Nissan Murano Review

Murano. The name conjures up images of the sleek and stylish. And Nissan's mid-size crossover SUV has lived up to that name.

For 2009, Murano gets a makeover. That's tricky stuff. New is not always better. But Nissan did it right...keeping everything good about the first-generation Murano and making it better.

Fit and finish, materials and appointments and overall luxury are dialed up, noise, vibration and harshness (never a problem in the first place) are dialed even further down.

Styling changes are subtle enough that you really need to park an '09 next to an '08 to get the full effect...but once you do, there's no way you'd choose the older one.

And the good news (especially in this economy)is price: $27,930 base for the S model I drove (hey, good cloth seats beat mediocre leather ones every time), $29,225 as tested (Only option: The Convenience Package...privacy glass, roof rails, a retractable cargo cover and vehicle security system for $550) including destination charges.

And mileage isn't bad for this type of vehicle, either. The EPA says 18 city/23 highway.

A few years ago, something this nice would have been branded an Infiniti instead of a Nissan. The Murano shows just how far Nissan has come...freeing Infiniti to move even farther up the ladder.