Following a hiatus in 2008, the 2009 Nissan Murano picks up where the 2007 model left off in terms of offering lots of performance and amenities in a crossover SUV.
The Murano returns in three trim levels--S, SL, and LE. The S and SL are available in either front- or all-wheel drive, while the top-of-the-line LE only comes in all-wheel drive. All models are powered by Nissan's ubiquitous and exceptional 24-valve 3.5L V6, which now puts out 265 horsepower and 248 ft-lbs of torque, and all make use of the company's second-generation continuously variable transmission (CVT). Limited slip is optional on FWD models and standard on AWD models.
All 2009 Murano models feature a 60/40 split fold-flat rear seat, dual power mirrors, UV-reducing glass, push-button ignition, electroluminescent gauges, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise control, three handy 12-volt outlets, and a six-disc in-dash AM/FM stereo with MP3 capability.
The SL adds fog lights, rear privacy glass, an eight-way power driver's seat, power return rear seatbacks, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.
Step up to the top-line LE and you get 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic high-intensity discharge (HID) xenon headlights, dual heated mirrors, a power liftgate, Bluetooth phone system, an information center with a seven-inch screen, a power tilt/telescopic steering column, driver's seat memory, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a retractable cargo cover, four-way power to the passenger's seat, heated leather seats front and rear, wood accents, a Bose stereo system with speed sensitive volume control, and XM satellite radio.
Several packages are available on the 2009 Murano. The Premium Package features a Bose stereo, XM satellite radio, a security system, and more, while a Technology Package includes HID headlights, intelligent keyless entry and ignition, and rain-sensing wipers. A leather package, navigation and music package, and a DVD package are also available for about $2,000 each.
Standard safety features on all 2009 Muranos include six air bags, traction and dynamic stability control, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. The Murano returns 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway.