While the 2011 Nissan Murano is technically still in its second generation, Nissan's given it a mid-cycle refresh, complete with the addition of an SV trim and an updated exterior and interior.

Gracing the 2011 Nissan Murano's exterior is an altered front end that has already debuted in other parts of the world and is finally making its way to the U.S. Nissan is going for what it calls a "modern art" feel and look. The front fascia features a new grille, more pronounced lines on the lower bumper cover, and redesigned foglight housings. The Murano's signature chromed vertical grille bars are reduced in number and the net effect is a more defined nose that might earn a second look from the local valet.

More upscale-looking taillights mark the most significant difference at the rear. More triangular than in the past, the premium LED design closes the appearance gap to the Murano's kin that wear Infiniti badges. Further changes are humble but don't go completely unnoticed: The rear glass has a new shape, and a roof spoiler promotes the stylish soft-roader's sporty theme. The back is aided in overall looks by a helping of chrome on the dual exhaust outlets and Graphite Blue, as pictured, is a classy addition to the color palette.

Furnishing a pleasant and comfortable interior is essential to earning the customer's good graces (and return business), and Nissan approaches this important area with fresh center stack colors and more amenities. The gauge cluster incorporates white rings and lighting rather than the red of old, while optional aluminum and wood accents give the Murano's interior a cleaner presentation. An available dual-panel, power-sliding glass moonroof with a second-row skylight allows natural lighting to enter the cabin, and the confines also can be fitted with a 60/40 flat-folding and heated rear seats.