At a time when most manufacturers tried to disguise their early crossovers to look like conventional sport-utility vehicles, Nissan took a decidedly different direction, when it launched the original Murano, a halo vehicle for the makers expanding range of crossovers and CUVs.
Where to go next? The little Nissan Juke crossover that debuted at the recent Geneva Motor Show suggests that the Japanese maker isn’t backing away from its commitment to edgy styling. Far from it. We actually got a hint of what’s coming in early 2013, when Nissan rolled out the radical Resonance design concept.
Now it’s ready to show us the real deal, the 2015 Nissan Murano slated to debut at the New York Auto Show next month.
We’ve gotten a couple teaser images of the new car that provide another hint of what’s coming, Nissan promising that the 2015 Murano “features a spacious, premium interior and advanced, purposeful safety and connective technology.”
There’ll be a number of significant changes when the 2015 Nissan Murano rolls into showrooms, not all of them immediately apparent. The next-gen crossover will, for one thing, share the same underlying “architecture” as the maker’s Altima and Pathfinder models, as well as the upcoming Maxima replacement. That would suggest some welcome improvements in driving characteristics and, perhaps fuel economy, as well, considering the 100s of pounds shaved off the weight of the Pathfinder introduced last year.
(Nissan takes the new Juke to extremes. Click Hereto check it out.)
What we’re not expecting, however, is a seven-passenger version. Nissan officials have said they’ll stick with the same, two-row layout as with the outgoing Murano. For those who want more, it seems, they’ll need to consider the Nissan Rogue.
You also won’t be able to get a convertible version of the new Murano, no surprise considering the appalling slow sales of the quirky Murano CrossCabriolet model.
(Nissan’s Infiniti brand muscles up with Q50 Eau Rouge Concept 2.0. Click Herefor more.)
Among powertrain options, word has it that Nissan will be expanding its hybrid line-up to include a version of the new 2015 Murano, the CUV getting a package that pairs a supercharged 2.5-liter inline-four with a 22-horsepower motor drive drawing power from a lithium-ion battery pack.
The more conventional powertrain is expected to be a 3.5-liter V-6 paired with Nissan’s familiar CVT gearbox.
The official debut of the 2015 Nissan Murano is scheduled for April 16th, though we hope to learn more before then.