The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
To help make backing safer, the Murano SL/Platinum’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Murano SL/Platinum’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The QX30 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Compared to metal, the Murano’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Infiniti QX30 has a metal gas tank.
Both the Murano and the QX30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Murano the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 113 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The QX30 has not been tested, yet.
There are over 5 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Murano has a standard 150-amp alternator. The QX30’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The QX30 isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 12th.
The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (260 vs. 208) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The QX30 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Murano has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Murano has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 14.8 gallons).
The Murano’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the QX30 are solid, not vented.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The QX30’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The Murano has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The QX30 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the QX30 (111.2 inches vs. 106.3 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the QX30.
The design of the Nissan Murano amounts to more than styling. The Murano has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the QX30 (.31 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Murano get better fuel mileage.
The front grille of the Murano uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The QX30 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Murano has 19.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (108.1 vs. 88.9).
The Murano has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front hip room, 4.7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom, 5.2 inches more rear legroom, 6.2 inches more rear hip room and 5.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Murano’s rear seats recline. The QX30’s rear seats don’t recline.
The front step up height for the Murano is .6 inches lower than the QX30 (15.8” vs. 16.4”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 2.1 inches lower than the QX30’s (15.1” vs. 17.2”).
The Murano has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the QX30 (32.1 vs. 19.2 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The QX30 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Murano’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The QX30’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Murano SL/Platinum has a standard power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The QX30 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.
The Murano offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Murano has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the QX30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Murano has standard extendable sun visors. The QX30 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the Murano and the QX30 offer available heated front seats. The Murano Platinum also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the QX30.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Murano Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The QX30 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Murano Platinum’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Murano is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The QX30 is not ranked.