2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet new car reviews

For those who want/need a convertible SUV, the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
Not one, but two rear windows.

Better than: Datsun F10 convertible
But not as good as: Nissan 370Z convertible
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 44.39

Someone at Nissan decided to build a convertible SUV.

Other staff views

J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

Oh, how I would have loved to have been privy to the meetings that led to the existence of this vehicle. Really, there's only one logical answer. Some dude at Nissan has a hot, 22-year-old girlfriend that lets him do all the freaky stuff and she thought it would be totally rad to have a convertible Murano. When he told her that wasn't a thing that should be, she stuck out her bottom lip and said "But I WANT it!" Done. You really gonna say no to that?

But the Murano convertible isn't all stupid. It actually has killer rearward visibility thanks to the lack of B Pillars and awesome side mirrors. Also, it's surprisingly stiff and rattle free for such a large vehicle with such a large chunk of itself missing, and Nissan continues to have some of the best interfaces for their Nav-u-tainment systems of any car company. Plus, hunters will love the combination of all-whel-drive and a convertible top, meaning they can drive out to the woods and shoot hogs without ever leaving the supple, leather-clad confines of the Murano's interior.

Moments after my wife and I picked the car up from the press fleet in Deerfield Beach, FL (right in the heart of the Palm Beaches just north of Miami), we were stopped by an older couple straight out of South Florida central casting asking us about it. After we were done chatting with them, we had to put on some Ramones really loud to make ourselves feel clean again, but at least it showed us that apparently there is a market for this car... um, truck... um, vehicle.

It also clearly took a huge pair to actually build it, but it's kind of like watching a video of a guy who can kick himself in his own face on YouTube. You're impressed with the level of commitment, but choose not to engage yourself.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin

This big Nissan makes me feel like the dog in the old RCA ads. You know, the one where the pooch has his head cocked to the side because he's not quite sure what he is looking at? I can't really imagine anyone encountering this nearly $50K machine and thinking......."yeah, that's perfect".

To be fair, the Murano CrossCabriolet has one of the nicest interiors I've experienced in a Nissan or Infiniti. The materials are mostly high-grade, the stereo rocks, and it is easy to get comfortable in the big, cushy seats. Unfortunately that completes the positive part of this review, because the rest of the car is a really unfunny joke.

In a day where every new car boasts about its amazing structural rigidity, this Nissan is a wet noodle. The Murano isn't just loose for a new car, it seems to have less solidity than a Triumph TR6! Seriously, shut the door on this Nissan and the entire structure is sent into a spastic dance of loose panels and shaking glass. Things only get worse once underway, as the Murano shudders and shakes over even the smoothest pavement. Driving over washboard surfaces throws the Murano's structure into a seizure-inducing Dub Step dance. It's comical as long as you don't own it.

The engine is strong and nicely suited to this application, but the CVT ruins any enjoyment that the responsive mill may have had in mind. Step-off is muted and slow, and it isn't until the engine reaches higher revs that any real acceleration occurs. I thought the whole point of a CVT was to keep the engine in its optimal operating range. Not so with this Nissan.

Perhaps I don't understand the Murano CrossCabriolet because it wasn't aimed at car guys like me. Perhaps the folks that buy one will enjoy the looks, interior, and the uniqueness that this thing offers. They may be able to look past the lousy ride, tiny trunk, and horribly shaky structure.

For me, this car seems to have been the inspiration for the abbreviation: WTF.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

I can't really add anything productive to this. I'm all for convertibles, but in this case it's kind of like having a combat boot that's designed for track and field events. Um, why not just wear sneakers?

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