Nissan Shifts Murano Production to Mississippi

Among sport utility vehicles, the Nissan Murano offers a thoroughly unique look featuring a more rounded body than the chiseled features its competitors offer. This midsize crossover SUV has carved out for itself a niche and beginning in 2014 production will shift from Japan to a Nissan manufacturing plant in Mississippi.

Nissan Models

The Canton, Mississippi plant has been fully operational for 10 years and currently produces a number of models including the midsize Altima sedan, the burly Armada SUV, the Xterra SUV, the small Frontier pickup truck, and Nissan’s line of passenger and commercial vans. Once production of the Murano begins, Nissan will have achieved an 85 percent North American build capacity, with the remaining vehicles imported from Japan.

The Nissan Murano is sold in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. Eight models are available ranging in price from the Murano S FWD at $30,340 to the Murano LE AWD at $41,130. New for 2013 is its value package, adding a nine-speaker Bose audi system as an option to SV models. Two new exterior colors, an auto-dimming rear mirror and HomeLink are also included.

Engine and Transmission

As before, the 2013 Nissan Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Its 24-valve engine make 260 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 240 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. Nissan makes use of a variable induction system and direct injection to deliver maximum performance while ensuring top fuel efficiency. Indeed, Murano is rated as high as 18 mpg around town and 24 mpg on the highway, good numbers for a two-ton vehicle.

The Nissan Murano sits on a 111.2-inch wheelbase and is 189.9 inches long by 74 inches wide by 67 inches tall. This vehicle offers 29.6 cubic feet of cargo storage capacity behind the second row seat.

Interior Room

Head room measures 38.3 inches up front and 38.1 inches in the back. Leg room comes in at 43.6 inches up front and 36.3 inches in the back. Hip room is 54.8 inches up front and 55.4 inches in the back. Shoulder room measures 59.6 inches in the front seat and 58.7 inches in the back seat.

Nissan loads the Murano with numerous safety features including hood buckling creases, front and rear crumple zones and an energy absorbing steering column. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, Murano scored “good” in most tests and received a “marginal” grade for roof strength. The IIHS is backed by the nation’s major auto insurance companies.

Safety Features

Every Murano comes equipped with a suite of airbags and Murano CC models offer enhanced door mounted side impact and rollover airbags. That model also comes equipped with a pair of pop-up roll bars. Stability control traction control, active head restraints and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard.

For Nissan, moving Murano production from Japan to the United States enables this automaker to build its crossover SUV for less. A strong yen has made building and shipping vehicles from abroad a costly proposition, something the Mississippi manufacturing plant will help Nissan resolve beginning in 2014.