Review: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Posted on 07. Mar, 2011 by in Auto News

Given TTAC reputation for lack of restraint when it comes to criticism, I was surprised more than a little to see an invitation to the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet start in San Diego, California. Especially since our first reaction to images of the world's first soft-top CUV was

If you've ever been to a topless beach, you know, the basic problem: they expect a series of topless Jags and Maseratis, but what you actually get, this is the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. Four thousand pounds Pummel crossover blessed with the totally false belief that people want to see it with his round. We will keep a corner of our eye as the LA Auto Show starts … but we will definitely avoid eye contact.

On the other hand, strong first reactions are exactly what this vehicle. And like last controversial Nissan design, the Juke, the Murano CrossCabriolet is not judged simply based on two-dimensional images. Moreover, even if Nissan designer to recognize that the Murano CC is "the answer to a question no one asked:" It must be some kind of logic, but to this unexpected arrival will be. So, with an open mind, I had to start in the strangest, unique vehicle in time, hoping to make some sort of sense of something that on its surface has no business even existing.

Parked in front of a hideously expensive beach hotel in tony Del Mar, the Murano CC makes his first bid in mind. The sheer embarrassment of design two-dimensional impression is disappearing much in the look-at-me automotive arms race that is Southern California. In an environment where meetings are more common (known ironically as "Newport Nissan" for its sheer ubiquity in these parts) as the base-level Benzes, is the logic of a 4416-lb convertible that looks like nothing else on the road just a little more accessible. In fact, Nissan's view every $ 46k vehicle that get even a little attention from a SoCal valet parking attendant is a downright value proposition. If it takes a concerted Bentley to keep your eyes on the CC (see above) to draw, well, Nissan achieved something.

But the park service test is known to distort the novelty, it is only because the CC grabs eyeballs like Lady Godiva not now means there is a successful design. This leads to a problem: How do you define success Designs for convertible crossover? Simply put, there is no precedent for what we're watching. Yes, it's incredibly clunky for a two-door drop-top, but it is also remarkably clean for a topless conversion. The lack of a roll-bar/cross-brace keeps the design blissfully free of typical "convertible conversion" cues, and the belt line of the cut slope toward C-pillar holds the visual mass media to the rear so that a cozy, almost linearly over wrinkles roof. Although the proportions are out-of-this-world, there are actually some real elegance of the CC clean lines and graceful above: think of him 'as an overgrown version of a little French C-segment convertible with moon buggy relative, and you re to get the picture. In fact, the least successful aspect of the design of the Murano front clip, which is one of the few items that actually transfers from the fixed-top CUV.

If you find out that only through the front bracket and instrument panel via the standard Murano, another apparent hole in the CC logic appears: why is this not what Infiniti one? Nissan says that the goal is not just this car, sell a large number of convertible bonds: it is actually intended as a halo for the Murano line. The Murano CC had been, say, an Infiniti FX50 CC, it would have been polarized bring eyeballs towards a vehicle line that sells in fairly limited quantities. Instead, Nissan suggests that the CC is in addition to the standard Murano in hopes of extending the popularity of a line that Nissan already considered a hit markets.

But because Nissan wanted to avoid a quick-and-dirty conversion, the CC has worked-over enough to give it an almost Infiniti been feeling. As the exterior design is the only thing from this feeling like an Infiniti one element due to the Murano, the IP (sticklers will find an awkward C-pillar seam inside photos of this pre-production soft-tops). Otherwise, new front seats are equipped to give more visibility from the back seat, and the interior has been worked on considerably.

The only major option for the CC a $ 500 leather interior with steam is the cabin with quilted leather in a casual curved pattern is completed remember a luxury yacht. Looking at a trim-level strategy optional $ 125k + annual income target group for the CC and the fact that this option works so well with the car hedonistic atmosphere, it is difficult to understand why Nissan made the effort it .

But the best thing about the CC is located inside the spacious back seat. At around $ 46k, the Murano CC approximately compete on price with the BMW 3 Series Convertible and Audi A5 'vert, but none of its German rivals a 6-foot 3-inch gentleman (as AutoPacific Dave Sullivan) in the FIT back seat with a good head and legroom. In fact, only offers the Mercedes E-Class comparable comfort for four to driving, turn the Murano CC somewhat surprising value.

Of course, there are drawbacks: the entry and exit can be a bit of a squeeze, and that's just from when you swing open the CC, the giant door (which weighs about the same as a Versa) and snap the front shoulder his leather belt Administration (why no front seat-integrated safety belts on these unique places seats?). And as each drop-top rear seat, things were a little windy over there preferably clean at speed, especially since Nissan keep the CC lines as adding no wind mitigation screens or harassment. Fortunately, the rising waistline is rear passengers keeps close heads, and the fresh air is not unpleasant buffeting (although the rear straps to the seats at the speed of dough).

And while the rear seats offer crossover as comfort for four people, loses a lot of Murano carrying its cargo of the program along with its tip. Golf clubs for the quartet fit back there, but overnight equipment for four is a bit of a squeeze to be. More luggage fits into the top up, but you have to re-position bar in the trunk, and then back again, if you want the top down again. Although it sounds uncomfortable, this is not a huge hassle, because you do not raise or lower the top of the CC on the road anyway.

So, how to drive it? Well, for a surprising amount of sense, the Murano CC makes a value-poseur mobile, Murano Halo or four-up convertible, on the road the CC falls under the weight of many contradictions. The 265 hp version of the ubiquitous V6 Nissan is working hard to motivate the nearly-4 ,500-lb CC, ask some of the markedly un-luxurious areas of the rev band with frequency. The continuously variable transmission helps smooth out what is. An otherwise unworthy drivetrain (it is particularly intuitive at low speeds), but there is no sense of effortless pace and power reserves

Likewise restrict unnecessarily high ride rel and soft suspension, the CC for relaxed cruising for passengers to become whole luxury yacht-inspired interior seasick. Fortunately, the damping is strong enough to support the enormous weight and soft feathers to keep from disturbing the ride smoother driving style, but the overall driving impression from both the chassis and powertrain is the great weight of the vehicle. Add the weight problems, the fact that the CC has to look down on the traffic, and at the CC to a really bizarre experience, similar to driving. A cross between a boat and a double-decker bus

In his fictional piece "The CAFE Continuum," Jack Baruth a world that had not been adopted in the CAFE and where the Americans rolled around yet set in large, comfortable sedans rather than "light truck" crossover. In this world, the Murano CC would not exist, so large, softly sprung convertible sedan would be able to accommodate four adults with the top down. But in this, the real World, there are great American convertibles not easy. Instead, we get the Murano CC, cruises competent, grabs stares, and generally behaves well with the end-of-life, the beach community lifestyle. But, like a Nissan rep helpful pointed out that brings the crossover Murano CC simply by limousine ride of sedan, coupe to convertible. Perhaps by crossovers in the last phase of evolution will bring Nissan actually help the crossover era to an end. It is certainly hard to see where they go from here.

Nissan provided transport, accommodation and meals, as well as the vehicles for the day-and-a-half-long test event.