Why Is the Nissan Murano in Dead Last For Midsize SUV Sales?

Sometimes, it can be surprising which vehicles most customers purchase. For some models, it’s evident that the general population will enjoy their value, features, luxuriousness, and more. However, sometimes a decent (and usually popular) model goes by the wayside without explanation. For the third quarter of 2022, the Nissan Murano is dead last for midsize SUV sales. Is there a significant reason why so many buyers of this popular class of vehicle aren’t choosing the Murano?

The Nissan Murano is dead last in midsize SUV sales

A blue 2023 Nissan Murano parked outdoors.
2023 Nissan Murano | Nissan Motor Corporation

According to GoodCarBadCar, the 2022 Nissan Murano is dead last in midsize SUV sales. The model managed just 5,578 units out the door for the third quarter. That’s good enough to put it behind every competitor on the GCBC list. This includes models like the Buick Enclave, Volkswagen Atlas, Hyundai Palisade, and Jeep Wrangler. However, the Murano isn’t just doing poorly compared to the competition. It also yielded a far worse sales performance than during the same quarter in 2021.

Considering many models were much further behind on production in 2021, it’s surprising to see any model with worse sales figures now. Moreover, Nissan sold 12,267 Muranos during the third quarter of 2021. That’s more than double the number sold during the same period in 2022. Furthermore, the best models in its class outsold it by quite a margin. For example, the Ford Explorer managed to get 53,416 sales, and Toyota dealers pushed 47,048 Highlanders out the door during Q3 of 2022.

ModelQ3 2022 sales
Ford Explorer53,416
Jeep Wrangler47,659
Toyota Highlander47,048
Ford Bronco31,545
Honda Pilot 27,517
Kia Telluride25,076
Subaru Ascent15,091
Volkswagen Atlas13,883
Buick Enclave7,903
Nissan Murano5,578

Why aren’t people buying the Nissan Murano?

A red 2023 Nissan Murano driving in a blur. It's the worst selling midsize SUV in dead last for Q3 2022.
2023 Nissan Murano | Nissan USA

Fuel economy is one of the most significant reasons for car sales numbers over the last few years. With record-high gas prices worldwide, it’s difficult to justify buying a vehicle with low mpg. As a result, we think the 2022 Nissan Murano‘s single engine availability is hurting sales numbers. Every version of the Murano uses the same 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. More importantly, with standard front-wheel drive, the midsize SUV only averages 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Although its fuel economy isn’t as bad as a truck or larger SUV with a more powerful engine, the Murano pales in comparison to many midsize SUVs. In particular, it falls short by not offering an alternative hybrid powertrain. Many buyers choose hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or even all-electric SUVs to save on fuel since prices are so high. Furthermore, we think buyers look elsewhere once they learn the Murano isn’t available in hybrid form.

For example, a similarly-sized model to the Nissan Murano is the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe. With its hybrid powertrain, the Santa Fe averages 36 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. With similar dimensions, passenger/cargo space, and even pricing, it’s no wonder Hyundai’s midsize SUV outsold the Murano with 28,234 units during Q3 of 2022.

1 expert ranked the Murano dead last

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Next, on Edmunds‘ list of best midsize SUVs, the 2022 Nissan Murano is dead last. Out of 12 models, this trusted expert thinks it’s the worst option available. More specifically, it dislikes essential SUV things about it, like “modest cargo space.” Next, even with the V6 engine, the Murano is slower than most of its rivals. In addition, it isn’t suitable for towing anything, even if it’s small. Most midsize SUV rivals can at least tow smaller trailers for fun activities. Lastly, Edmunds says the exterior design ruins visibility from inside the cabin, making driving more dangerous.

In conclusion, the 2022 Nissan Murano was the worst-selling midsize SUV of Q3 2022. The Murano is dead last for midsize SUV sales for a few reasons. Most significantly, we think high gas prices have recently hurt Murano’s sales. Many buyers are only interested in midsize SUVs with hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains, and Nissan offers neither. As a result, most people are choosing a more fuel-efficient model, like the Hyundai Santa Fe. Lastly, experts like Edmunds think the Murano is a poor choice. Primarily due to its insufficient cargo space, weak engine, poor towing capabilities, and hampered outward visibility.

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