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Discussion Starter #1
Yes i've done a search ;) . . . . i'd just like some input.

Of course i'll be test driving both back to back sometime during next week, but i am looking at getting a SE or an SL Platinum / Charcoal/ AWD / Touring Mo

My two main concerns are:

DSL vs 6 gear shift

SL suspension vs Stiffer SE suspension


After reading many posts it seems like DSL is the better system. I would probably never use "L" but most likely i'd shift into S all the time when braking before taking a turn (where i normally downshift to power out of a turn). "S" seems to put the RPMs right at 4k and hold them there which to me seems like exactly where you want to be, whereas with a 6 speed shift I'd be varying the rpms and changing the power delivery with each shift. The thought of the 6 speed also makes me wonder if it decreases the life of the CVT with use. If you think about it, downshifting with that puts probably more of a greater strain on the belt (probably jumping 1-2k rpm) versus the smaller increase of RPMs in "S" mode. The one place where the six speed might come in handy is in snow conditions where it is beneficial to keep RPMs low to avoid spinning tires. Either way, right now I'm looking at a built up SL instead of an SE so I can get DSL . . . . Opinions please.

Next issue is that I like my suspensions stiff and I like a vehicle that corners very well and responds well. Having a less stiff suspension might be an issue for me and seeing as how there are no aftermarket shock manufacturers out for the Murano, that means I'd have to buy the SE suspension and put it on myself. Is the suspension difference between the two that great? Another thought that crossed my mind was buying some H&Rs and dropping it 1.5"

Another benefit of the SL is that I get the black unpainted lowers which I think look better on Platinum that that grey silver color which kinda matches but really doesn't. Oh and the wheels look better IMHO . . . . i really don't like the "bubbly" look of the 6 spokes (doesn't really matter because I already have a set of wheels in mind)

Its a $700 savings between SL and SE granted that probably translates into a greater savings after negotiation.

Thoughts? What would you choose?
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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I would go for SL and did twice, Let me start off with a very important issure I am sure everyone will agree, The "L" is easier to debadge than the "E", second DSL, Ride, Ride and did I mention Ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
GripperDon said:
I would go for SL and did twice, Let me start off with a very important issure I am sure everyone will agree, The "L" is easier to debadge than the "E", second DSL, Ride, Ride and did I mention Ride.
I'll probably leave the badges on . . . .

Question is . . . . will you go for an SL the THIRD time come next december? :D
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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How about, MB 500 SL ?
 

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crew219 said:


Next issue is that I like my suspensions stiff and I like a vehicle that corners very well and responds well. Having a less stiff suspension might be an issue for me and seeing as how there are no aftermarket shock manufacturers out for the Murano, that means I'd have to buy the SE suspension and put it on myself. Is the suspension difference between the two that great? Another thought that crossed my mind was buying some H&Rs and dropping it 1.5"

The SE definitely rides stiffer. The springs are firmer and the shocks have greater damping. This also translates in to a bit more steering feedback, which is nice. That said, the SE does not handle anywhere near what I would call "responsive" It is a 4000lb FWD platform with a relatively high cg and, not surprisingly, that's how it behaves. Tons of understeer, plenty of torque steer if you mash on the gas, although body roll is pretty well controlled.

I specifically didn't want a soft ride so I went for the SE (no misconceptions about its handling limits though). HIDs were standard, I liked the SE wheels vs. the 5 spoke which I think are somewhat played out. I also like it that I see fewer SE's around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Re: SE vs. SL

Halo said:


The SE definitely rides stiffer. The springs are firmer and the shocks have greater damping. This also translates in to a bit more steering feedback, which is nice. That said, the SE does not handle anywhere near what I would call "responsive" It is a 4000lb FWD platform with a relatively high cg and, not surprisingly, that's how it behaves. Tons of understeer, plenty of torque steer if you mash on the gas, although body roll is pretty well controlled.

I specifically didn't want a soft ride so I went for the SE (no misconceptions about its handling limits though). HIDs were standard, I liked the SE wheels vs. the 5 spoke which I think are somewhat played out. I also like it that I see fewer SE's around.
5 spokes are played out . . . . but i'll be getting new wheels very shortly after purchase. Whatever stock wheel I have will be relegated to winter use.

