By David Thomas on August 23, 2010
Let’s just get this out of the way quickly. No, the 2011 Nissan Murano doesn’t get the 3.7-liter V-6 upgrade to put it on par with the 370Z or the Infiniti G series. It retains the 3.5-liter V-6 with 260 horsepower, but that still makes it one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs we’ve tested. The upgraded 2011 goes on sale in mid-October.
What does change for 2011 are some minor exterior design tweaks. The controversial grille from the last redesign stays, but the lower bumper gets a new, more streamlined appearance. In back, the somewhat small taillights of last year’s model get a new look, and while they may be bolder, they may stand out for the wrong reason. Inside, nearly everything remains the same.
Another change is the addition of an SV trim level that’s positioned above the base S. It comes standard with cloth seats like the S but also comes with some standard features found on the higher-level SL, such as a dual-panel moonroof.
Nissan’s breakdown of the trim levels has been reposted from the manufacturer below, along with more photos. You can enlarge any of the photos by clicking on them.
“The 2011 Nissan Murano is available in eight models – S FWD, S AWD, SV FWD, SV AWD, SL FWD, SL AWD, LE FWD and LE AWD. All Murano AWD models (S, SV, SL, LE) include an advanced all-wheel-drive system.
“Murano S models include the 3.5-liter, 260-horsepower V-6; Xtronic CVT; 18-inch alloy wheels; halogen headlights and LED taillights; six-way manual driver’s and four-way manual passenger’s seats; manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel; power windows and door locks with remote keyless entry system; a six-speaker audio system; interface system for iPod; Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start; rear privacy glass; and more.
“Murano SV models add dual-panel moonroof with one-touch open/close; auto reverse; sliding shade and privacy glass; roof rails; integrated halogen front fog lights; eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support; Bluetooth; RearView Monitor; Vehicle Security System; and XM Satellite Radio (XM subscription required, sold separately).
“Murano SL models add leather-appointed seats; heated front seats; driver’s seat and outside mirror position memory; 60/40 fold-flat rear seatback with power return; power liftgate with hatch closure assist; heated steering wheel; 2GB Music Box; Bose premium audio system with 11 speakers (nine speakers plus two subwoofers); rain-sensing front wipers; heated outside mirrors; and auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink Universal Transceiver.
“Finally, Murano LE models add 20-inch wheels with a special titanium-colored finish; roof rails with silver accents; rain-sensing front wipers; HID bi-functional xenon projector headlights; heated rear seats; power tilt/telescoping heated steering wheel; wood grain interior trim; and steering-wheel memory position.
“Only one option package is available on the 2011 Murano – the Navigation Package. Available on SL and LE models, it offers HDD Navigation with 9.3 GB Music Box hard drive, voice recognition and touch-screen with 7-inch VGA screen and Bluetooth streaming audio.”
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David