Nissan Murano
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Nissan’s somewhat sporty tall wagon gets the all-new treatment; dramatic styling combines with a roomy interior and the latest tech.

Last year’s 3.5-liter V6 and continuously variable transmission return; available front- and all-wheel-drive.

Nissan kicked one through the uprights when it launched the original Murano more than a decade ago. Now for 2015 the automaker introduces an entirely new design that falls more in line with its other wagons, including the five-passenger Rogue and seven-place Pathfinder. However to differentiate the Murano, Nissan has dialed in way more style, including a lower roofline, a more aerodynamic front end and what at first glance appears to be winglets protruding up into the side glass behind the rear door that seem partially encased by the wraparound taillights. As with the original, this equally strikingly Murano is bound to capture plenty of attention. The interior changes aren’t quite so dramatic, but the seat fabrics and trim appear richer and the front chairs themselves are better bolstered (Nissan refers to them as “NASA-inspired zero-gravity seats”). There is also a bit more stowage room in back with the rear seats up or folded flat. As radical as the Murano’s makeover is, there’s really not much new to report under the hood. Back again is a 260-horsepower V6 that’s connected to a continuously variable transmission, a unit that more closely mimics the actions of a traditional automatic. As before, both front- and all-wheel-drive models are available for the four trims. Base models come with climate and cruise control, six-speaker audio systems and assorted power accessories. Moving up the price pyramid adds fog lights, power telescopic steering wheel, leather seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, four-way power passenger seat and a split-folding 60/40 rear seat. Loaded versions feature power liftgates, heated front seats and outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, 20-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard), premium 11-speaker sound systems, seven-inch information display/rear-view monitor and dual-panel moonroofs with second-row fixed skylights. Available, depending on trim level, are latest “Safety Shield” technologies, including blind-spot and lane-departure warnings and “moving-object detection” that, using the various cameras hidden around the car’s body, highlights people, pets or objects moving while the driver is attempting to park.