An all-new Nissan Murano debuted for the 2009 model year and it carries into 2010 unchanged. This second-generation Murano is several steps more radically styled than the original. There are many more curves in the body sheetmetal, a much bigger, shinier grille with a less-busy air intake under it, very large, bold, seven-element headlamps, and a completely new rear-end design, more horizontal than vertical, with dual exhaust ports under the bumper.
Most Muranos come with 18-inch wheels, with 20-inch wheels standard on the top LE model. But once you get beyond the grille and the headlamps, the only chrome on the curvy body shell is the door handles. This design strategy lets the body and the paint do all the talking. The new body is almost two points better in aerodynamic performance than the previous version, improved from a Cd of 0.39 to 0.37. The more slippery design should mean better highway mileage and less wind noise.
Meanwhile, the flexible, stretchable platform underneath the Murano has been reinforced from front to rear, and fitted with several additional bumper beams and crossmembers, for the heavier duty cycles a crossover sport ute encounters. It's roughly 150 percent stiffer than the previous version. This is meaningful not only in terms of crash safety and survival, but also in terms of long-term durability and reliability for those buyers who aren't going to be back in the market for six or eight years. Things like doors and hoods and hinges will stay where they are put because the frame is strong to start with.
Changes for 2010 are relatively minor. The LE is now available with front-drive only as well as all-wheel-drive, and standard equipment has been added at all trim levels.
Murano is named after two different luxury items from two very different parts of the world, Murano art glass from Italy and Murano pearls from Japan, which is a good thing, considering it's sold in more than 130 countries.