Reply: This is my first vehicle with leather seats. All my previous cars had cloth interiors. The leather is nice, but it feels really cold when the temps drop (I'm so glad I got the cold package). I live in Chicago (where it is now in the 20's-30's), so this may or may not matter where you live. Things tend to slide around very easily on the leather vs cloth which is a bit annoying. I also have dogs so I have to cover the rear seats whenever they go for a ride. Don't know what I was thinking when I got the leather. I think I needed to get them to get one of the other options.
By the way, full seat covers are not a good idea with the side impact protection air bags which is built into the outboard bolsters on the seats. The covers will interfere with their operation. I'm not sure if they now make covers that accommodate this feature.
2. Is the Bose stereo that much better than the stock? I read that it does not do very well with the highs. The murano is actually for my wife, so a bose is not really needed. Once again the Muranos I have looked at have the bose.
Reply:The one advantage of the premium system is the six CD changer. Flipping CDs in and out of a single CD unit is not hard to do, but will soon become a real pain (not to mention a safety issue) when you find you have to juggle CDs while driving.
The subwoofer is pretty cool but the system does lack upper range crispness. Power output is decent unless you are into shaking-up the neighborhood.
Other than these items, I do not know what the other differences are between the two options (standard vs premium). Keep in mind, installing an aftermarket head unit can't be done cleanly since the OEM unit is tied in with the center console display. Other folks in this forum have installed aftermarket speakers and amps, though. Also, from what I have read in this forum, you cannot replace the speakers alone without installing new amps since there is some kind of speaker impedance issue with the Bose speakers (they are probably tailored to the Bose system).
3. Does Nissan offer any incentives or rebates? I was looking at the nissan website and did not see anything mentioned.
Reply:Not sure, but I have never seen them do so. They have them on their other carlines, but since I starting looking for my MO in May of last year, I have not seen any form or rebate or incentive. They're probably too popular right now.
4. Do the dealers deal on the Muranos or are they stubborn on window sticker or nothing?
Reply:I paid $300 under invoice for a fully loaded model...around $33,900, I think. However, it took them nearly two months to find a model that came close to combination I wanted (I had to settle on a black leather interior instead of the cabernet I wanted). I could have special ordered the exact model but that would have taken months, by which time the '04s would have become available. Other dealers in my area could not touch this offer, but they were ready to deal.
If you belong to a credit union or buyer's club (Costco, etc.), check with them. I went through my credit union's car buying service and that's how I got the great deal.
5. Any other advice that can be offered?
Reply:As mentioned, this is not an off-road vehicle by any means. It does not have enough ground clearance for that (just look under the chassis and note how low the muffler hangs). The Xterra is a better choice there. The Navigator is a great option if you want to spend the bucks. I broke down and got it (we plan on doing a lot of road trips). Beside the navigation functions, you also get a better looking, full-color display, not to mention the great conversation piece when others ride with you. However, it is expensive and not worth it if you don't plan to travel too far from home (like on vacation or for business).
Good luck in your search! You and your wife will LOVE this SUV!!! Get ready to get a lot of second looks when you drive around, too!