Typically, when an automaker so much as adds a new style of wiper blade on one of its cars, there is a massive press release, press events, and all sorts of claims that this “all-new” car is the best ever. Oddly enough, Nissan rolled out a new hybrid version of its Murano crossover without a peep.
Despite its whisper-quiet release, the Murano Hybrid is here and under its hood, it is essentially a resurrected Pathfinder Hybrid. It features the same 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder powerplant as its discontinued, three-row sibling and an electric motor that chimes in with 20 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. Combined, this powertrain produces 10 horsepower less than the base Murano, putting it at a respectable 249 ponies.
Where the Murano Hybrid shines is fuel economy, as it is rated at 28 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with front-wheel drive, or 26 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. With the 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the Murano gets 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with either front- or all-wheel drive.
The downside to the Murano Hybrid is that it only comes in the crossover’s two highest trim levels, making it quite pricey. The Murano Hybrid SL starts from $40,050 and the Platinum trim starts at $42,100—premiums of $3,000 over the non-hybrid models. Buyers who prefer all-wheel drive will need to shell out an extra $1,600.
Another not-so-hot thing about the Murano Hybrid is that it is very limited here in the U.S., as Car & Driver reports that Nissan will only offer about 600 examples for sale here.
Stay tuned for updates.