of the instrument cluster. While the instruments are fine, something about the way it sits on the long swooping dash does not resonate with me. Also this one did not adjust? Thought they were suppose to as a standard feature?
- rear cargo cover (the one you pull to cover items from view) and the cargo tray (that you lift to store small items) seemed low quality. The cargo tray would not fit flush after lifting. The stereo subwoofer is mounted on top of the spare and perhaps the dealer guys were playing around with it and it just needs to be put in correctly.
- the rear seats fold flat - but I could see the headrests being damaged easily in this arrangement as they seem to stick up a bit.
- not sure I like the big display unit in the center of the dash. Yes I know Nav systems are the rage - but this one was the standard display - seems a lot to do about nothing and just something to scratch or fail

Generally smooth - did not seem rough on the road. You know it is hard to tell sometimes until you live with it daily.
Power was adequate - I did not stomp on it. Dealer did not know what the gear "S" or "L" really did. So we kept it in "D". Power seemed good - smooth.
Did not notice any "sewing machine" noise as the reviews stated. Engine/Tranny and acceleration were very very quiet.
Hard to say on the instruments, etc. The Compass in the mirror was interesting but I doubt very useful. Very dark view out the rear view mirror (it was night time). Anyway hard to say - sometimes you are in a new environment and it just strikes you differently. Perhaps mirrors and such were not adjusted properly.
Would need to drive again to really feel comfortable. But the engine/trans were very quiet and the drive seemed quite smooth.

So the sticker on an SL 2WD was around $32,400 or something. Then dealer then had a $5000 markup. Told him it was competitive at $32k but that at $37.5k the competition makes it a more difficult sell. The Sales guy said I am sure we could sell it for MSRP. Just a bad taste in my mouth on that. Come on...putting that on there is just asking to piss people off. But hey somebody will pay it just to have the new thing. The dealer & Nissan in general give me concerns. The Sales guy was good. But the dealership had this feel of a low-rent scam type place or a used car lot. Definitely not a Lexus or Acura or German car feel. The Sales guy introduced the Mgr - who seemed to have no interest and little excitement. Again a bad taste. I struggle to see buying a car there and going back for service. Just felt like I would be one of the others who they already sold to...not sure this makes sense...but when they start trying to mark up $5k and get toward $40k I would expect some excitement and an attempt at some time of quality feel. At $32k OK assuming the car is well-built and reliable maybe.

So overall:
- Love the exterior styling
- Like the interior (except the dash) - would need to have another look.
- Like the performance/drive/handling - would need to go again for another perspective
- the dealer made me feel like I was on a used car lot

Definitely can see the perspective of the MDX discussion. Really a no-brainer - by the MDX. Two blocks down I could buy a fairly loaded MDX or RX300 for $37K. With the RX300 being discounted from $39k to perhaps even $35.5k. Hard to see paying anymore than MSRP for the Murano and very easy to see discounts in the next 6-months as the new car appeal wares off. So MSRP of $32.5k (SL 2wd) could easily be discounted to $30k in 6-months. Maybe not. But the Acura/Lexus reputation & dealership experience alone would be worth $3-5K for me based on the crap feel of this Nissan dealer. Maybe I should try another. Never had a Nissan. Taken girlfriends car to Infiniti. Was impressed woth Infiniti dealer - they tried hard to project a good feel/attitude/treatment for the customer.

Hope that helps.
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Excellent writeup, dcs1800. Thanks!

Larry, I have been talking to a local (Atlanta area) Acura dealer about ordering a 2003 Acura MDX w/ Navigation and with very little negotiation they have already knocked $1000 off the MSRP.

I am a serious buyer. I plan to drive "home" from Atlanta to Connecticut at Christmas time packed full of stuff for my 8 month old Son. (who will be flying up with his Mom) I let the dealer know what I wanted, when I wanted and this is what he came up with.

Sooooo, here is the challenge. At $40,000 for an MDX and the Acura ownership experience or $37,885 for the loaded AWD SE Murano and the Nissan ownership? Tough call. We also have a 2002 Altima SE and the dealership experience is far from luxury at our nearby dealer. The Murano will really have to bowl me over to get the nod, I think.

Frankly, I think that will be the challenge for Nissan. Despite what the dozens of Nissan salespeople are saying on the forums about how successful the Murano will be, if they mark it up too much (perhaps if at all) it will push buyers to more expensive (MDX) or less expensive (Pilot) SUV's, IMHO.
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also test drove..actually a 2WD, but going for the 4WD...REALLY liked the feel of the car, liked the interior alot too...I guess I'm just into the different look of the car, and really like the nice warm copper color, that's been featured in most o the original online images.

Great features, and I am all for the NAV system.

Looks like I'm putting a deposit on one..found a dealer 70 miles away that has the copper SL, NAV system I'm looking for.

But also put off by paying full price, but we're all kind ofs tuck in the beginning... saw cars. com invoice price...I pay @$4,000 over invoice, according to that, when I juice up the car and add Nav (which forces you to get many other features, Some I'm not all keen about)

But folks, the car LOOKS great, felt nice (heard no real sounds in the trans nmission, and did nice acceleartion- it was sweet with the CVT just taking off, and saw that the mileage numbers are 20/24, which is better than the 17/20 I have with my current Jeep.

I think (deep breath) I'm taking the plunge.

[email protected]
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Ownersite and friends-

I appreciate all the good input... Here is my final line or stand- I refered someone to a local Nissan Dealer that had 2 Muranos there. The Dealer wouldnt even open the vehicle to show it to him and his wife.!

