Murano makes diesel

debut

Nissan Murano dCi, side
Nissan Murano dCi, front
Nissan Murano dCi, rear
Nissan Murano dCi, interior
Nissan Murano dCi, rear seats
Nissan Murano dCi, cargo space

DIESEL power is on the way for Nissan's luxury 4x4 as the company plays catch up with its latest generation Murano SUV.

Since its launch five years ago the Murano's appeal has been limited by a thirsty V6 petrol engine.

That's changing in September when a 2.5-litre diesel version goes on sale capable of averaging 35.3mpg.

Priced from £37,795 the Murano dCi is available only in one high specification trim to rival the likes of the Lexus RX 450h, the Land Rover Discovery and Audi Q5.

Pound for pound the Nissan has plenty going for it with sleek and classy looks.

Nissan claims the Murano created the crossover category with its blend of executive saloon and off road character.

The diesel costs £2,800 more than its petrol counterpart and changes have been made to the front design to accommodate the new engine.

There are additional air vents and a new grille while aerodynamic improvements include an underbody panel to help the vehicle eke out as many miles per gallon as possible.

A regenerative braking system has also been fitted to reduce the load on the alternator further improving engine efficiency.

Exhaust emissions are rated at 210g/km compared to the V6's 251 and 26mpg.

The savings are obvious but the Murano is not as eco friendly as some others such as the Q5 or the hybrid Lexus which attract lower tax rates for business users.

The engine is an improved version of the 2.5-litre Nissan uses in its X-Trail and Qashqai models and it is mated to a six-speed auto box as opposed to a continuously variable transmission used on the petrol Murano.

On the road it is smooth and noticeably quiet as far as diesels are concerned.

Additional sound insulation has been installed in the wheel arches, under the bonnet and behind the instrument panel while the windscreen is double glazed to help reduce wind noise.

Leather upholstery and well crafted trim make the interior smart and classy while the sat nav is operated from a state of the art touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard.

Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections are all part and parcel of the 40GB hard disc Nissan Connect communications and entertainment suite and the Murano is fitted with an 11 speaker Bose sound system.

It is as fashionable as it is functional inside and out. Possibly the only dated feature is the American-style foot operated parking brake to the side of the brake pedal.

The tailgate has a power closing system and luggage space ranges from 402 litres to 1,510 litres. In the luggage compartment there is also a restraint system to hold grocery bags and the like.

The diesel Murano weighs almost two tons and is some 10 per cent heavier than the V6. If anything that has improved its composure on the road, the V6 having always felt a touch on the light side to drive.

Realistically, the Murano is more of a soft-roader than a real mud plugger and its four-wheel-drive system automatically moves traction from wheel to wheel as required.

Keyless entry, LED tail lamps, alloy wheels and darkened rear windows are all standard as are twin sun roofs.

There are even reversing and kerbside cameras fitted as extra driving aids when manoeuvring.

Fully loaded is an understatement when it comes to this car.

The Murano has always been a trendy and futuristic looking SUV and perhaps the economy of diesel will give it a much needed boost in popularity.

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