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Nissan’s 2015 Murano brings concept car-styling and tech to the open road

When Nissan unveiled the Resonance concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, I hoped very much that the next-gen Murano it previewed would closely follow its design footsteps. Delightfully it has.

May I proudly present to you the 2015 Nissan Murano, a concept crossover flagship for the road.

When the Murano launched in 2003, it was one of the forerunners of the now-dominant crossover market. Back then, most non-minivan family haulers were truck-based SUVs. Now, though, car-based bubble wagons are all the rage. Accordingly, the car that started it all has to stay ahead of the design game.

Related: 2015 Nissan Murano SV review

With the 2015 Murano, Nissan designers were keen ‘elevate your experience’. To do this, they created a floating roofline with jet-inspired roof and D-pillars, which I think is simply stunning and far more premium than previous Muranos.

While the sidelines and roof might look light, the front is hard-hitting with a V-Motion front end accented by boomerang-style headlights first introduced on the 370Z.

The exterior of the 2015 Murano might be jet-inspired; the interior is anything but. Here, Nissan designers went for a ‘social lounge’ feeling. They lowered the instrument cluster and added a big, new infotainment center in the dash with 60 percent fewer buttons than before. Down to only 10 buttons from 25, the new media control panel is accessed by an eight-inch color touchscreen.

Furthering the lounge motif, Nissan’s NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats come standard for front and rear passengers.

Back out to the front fascia, if we pop the Murano’s shapely hood, we’ll find a 3.5-liter V6 as standard, which produces 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque – and achieves 20 percent better fuel economy than before. This efficient V6 is mated to the Xtronic transmission, which sends power either to the front or to all four wheels, depending how the vehicle is optioned.

Not only does drive wheel configuration vary, so does the wheel size. The 2015 Murano comes standard with 18-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloys but can be upgraded to include 20-inchers as well.

For those customers concerned with challenges of parking, the Murano works to ease parking lot tension. With four onboard cameras and three radar sensors, the 2015 Murano includes  Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, which, as Nissan puts it, “is designed to reduce the normal complexity of parallel parking by giving an all-around view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras.” For roadway safety, the cameras and radars are used to power Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), and Intelligent Cruise Control.

Pricing has yet to be announced but Nissan promises the 2015 Murano will hit showrooms in the fall of 2014.

Interested to see more unveilings from the Big Apple? Be sure to check out our 2014 New York Auto Show topics page with all of our in-depth show floor coverage.

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