The latest Nissan Murano iteration hit the road some five years ago, entering its third generation as a well-established player in the crossover utility vehicle scene.
Murano has long been Nissan’s take on a premium crossover experience, and one defined by unique looks, an upscale cabin, and top levels of tech and refinement.
This two-row crossover featured numerous advanced safety features, the latest connectivity technology, and no shortage of premium equipment, including a BOSE stereo system, navigation system, climate-controlled leather seating, and more.
A 3.5-litre, 260-horsepower V6 was standard, as was Nissan’s XTronic CVT transmission. Most units (though not all) had AWD. Just remember that some front-drive Murano models were sold. Double check the model you’re considering if you’re interested in AWD.
Here are some pre-purchase tips and checks to help guide shoppers to a top-notch used Murano from this generation.
The CVT transmission in the Murano, like the transmission in any vehicle, has maintenance requirements for fluid changes, checks, and inspections that need to be completed regularly.
Issues with the transmission caused by failure of current or past owners to maintain it properly are not covered by warranty. Be sure the Murano you’re considering is up to date on all transmission servicing before you buy, for maximum confidence.
Check the maintenance schedule against service records to be double-sure. Especially on higher-mileage units, you’ll want to be sure that all past fluid changes have been completed on time, not stretched or skipped, and ideally in a Nissan dealership setting, not at a private lube shop.
This vintage of Murano was subjected to at least five recalls, which are issued to correct some latent safety defect. Dealers perform recall work free of charge, though an appointment is advised, as parts may need to be ordered ahead of time. With the VIN number of the Murano you’re considering in hand, a dealer service advisor can quickly determine which (if any) recalls are outstanding on the Murano you’re considering. Arrange to have any outstanding recalls completed as soon as possible.
Check the remotes
A weak or dying battery in the Murano’s smart remote(s) may cause difficulty in locking and unlocking the vehicle doors, or starting the engine with the push-button ignition. Some owners say the battery life on these remotes is fairly poor, so replace the battery with a high-quality unit at the first sign of issue. If that doesn’t fix the problem(s), a dealer may have to reprogram the remotes.
On your test drive, be sure to try all of Murano’s power windows, the sunroof, and the motorized tailgate, confirming proper operation several times.
If any of the above fail to work as expected, or exhibit signs of binding, straining, or a sudden and unexpected reversal in direction, you’ll want to have a dealer technician make an assessment before you buy.
Note that sometimes, a simple reset of the offending part’s computer controller is all that’s required to fix issues like these.
Be sure to check the area around the sunroof, too. Visible bubbling or rust around the exterior sunroof opening, or signs of current or past wetness around the ceiling liner near the sunroof, can be signs of trouble relating to a drainage system that’s not moving water away from the sunroof’s built-in gutter quickly enough. Keep all sunroof drain tubes clear and clean with an annual cleaning. Your owner’s manual has the scoop.
If the Murano you’re driving exhibits a low-pitched roaring, groaning or scraping sound at moderate to high speed (around 55-90 km/h), the likely culprit is a bad wheel bearing.
A small number of owners have reported less-than-stellar life from Murano’s wheel bearings, which will need to be replaced at the first sign of trouble for maximum safety.
This is a rare problem, but one worth being aware of. If the Murano you’re considering is still covered by warranty, this should be a free fix. Note that allowing a wheel bearing to continue wearing and fail can cause a dangerous accident.
The information presented above is gathered from online owner discussion groups and collaboration with a network of automotive repair professionals.
The above information is not a comprehensive list of all possible issues with the vehicle in question and is instead intended to draw shopper attention to possible trouble spots they may wish to investigate before they buy. In most cases, problems listed above are reported with relative rarity in comparison to total sales volume. Shoppers are advised to have a dealer- performed pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle they’re considering for maximum peace of mind.