Crossover & Midsize

The Murano Is a Rare Bright Spot for Nissan

The Nissan Murano is the brand’s flagship midsize SUV that has had moments of struggle in the past. Not the most popular but also not the worst-selling of the lineup, the Murano was on a downward spiral. But a new model year and recent sales numbers are about to prove that Nissan is coming for the midsize SUV segment crown.

How sales numbers reflect a better-designed Nissan Murano

The Nissan Murano has had a tumultuous history as seen by its sales numbers over the years. Some years, it seems buyers love the Murano, and other years, the Murano fails to reach people. According to GoodCarBadCar, the Nissan Murano’s first full year of sales, 2005, started off well with nearly 75,000 sales. 

For the first four years after its debut, sales remained steady. But in 2009, sales numbers fell off drastically to nearly 50,000 units sold for the year. It wouldn’t be until 2015 that Nissan would see Murano sales jump; coincidentally, that was the same year the model’s third generation was introduced. 

By 2018, sales were up to 83,547 for the year, but Nissan held its breath in 2019 again when sales dipped dramatically to 68,361 by the end of the year. The new Nissan Murano is the brand’s chance at better sales for the 2020 year, and it seems that there must be something great about the newest model.

First-quarter sales numbers for the 2020 year are in, and GoodCarBadCar found that the 15,683 Murano sales indicate a massive 33.7 percent increase over the same quarter last year. In the automotive industry, this nearly 40 percent improvement is astronomical, and it could definitely indicate a very successful year ahead for the Murano.

Is the Murano set to take center stage in Nissan’s lineup?

After looking at the sales of Nissan’s entire lineup, the Murano seems to deserve a spotlight. According to Nissan’s sales numbers, most of its SUV/truck sales experienced significant decreases in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019. Top-sellers like the Rogue and Titan, for example, experienced a 36 percent and 40 percent drop in sales quarter over quarter, respectively.

Even though the Murano’s sales numbers are small when compared to popular vehicles like the Rogue, which sold more than 350,000 units in 2019 alone, its improvement is proof that Nissan is newly focused on the midsize Murano.

Although the Nissan Murano is certainly off to a good year, it’s still hard to consider it a contender within the midsize SUV segment. The improved Murano will have to continue to improve in order to match rivals’ sales numbers like Chevrolet Traverse that sold 30,000 units in the first quarter of this year and the Jeep Grand Cherokee that sold more than 50,000 units.

Why the improved 2020 Nissan Murano is getting buyers

Although it’s clear the Nissan Murano isn’t a best-seller in its segment, it is still proving worth a look from potential buyers. Consumer Reports experts rate the 2020 Nissan Murano as the 10th best model (out of a total of 23) in the midsize SUV segment, with ratings that are cool, but still improved.

It earns a decent overall score by Consumer Reports of 75 (out of 100), scoring slightly higher on its road test where it earned a 77. Nissan’s reputation for reliability earns the Murano a good predicted reliability score of four (out of five).

Consumer Reports experts found the new Murano’s handling and the cargo area in need of improvement, but almost all other categories received a rating of at least four out of five. Areas that the experts loved the most, and rated a perfect five, include the Nissan Murano’s transmission performance, front access, and climate system. Other categories like interior fit and finish, usability, front/rear-seat comfort, ride comfort, and braking all earned good ratings of four.