Words and photos by Jose Carlo R. Sapera
The first generation Nissan Murano arrived in the Philippines way back in 2006 via grey market importers. Powered by a 350Z-derived 3.5L V6, we thought of it as Nissan's very own sporty and classy crossover SUV -- it surely looked the part. Soon after, Nissan Motors Philippines Inc. (NMPI) got wind of this mighty SUV and began bringing it in themselves. But when it came to its successor, the Murano Z51, the local distribution switched over to Universal Motors Philippines (UMC), Nissan's local distributor of Light Commercial Vehicles. Technically, that shouldn't really change the buying and ownership experience, but we just wanted to get the word out. Now that we got that bit out of the way, we can start talking about the details.
This all-new 2011 Murano is based on Nissan's D-platform which it shares with the Teana. It has somewhat lost the old Murano's boy-racer appeal and now looks a lot more grown-up and sophisticated. Still, its unique futuristic styling makes it stand out from any crowd. So, does it still hold to its promise of being a classy crossover like before?