What are your thoughts on lowering the Murano? The "Mo" will never see off-road . . . . will only be subject to bad urban driving. I guess the only concern i might have is whacking that CVT air-dam. 1.5" doesn't seem like a lot once you look at how high the Murano already is. Does anyone make swaybars for the Murano?

Dave
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Lowering the Mo has been done, several spring kits are available. Lowering the roll center is a plus. My concerns were "upsetting the handling" , (no longer in "Center" of suspension travel, stiffer ride, etc. a search will find stuff on this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
GripperDon said:
Lowering the Mo has been done, several spring kits are available. Lowering the roll center is a plus. My concerns were "upsetting the handling" , (no longer in "Center" of suspension travel, stiffer ride, etc. a search will find stuff on this forum.
:p already searched but it doesn't seem like anyone has actually done it. What I'm quasi worried about is the spring sag that has been mentioned a few times in the rear with stock or SE springs. H&Rs will def take care of that . . .

Granted I should probably wait until they come out with KYB AGX's . . . Its pointless to lower unless I can get an aftermarket shock to go with it. Too bad bilstein doesn't make anything for the murano either. Ideally I would keep stock height but just run higher spring weights in the front and rear on aftermarket shocks (I'm a fan of koni).

Dave
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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Google for Murano Lowering "Kits"
 

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Regarding the RPM change when shifting from D to Ds, its a substantial increase. In Ds, RPM's stay below 1500 off throttle, while Ds maintains RPMs at around 4000. I'm pretty sure thats a higher ratio change than downshifting one "gear" with the SE manual shift feature.

Regarding the ride, I have no problems with the SE ride. I agree with the post above, the SE is not as sporty as Nissan would make you think it is. Since the SL is even softer, I did not consider it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well i just got back from the nissan dealership. Spent about 2 hours there bs'ing with bored salesmen and the fleet manager.

Test drove both a 2004 SE and a 2004 SL

From my first impressions . . . . i want the complete opposite. The 6 speed shift was wonderful . . . It still had a CVT feel as there wasn't a noticable "shift-jerk." The RPMs just kinda transitioned into each other gear smoothly. What I liked was that after shifting into "6th" and moving the shifter back to D . . . when I moved it back into the shift position at around 75mph, it went into "5th" gear with the RPMs higher up so I didn't ahve to scroll down numerous gears to find what I was looking for.

The DSL on the SL performed its function but in some ways I felt as if I was not in control. The "S" did hold in 4k and I was able to take the turn almost as fast but it didn't seem to feel as natural as using the 6 speed shifter. I guess a lot of it is personal preference. It was just that with the "S" position, sometimes I felt as if there was a bit of engine braking when I let off the pedal when I would have rather that it just shifted into a higher gear. I took the same 5 mile route with both SE and SL and I'd have to say that 6-speed > DSL

In driving the SE and SL, I noticed a much stiffer suspension in the SE. However, it didn't see as if there was less body roll with the SE or any real performance gains over the SL. In some ways I almost felt more comfortable driving the SL because the steering wheel wasn't twitching over every damn bump. I think the SE might have had over-inflated tires thereby causing the overly harsh ride. The SL flashed a low-tire pressure warning when I was driving it and after looking at both vehicles side by side, the SE had noticably more inflated sidewalls.

I also found out that dark silver lowers come on all touring / leather packages so I'm stuck with that. All the cars on the lot had the 5 spoke even the SE (Chrome 5 spokes).

Either way, I'll be going back on sunday with another one of my friends. Should be fun.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Grip: I searched the lowering kits . . . . found the 22"s thread that you've been referencing . . . . the eastcoastimports thread is dead. Either way, I wouldn't use anything less than H&Rs. The quality of H&R springs is beyond most of the stuff you'll find out there. Been running them for awhile and have never had any sagging issues over time.

Anyways, after driving the SE, the only thing i'd probably do to it is find some PU bushings for the swaybars and perhaps get some shocks when they wear out. KYB just needs to come out with a shock replacement. Does anyone know if the Murano uses low-pressure hydraulic shocks or high pressure gas shocks?

