The Toyota Venza and the Nissan Murano are shocking similar midsize crossovers. Their base prices are within $680 of each other. They are both five-seat crossovers that offer all-wheel-drive. Both have curvy styling, and interiors that are comfortable, and offer a host of modern safety systems and driver aids. Both have a compact footprint within six inches of each other, and plenty of cargo space. Most of their interior dimensions are within an inch of each other. Even their overall ratings from Consumer Reports are almost identical. But which is the best SUV?
The Venza starts at $32,890, and the Murano starts at $33,210. But which one will fit your needs?
The 2022 Nissan Murano holds more stuff
The Good: The Nissan Murano is a looker. The Murano has modern headlights that come to a point, and really give the front end an aggressive look with bulging front fenders. The rear is also properly aggressive. The Murano also offers a powerful V6, and an interior that is very nice. It is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. The Murano also has a large cargo area, and can hold 67-cubic-feet of stuff with the rear seats folded.
The Bad: It’s getting a bit old. The current generation of the Murano, the third, was launched in 2014, and is starting to show its age. Also, reviewers have criticized its CVT transmission that saps the power from the V6. CVTs, or constant-velocity transmissions, try to keep a car in its power band, but often sap the fun out of driving and make the engine drone. Even with the CVY, the Murano only gets 23 mpg combined. The Murano also has low tow rating of just 1,500 pounds.
The Venza sips fuel
The good: The Venza was re-launched in the U.S. as a 2021 model. It comes standard as an all-wheel-drive model mated to a hybrid that gets an estimated 39 mpg. The Venza uses Toyota’s unique all-wheel-drive system that uses an electric motor to power the rear wheels. The Venza also has a variety of options that, while expensive, can dress it up.
The bad: The Venza is a bit smaller and that really makes a difference in cargo capability. While the Murano can hold up to 67 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats folded, the Venza holds just 55.1. Comparatively, the Venza is also underpowered. Though the hybrid powertrain is fuel efficient, it’s quite a bit slower 0-60.
The Venza earns a five of five predicted reliability score from Consumer Reports, and an overall rating of 83.
Which is better, Venza or Murano?
It comes down to what you need most. Since their styling, capability, and prices are so similar, it comes down to the other stuff. The Nissan is getting older, while the Toyota was all-new in 2021. But, the Nissan is larger, and can hold an extra suitcase or two over the Venza.
If you like hypermiling, the Venza is for you. It’s combined 39 mpg rating means that it takes just 2.5 gallons of gas to go 100 miles, while the Murano takes 4.3 gallons to go the same distance.
When it comes to options, the Venza offers one cool thing the Murano doesn’t, an electrochromic panoramic sunroof, which can darken with the touch of a button. The Murano has a moonroof. While the Murano is only rated at 1,500 pounds for towing, the Venza isn’t rated for towing at all.
While the Toyota is a bit more expensive, it will save you quite a bit on gas with its 39 mpg combined rating. But, the Toyota Venza comes standard with all-wheel-drive, which is a $1,550 option on the Nissan Murano. For picking the best SUV, it simply depends on what you need.