Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Murano VS 2017 Toyota Highlander Near San Antonio, TX

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2017 Nissan Murano

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VS

2017 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Emergency Braking optional in the Murano as “Superior.” The Highlander scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

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 Highlander doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Murano and the Highlander 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, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Toyota Highlander:

 

Murano

Highlander

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

37%

47%

Neck Stress

292 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

61 lbs.

73 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

226/341 lbs.

409/517 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Toyota Highlander:

 

Murano

Highlander

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

440 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

328

372

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

681 lbs.

829 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Murano’s reliability will be 14% better than the Highlander.

Engine Comparison

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 75 more horsepower (260 vs. 185) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 184) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Murano gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander:

 

 

Murano

Highlander

 

2WD

n/a

20 city/24 hwy

2.7 4 cyl./Auto

 

3.5 V6/CVT

21 city/28 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

 

n/a

20 city/27 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

4WD

3.5 V6/CVT

21 city/28 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

 

n/a

20 city/26 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

 

n/a

20 city/26 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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 Highlander are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops much shorter than the Highlander:

 

Murano

Highlander

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’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 Highlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Murano has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Highlander (111.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Highlander LE pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Murano Platinum AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Highlander LE (27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 650 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander.

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 Highlander (.33 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 Highlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Murano has .2 inches more front shoulder room and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Highlander.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Murano has a much larger cargo area than the Highlander with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 13.8 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Murano SL/Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the front windows are left down on the Murano the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Highlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the Murano SL/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Highlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Murano has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Highlander doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

The Murano has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning costs extra on the Highlander.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Highlander because it costs $18 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the Highlander, including $101 less for a water pump, $667 less for an alternator, $44 less for a starter, $13 less for fuel injection, $460 less for a fuel pump, $379 less for front struts and $795 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Murano and the Toyota Highlander, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. The Nissan Murano is ranked first in the Mid-Size Crossover Utility category. The Toyota Highlander is ranked below average. The Murano received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.”

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