With eye-catching good looks, better handling, more luxurious interior appointments and a few new technological gee-gaws, the 2009 Nissan Murano has burst into Australian showrooms.
The new model gives prospective buyers in the light-duty SUV market a few more good reasons to look Nissan's way.
Externally, it's all new. Not a single panel is shared with the outgoing Murano, and it's definitely a change for the better. There's still the same well-rounded look that's so unique to Nissan's mid-size crossover, but the edges are sharper, more defined and fairly muscular.
The wheelarches are more pronounced and the Murano's signature grille is even chromier than before, while xenon headlamps, LED tailights modernise the 2009 model's exterior. 18-inch alloys are standard across the range too.
Not only is that body easier on the eye, it's also 50 percent stiffer than the old Murano's shell. The increase in torsional rigidity is complemented by a revised rear suspension system, making the new 2009 Murano a sharper drive.
Driveline-wise, however, it's all pretty much the same as the old model. Yeah, there's now 191kW/336Nm and slightly revised gearing, but it's still Nissan's ubiquitous (and aging) VQ35 3.5-litre V6 and Xtronic CVT gearbox hiding under that freshly-laid sheetmetal.
Ageing or not though, the Murano's mechanicals will take it to triple figures in eight seconds flat and enable it to return a respectable 10.9l/100km economy figure - a 19 percent improvement over the old model. Not bad.
The interior is all-new, and with leather trim, electrically-adjustable heated front seats and a Bose sound system standard across the range, it should be a fairly pleasant place to be.
A power-operated liftgate, power folding rear seats and a reversing camera are standard on the Ti model too, which retails for $55,890 AUD. The base model ST will set you back $45,490 and doesn't miss out on too much kit either - a pretty decent price for a pretty fresh-looking car.
The 2009 Nissan Murano is available now from Nissan dealers nationwide.