Nissan's Jewel: The 2015 Nissan Murano

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Nissan Murano.
The 2015 Nissan Murano.
Pardon the headline.  The town of Murano, Italy is known for its glass work, but "Nissan's glass" doesn't have the same ring to it.  And Murano glass is jewel-like.

The Murano has always been Nissan's fashion-forward crossover SUV. It's hard to imagine a direct competitor for it, apart from the Lexus RX350, which is a more luxurious vehicle and begins with a base price more than $10,000 higher.

Side view of 2015 Nissan Murano
2015 Nissan Murano.
The Murano's lines are what I would like to think would flow from a Murano glass pen held in the hands of a free-sprited and no doubt Italian car designer, and a major leap forward from the previous-generation Murano. A major bonus---the Murano SL's base price of $36,950 is only $550 more than the 2012 model. It's still powered by the same 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 but improvements made to the aerodynamics and to the continuously variable transmission have boosted fuel economy from 18 city/24 highway then to 21 city/28 highway now.

The Murano SL is one rung and $2,050 below the top-of-the-line Platinum model.  The Platinum adds 20-inch alloy wheels, LED beam headlights, climate-controlled front seats, and a heated steering wheel and rear seats.  If you can live without those, the SL is one handsomely-equipped vehicle.

2015 Nissan Murano interior view
2015 Nissan Murano interior.
Our test vehicle had not a single option.  The base price covers vehicle dynamic control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring, a security system, blind spot warning, and an around-view monitor with moving object detection.  It also includes an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, a four-way power passenger's seat, heated, leather-appointed front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, driver's side memory for the seat and outside mirrors, an auto-dimming inside mirror, Homelink, a 9-speaker BOSE audio system with dual subwoofers, cruise control, navigation, an 8-inch color touchscreen display, SiriusXM and HD Radio, front and rear USB connection ports, Bluetooth, voice recognition for navigation and audio, a hands-free text messaging assistant, dual-zone automatic temperature control with front and rear vents, push-button start, remote engine start with intelligent climate control, LED running lights, automatic headlights, and a power liftgate.

Again, all standard, no options, for $36,950.  With $885 destination charges, the as-tested price for our Murano came to $37,835.  A bargain for this much style and content.