It is rare that I instantly feel comfortable behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle. A member of the short girls club, I typically have to do a lot of finagling and maneuvering of buttons, seats, lumbar support and the like, not to mention adjusting a few things that are fairly critical, such as side rear-view mirrors and the programmed radio station selection. Ahem.
My husband and older daughter sharing a sweet moment in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Now that’s what family road trips are all about!
We recently took our family of four on a little road trip from Nashville to Sevierville and I was truly sad to turn it back in. I’m an SUV driver, but if I had my driving druthers, I’d prefer a crossover. With the sportiness of an SUV and the storage, without the bulkiness, I’m definitely a fan of a crossover. Plus for moms who still need practicality without succumbing to the full-on stereotype of the minivan mom, the crossover is a sweet compromise. We were stuck in God awful traffic on the way to Sevierville so we saw a lot of the inside of the car, and thankfully it’s roominess and comfort factor got a thumbs up.
Gas mileage. The Murano surprised us with its excellent gas mileage, even impressing my husband. With road travel this is always a win/win, especially now that gas prices are creeping up with the onset of summer travel. The Murano’s 3.5-L V6 engine delivers 260 horsepower, 240 lb-ft of torque, and fuel economy of 28 mpg on the highway. Translation? If you’re driving during typically good highway conditions you can be on the road for more than 500 miles before filling up. Of course I can’t give you any “mom I gotta pee” advice other than avoid fountain drinks that take two hands to hold. I’m a let’s get on out of town and get there kind of gal, so the fewer gas breaks we have to make the better!
Design. Every nook and cranny of the Murano is designed with optimum storage. The storage compartment between the two front seats was cavernous (seriously I think you could put a small toy dog in there…not that you’d want to do that…or at least enough road trip snacks to last for days.) The glove compartment was spacious enough to hold a tablet device.
Handling. We took the Nissan Murano on the Cades Cove Scenic drive, an 11-mile loop near the Smoky Mountains, and I was very pleased with how it handled on curvy roads, steep inclines, and rapid declines.
Hotness factor. I’m not gonna lie. I love a car that looks good in my driveway and one that I look good driving! The Nissan Murano we drove was a gorgeous blue officially deemed Arctic Blue Metallic that was definitely eye catching. I can be as discriminating about my car colors as I can my nail polish, so this was a blue that goes beyond the ordinary. I’ve honestly never seen an exterior blue on a car that I liked until I test drove this Murano.
Cargo space. We had plenty of space for all our luggage and gear for the weekend. Boom.
Bells and whistles. A USB port for back-seat passengers, which was a big hit for my iPhone wielding tween girls.
I wish we had been able to test drive the Murano with the optional third row of seats, however the standard 5-seater was plenty spacious enough for our family of four. The starting MSRP price for the 2015 Murano is also just under $30,000, making it a more affordable family ride.
The final verdict? I loved the Murano so much that I’m actually considering it for our next family vehicle.