Now I can understand you cant drive them they don't belong to us, But I cant understand, we will open one up for you to show you the insides-

On the other hand... My local MDX Acura Dealer has been wonderful to me, anything and eveything you could ever ask for, Ive probably driven 3 times in the MDX. The Acura Dealer has each time without fail asked me what they can do for me.....

I think Ive just about made my decision and will be taking a MDX in the new color "Sage Brush Pearl" w/ Navi Unit-

I have a friend who called me from British Columbia, and has test drove a SL AWD and SE AWD in loaded configurations, he stated that they both had a "Wider than normal turning radius" and on the SE AWD he heard the sewing machine noise- and some other issues-

The earlier posting where someone had reviewed the Murano and given the Detroit Review was extremely accurate.

Regardless of how nice or not nice the Murano is, the fact remains that all of us would require interaction with the Nissan Dealership, and you know what Ownersite was right. Im not spending 35k to have a dealer crap on my head, when I can spend a few k more and get the "Real Thing", Purchase a vehicle that has a proven and awesome resale value minimal depreciation, and lastly Most Importantly- at some point you, me, the local ghost and then someone, is going to require a interaction with the dealership. How will the Dealer treat you?

I have not had any Acura Dealer treat me unkindly yet, there is a "Big" difference between what one gets fro a Acura Dealer and a Nissan Dealer-

There is a very big difference between Warranties- another year with the Acura, and then you get the Acura red Carpet all the way.

Nope gang, Im going with the Acura MDX- Long term - Short term who cares, whats really important is me, you, me, our families, if the car breaks down what are they going to do for you? give you a car or give you a headache? Give you first class service or make you whine to get something done-?

At $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 I say thats alot of money, I dont care what you buy, It appears to me that at this point the MDX completely outclasses the Nissan Murano no matter how sexy the Murano is in appearance.

There is a very clear difference in commitment to the customer made by both companies, it it appears at this point that that Nissan will have to Huff and Puff and Blow the House Down in order to convince me that their product and CUSTOMER SERVICES are worthy of the Acura reputation,and can compete with the Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Toyota namesake and reputations- maybe then Ill feel the Murano is a worthwhile purchase-

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You bring out some excellent points, very well thought out. I don't think you can go wrong with an MDX.

Just to play devil's advocate for a second...(and put myself in the position of a potential Murano buyer, which I am)

If a Murano SE AWD were priced comparably to a Honda Pilot (MSRP of $32,980 w/Leather, 4WD & Navigation), would the thought process be quite so difficult?

What I keep getting hung up on is that a loaded Murano is only a couple thousand less than a comparably equiped MDX, yet it is $5000 more than the vehicle it aims to compete with, the Honda Pilot.

I guess I am just will be some Murano shoppers I suspect.

As I've noted on FA's forums. I am not intending to Nissan bash. We currently own a 2002 Altima SE. My first new car was a 1992 Sentra SE-R. (miss that car) My family has owned a 1978 Datsun B210, a 1980 Datsun 210 Wagon (learned to drive stick on it), a 1992 Infiniti G20 and 1995, 1999 & 2003 Nissan Maximas.

Based on the styling and features (have yet to drive it) I would love to consider parking a new Murano in the garage, but the pricing simply does not make it a no-brainer. Pricing comparable to the Honda Pilot would.

Sorry to drone on...
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Just test drove an SE 2-wheel drive

Hi all,
I just came back 1/2 hour ago from a test drive of the SE model. Wow, where to start?
The thing I tried really hard to look out for was the "sewing machine" noise as many have mentioned. I did not hear anything of that sort. Shifts gear very smoothly and you certainly can't feel it shifting. The only way I was able to tell was really listen to the engine. The ride was so smooth you really couldn't tell. Acceleration was pretty good, although I didn't get a chance to really push the engine...actually, didn't even get to drive it on the freeway at all.
Other things were the interior was very nice. The test drive Murano has leather seats...but nothing too "wow" about them.
And, this SUV is wide. Sitting inside, it felt like the width was just like the MDX. It was the first thing that popped into my mind: W-I-D-E. However, for someone who's about 5'9, it was just right...maybe just a little bigger than what I'm used to, but very comfortable.
Turning is very tight and responsive. Didn't really have a lot of opportunities to test it in a parking lot, but from what I could tell, it's very good.
Couple of things that bothered me:
There is the blind spot, on both sides, where the windows curve upwards in the rear due to its styling. That created quite a significant blind spot for me. That is a huge disadvantage for me, my opinion. It will certainly take some serious getting used to. The one thing that helped to offset that was the rear-view mirrors, that was OK, but would have preferred it a little bigger, both outside and interrior mirrors.
Since it was a sports model Murano, the suspension was tight. It reminded me of a Maxima suspension that I once rented. Very tight....personally, I prefer softer, more cushion-like suspension. However, this is the sports model, and it is an SUV.
There is a lot of space between the dashboard and the front of the windshield. It guess with such a sloped windshield, you get a lot of wasted space that way. And one think I learned really quick, don't put anything on that area. It will totally reflect on the windshield and make it a little difficult to see.
And lastly, the PRICE!! What ridiculous markup the dealer was asking!! Priced at 38,000 US dollars. And it isn't even fully loaded (no navi)!! That would be extra and would have put the Murano at 40K! Might as well buy an MDX at that price or RX300.
I think I'll wait until the hype has died down...right now, it's not a good time to buy since it's a new model, first year, and I don't want to be the guinea pig at my expense.

Well, that's my humble 2 cents on the test drive. I will test drive the SUV several times just to see how it feels though...
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