Dave
 

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I have the 2005 SE and so far I don't find the ride overly stiff. I was told by a person at my dealership that the 2005 SE suspension was improved and is not as stiff as it was in 2004. I read that the Infiniti FX suspension was improved also because of complaints about the harshness in the original versions.

As far as lowering the car, the car has a long wheelbase and only about 7 inches of clearance so if you lower it any more you run the chance of damaging the underside. I just noticed on my new car that the center muffler already has been scraped and slightly dented. I don't know how or when it happened but lowering the car could be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
HuskyFan said:
I have the 2005 SE and so far I don't find the ride overly stiff. I was told by a person at my dealership that the 2005 SE suspension was improved and is not as stiff as it was in 2004. I read that the Infiniti FX suspension was improved also because of complaints about the harshness in the original versions.

As far as lowering the car, the car has a long wheelbase and only about 7 inches of clearance so if you lower it any more you run the chance of damaging the underside. I just noticed on my new car that the center muffler already has been scraped and slightly dented. I don't know how or when it happened but lowering the car could be a problem.
Generally I don't believe in lowering SUVs . . . . I don't think I do either after looking at the clearance on the "mo" today. That front scoop is too low to do anything without having to worry every second about it getting screwed up.

Dave
 

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I think you have hit on it.
The muffler is a non issue. It can be replaced with a straight pipe. People have already done it and reported that the Murano then sounds "normal".
But the scoop on the CVT is required. And I really would not be comfortable knowing that I lowered the CVT down to 5" off the ground..............

That, to me, is the most important point.

I'll have to go ride the 05 SE.

When I did it in 03, I liked it.
But it didn't do expansion joints on concrete highways well.
I really didn't like the shocks.
I did however like the jazzing up of the steering feel. The steering was a bit nervous, but I like that.
I suspect that the bushings on the SE are a lot harder than the SL and the shocks are ........well I would call them HD. They certainly are damped more but they gave up compliance to get there IMO.
All this w/regard to the 03 SE of course.

I have deliberatly tried to not go see the 05........I don't want to pull a GripperDon here. My 03 only has 12,000 miles and I am finally enjoying a fully broken in fun machine.

Homer

PS I often drive looking straight ahead.
If I don't turn my head, I don't see too much of the Cheap Looking interior.
 

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hfelknor said:
I think you have hit on it.
The muffler is a non issue. It can be replaced with a straight pipe. People have already done it and reported that the Murano then sounds "normal".
But the scoop on the CVT is required. And I really would not be comfortable knowing that I lowered the CVT down to 5" off the ground..............

That, to me, is the most important point.

I'll have to go ride the 05 SE.

When I did it in 03, I liked it.
But it didn't do expansion joints on concrete highways well.
I really didn't like the shocks.
I did however like the jazzing up of the steering feel. The steering was a bit nervous, but I like that.
I suspect that the bushings on the SE are a lot harder than the SL and the shocks are ........well I would call them HD. They certainly are damped more but they gave up compliance to get there IMO.
All this w/regard to the 03 SE of course.

I have deliberatly tried to not go see the 05........I don't want to pull a GripperDon here. My 03 only has 12,000 miles and I am finally enjoying a fully broken in fun machine.

Homer

PS I often drive looking straight ahead.
If I don't turn my head, I don't see too much of the Cheap Looking interior.

And at night, you can't really see the top of the hard plastic dash. Another plus.
 

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Too late for most of us, but it would have been nice if Nissan could
have read coments like these before. Or tested the plastics, mine
is only three weeks old and B pillar looks crappy.
 

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GripperDon said:

From what I hear, Eibachs are harsher than the H&R's but give slightly sharper handling. I would avoid aftermarket lowering springs unless firmer dampers are also available, such as KYB AGX's. Lowering on stock strut/shocks results in a terribly underdamped ride.

I had H&R/AGX combo on my 97 Maxima and it was superb. Comfortable yet cornered on rails.

I would be perfectly happy with the stock SE springs and AGX's all around.
 
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