To some people, the thought of owning a midsize family SUV is about as terrifying as the thought of their local coffee place forgetting the recipe for their morning half-fat Venti chilled mocha latte thereby forcing them to see that their whole life, wardrobe, home and even the family dog is dull shade of beige. There is nothing wrong with beige as it feels comfortable and home-like when presented properly but that could also be said of Tapioca pudding. So are we saying here that the 2012 Nissan Murano LE Platinum Edition we road tested for a week was as exciting as Tapioca pudding? Perhaps.
One a more serious note, our test Murano not only blended easily into South Orange County and its miles of look-a-like subdivisions thanks to a very subtle “Tinted Bronze” (read: Gold) paint job and the most endlessly beige interior we have ever experienced. Usually carmakers try to use contrasting interior trim, some wood or chrome to keep their vehicle interiors from looking like the inside of a real estate agent’s corner office but apparently Nissan felt that its SUV should shout from the rooftops that it totally and utterly lacks a soul.
You see, despite the fact that this Murano has a 3.5 liter 260 horsepower/240 lb. feet of torque V6 that in a different form once powered the mighty Z sport coupe, when you drive this SUV you will never get any untoward tingling sensations from the unmentionable regions of your body. In other words, the Nissan Murano is pretty boring to drive and with that engine it shouldn’t be lacking in that sort of appeal.
No, the 2012 Nissan Murano was not let down by poor packaging or any handling defects but rather we blame the characterless nature of this SUV on the CVT automatic transmission that is used by this automaker in everything from the Altima to Cube to Juke to Maxima. We have had better experiences in the past with this moan happy self-shifter that essentially damned this SUV to oversized Rogue status in our eyes but unfortunately for the Murano this review is going to be a bumpy ride.