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389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm new here... just started looking for an athletic, quick, fun-to-drive vehicle that has an automatic transmission and has good utility. That drove me to look at several vehicles such as the Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano, Chevy Trailblazer, Ford Explorer, etc.

I was lucky enough to come across a dealership in Costa Mesa that was both a Nissan and a Chevrolet dealership. My salesman went over both the Trailblazer and the Murano quite well, and after that, he turned me loose with both cars. ("Take it out for 20-30 mintues. Enjoy yourself!" :eek: I've never been given an offer like that before! So not to look a gift horse in the mouth... I did! :D ) I should say that both of the vehicles I drove were used, so the Trailblazer had 11K miles and the Murano had 8K miles.

I drove the Trailblazer first (an LTZ model). I had the truck out for exactly two blocks before I returned to the dealership.

I drove the Murano (SL AWD) next. I had the Murano out for almost 40 minutes before bringing it back! ;)

My impressions are:

1) The Trailblazer's rear doors don't seem to open as wide as the Muranos. Also the rear seat in the Trailblazer noticeably lacks the leg room of the Murano.

2) Acceleration in the Trailblazer is decent (with good power further up the RPM range.) But I found myself flooring the truck pretty often.

3) The word "truck" came to mind several times during this 2 block test drive. It rides nicely, but it leans in corners and the steering lacked precision.

4) The Murano is sprightly. It accelerates well from rest and the Sport mode really does help with engine braking. The CVT felt well suited to this SUV.

5) The Murano leans a bit in turns (not too much) but has very athletic handling! I was genuinely surprised!

6) The ride was very comfortable! Surprising given its handling.

7) I felt the interior of the Murano was better laid-out and more effectively used the space than in the Trailblazer.

I will check the other vehicles on my list... but I'm already 85% certain that the Murano will be the hands-down winner! It's a bummer that the dealership's used Murano's didn't have the NAV option... otherwise I'd be driving one now! ;)


27 Posts
Hey Bob.

I too was looking at the Chevy Trailblazer LTZ at first. Then my wife took a look at it, got a hold of me, slapped me silly and I was off to the next car. ;)

We moved on to the GMC Envoy and it's a much nicer truck than the Chevy. The exterior is much more sleek and the interior is more well laid out. Between the two, the Envoy was king hands down. They both drive the same, but I did notice the Envoy was much more smoother than the TB. But they both did drive like a truck...sluggish and if you told me I was driving a pickup, I'd have believed you. If you are not into refinement, then you can keep it on your compare list. If you care about the little things, like looks, build quality, driving comfort, space, gas mileage, then move on.

The downside here is that both are GM. I have always been a GM guy. Never really liked Chrysler and despised Ford (why? I owned a '94 Mustang from new and after 3 trannys and 2 head gasket replacements that was enuff for me!) so for the domestic market those 2 trucks I think are best in build quality. The price in Canada for the Envoy (loaded) was C$51K. Now all the domestic carmakers heavily overprice their cars, for whatever reason. With all the GM incentives currently on, I got the price down to C$42K....that's $9000 off MSRP!

Then I went into the Nissan dealership. Took a look a the Murano SE. Same thing with me, the salesman said, take it out for awhile, be back whenever. I only had to drive it 2km before I could see that this SUV was in a totally different league. It drives better than the Mercedes ML350 and the BMW X5. I have family members that have both and even they reluctantly agree! Comparing the Trailblazer, or its prettier cousin the Envoy to the Murano is like comparing a Cavalier to a Maxima. It's just not comparable. The only reason I even thought of buying the Envoy was because of the final price of C$42K with 0% financing.

The Murano SE (noNAvi) in Canada is C$46,500. $4500 less than the loaded, yet crappy, Envoy. I managed to knock off $3000 from the price. Even with the 5.8% financing, I think its the most satisfying deal I've ever made. It wasn't the highest discount I've ever bought, but it sure was satisfying....and that's what counts the most I think. If I bought the Envoy it would have been MUCH cheaper, yet it was a much more expensive vehicle. Trust me when I say...Once you drive a Murano, you'll never want to drive anything else again!
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