2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Review and Test Drive

By Paul Riegler on 30 May 2011
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The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is one of the most unusual cars to visit my garage in recent years.  Built on the Murano crossover, it is the only car-based, all-wheel driver convertible crossover on the market.  Unlike most convertibles, which are sleek and low to the ground, this one is unusually tall at 66” (the new 2012 BMW 650i, which is close in length and width, is a foot shorter).

Two things are evident when climbing into a Murano CrossCabrio.  One is the 16” step-in height and the other is the extra large doors

Its proportions may be a bit unconventional and the car received more than the usual amount of stares during the week I spent driving it, but the Murano CrossCabriolet has a certain elegance about it that masks the slightly gawky proportions.  And from the cabin, it’s unlike any other car on the road.

Unusual for a convertible, there’s plenty of room in the rear as well as in the front. You could fill the car with four six-foot tall people and everyone would be fine.  With the top down, the perspective from higher-up is magnificent and possibly unparalleled.    With the top up, a unique glass panel embedded in the cloth top helps reduce cabin claustrophobia.

The Murano CrossCabriolet is equipped with voice-activated navigation, leather upholstery, heated seats, a Bose sound system with a decent iPod interface, a rear-view camera, and Xenon lights.  Our Murano came with the cashmere interior, which includes softer and more luxurious leather seats.

Given the car’s overall size, the trunk capacity (although generous for most convertibles) is somewhat disappointing.  With the top up, it holds 12 cubic feet of gear, and eight with the top down.  While this is more than almost every other convertible on the market, the Murano CrossCabriolet is a much larger car.

The CrossCabrio is best suited for boulevard driving.  Here the driver and passengers have a commanding view of the road and scenery, a feeling that might otherwise only be obtained in the Popemobile.  In day-to-day driving, I found CrossCabrio great on non-curvy highways, but once curves were introduced into the equation, it began to feel more than a bit ungainly.  Otherwise the ride was comfortable, if not downright plush at times.

The CrossCabrio comes with 230 pounds of additional weight compared to the Murano so Nissan has added in a bit more horsepower (5 hp to be exact) and torque (8 pound-feet), resulting in a 0-60 mph figure of 8.2 seconds (the Murano takes 7.9 seconds to reach the same speed).  Acceleration was adequate but clearly the car won’t set any speed records, and the CVT transmission kept the car in the right gear even when we tapped into all of the horses under the hood.

While this car screams tropical island vacation more so than most, it may also be the perfect car for those who want the open-air feeling of a convertible but are not willing to sacrifice comfort and space.  Oh, and if you’re running for office, it’s the perfect car to sit in the back seat and have someone drive you in a parade.

–Paul Riegler is Technology Editor of Executive Road Warrior.

Click here to continue to Page 2 for complete specs and three multimedia presentations on the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabrio

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