Into the Garden with the Nissan Murano

I recently test drove the 2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD through Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  If you have ever toured this popular Colorado attraction then you understand that I needed to park this Arctic blue met-colored crossover as often as necessary to capture the heavenly scenes of natural rock designs that appeared around every curve.

It was the perfect day for such an exercise. At least it was at first.

From inside, the hour-long drive from Denver to Colorado Springs on a sunny, beautiful day was so smooth that we didn’t realize the power of the cold and wind outside. There was no rocking or swaying.

When we finally exited the car in Colorado Springs to start taking photos, the wind threatened to knock my passengers and me off our feet. It was so windy that I was eventually designated as the photographer while they relaxed inside and enjoyed the world view framed by the large windows and oversized power panoramic moon roof. At times, they reclined their seats back to an almost flattened state to better enjoy the view.

The “oohs” and “ahs” flowed steadily from my passengers as they got their “booties on” while dancing to the oldies’ station and enjoying the heated seats, which come standard in the front and rear.

It is quite the ride.

The Murano – featuring Nissan’s signature V-Motion front end, boomerang lights, and floating roofline – comes equipped with a standard 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and Xtronic transmission with D-step logic. It is offered in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. I just so happened to be in the AWD, with 20-inch machined aluminum-alloy wheels. The 60-40 split fold-down rear seats with power return were super easy to handle, just like the power liftgate.

If we had ventured far enough away from the Murano, the remote engine start system with intelligent climate control would have come in handy. We could have also played around more with the dual zone automatic temperature control with front and rear vents, but we were in agreement. It’s cold. Turn it up!

I truly appreciated the heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

From the highway to the Garden, I became addicted to the blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and the around view monitor with moving object detection. These safety features were invaluable as I zipped in and out of small parking spaces on the side of the crowded and curvaceous roads trying to capture an even better photo than the last one.

All in all, we had a good day lounging in the Garden.

2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD MSRP: $40,780. Combined City/Highway MPG: 24.

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