Since its introduction, the Nissan Murano has had a reputation for avant-garde styling, with the 2003 model having a surprisingly sleek shape and profile compared to the generally much boxier offerings of its competitors at the time. The second-generation model that debuted for the ’09 model year was more of an evolutionary step rather than the radical segment-shaker the original was. The one exception was the controversial CrossCabriolet, a model considered by many to be an answer to a question nobody asked. The 2015 Nissan Murano is probably the biggest styling change since the model's introduction more than 10 years ago.

Looking back at the Resonance concept, it's clear that show car was a relatively thinly disguised preview of the next Nissan Murano. The sheetmetal is not quite as aggressively creased, and it has "real" door handles, but aside from those details, the ’15 Murano brings most of the Resonance's details to the showroom. With the smaller Juke finding a surprisingly receptive audience, Nissan decided to get a little more aggressive (but not too aggressive) with the new Murano's styling. Nissan's now-signature "boomerang" lights front and rear are present on the Nissan Murano, which flank the front "V-Motion" grille, which is also a signature styling element on the recently introduced 2014 Nissan Rogue. Without a doubt, the ’15 model's front and rear styling is significantly more aggressive than its predecessor. Likewise, the sculpting of the doors and fenders is much more pronounced on the ’15, with its predecessor just having relatively subdued arches over the wheelwells.

In contrast to the chiseled exterior, the interior of the 2015 Nissan Murano is more refined, with more rounded sculpting and shapes, a larger center display screen, and a significant reduction in the number of physical button controls. The ’15 model also sees the addition of woodgrain accent trim in the cabin, in contrast to the silver-painted plastic of last year's model, giving it a more luxurious look.

One constant that has been part of the Nissan Murano since its introduction is the powertrain combination of Nissan's well-proven VQ35DE 3.5L V-6 mated to Nissan's ubiquitous CVT automatic. Output is unchanged on the 2015 model at 260 hp and 240 lb-ft, but Nissan claims fuel economy gains of as much as 20 percent thanks to powertrain calibration refinements, better aerodynamics, and a lighter overall curb weight.

We think Nissan struck the right balance between aggression and elegance with the 2015 Nissan Murano, giving it enough distinctiveness to stand out from the crowd, without being so in your face as to be off-putting to its target audience. What do you think of the 2015 Nissan Murano's styling?

2015 Nissan Murano

2014 Nissan Murano