2019 Dodge Durango vs. 2019 Nissan Murano

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Durango and the Murano have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Dodge Durango weighs 543 to 1595 pounds more than the Nissan Murano. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Dodge Durango is safer than the Nissan Murano:

 

Durango

Murano

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

144

282

Neck Injury Risk

34%

37%

Neck Stress

251 lbs.

292 lbs.

Neck Compression

26 lbs.

61 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

24%

82%

Neck Stress

85 lbs.

199 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Dodge Durango is safer than the Nissan Murano:

 

Durango

Murano

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

28

97

Abdominal Force

112 G’s

162 G’s

Hip Force

150 lbs.

354 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

25

212

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

38 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

HIC

129

328

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

39 G’s

Hip Force

666 lbs.

681 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Durango’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Durango has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Durango optional and 220 optional). The Murano’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Durango has a standard 850-amp battery (700 V8). The Murano’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The Durango’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 33 more horsepower (293 vs. 260) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Durango Dual Exhaust’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 35 more horsepower (295 vs. 260) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Durango’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 100 more horsepower (360 vs. 260) and 150 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Dodge Durango V8 is faster than the Nissan Murano:

 

Durango

Murano

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

91.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Durango V8’s fuel efficiency. The Murano doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Durango V6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Murano doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Durango has 5.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Murano (24.6 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Durango’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Murano:

 

Durango V6

Durango V8

Murano

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

12.1 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Durango has larger tires than the Murano (265/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Durango SXT/GT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Murano’s standard 65 series tires. The Durango’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Murano SL/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

The Durango offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Murano, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Durango has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Murano’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Durango offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Murano doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Durango’s wheelbase is 8.6 inches longer than on the Murano (119.8 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

The Durango’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Murano’s (58.8% to 41.2%). This gives the Durango more stable handling and braking.

The Durango R/T 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Murano Platinum AWD (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Durango has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Murano (8.1 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Durango to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Durango offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Murano can only carry 5.

The Durango has 32.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Murano (140.3 vs. 108.1).

The Durango has 1.6 inches more front hip room and .3 inches more rear hip room than the Murano.

Cargo Capacity

The Durango’s cargo area provides more volume than the Murano.

 

Durango

Murano

Third Seat Folded

43.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

32.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

85.1 cubic feet

67 cubic feet

The Durango’s cargo area is larger than the Murano’s in almost every dimension:

 

Durango

Murano

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

20”/50”/83”

n.a./37”/74.4”

Max Width

49”

54”

Min Width

42.5”

43”

Height

36”

33.7”

Towing

The Durango’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Murano’s (6200 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan Murano is only 1500 pounds. The Durango offers up to a 7400 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Durango is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Murano. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

The Durango has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Murano doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Durango’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Murano does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Durango and the Murano have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Durango is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Murano prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Durango’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Murano S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Durango’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Durango (except SXT) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Murano doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Durango’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Murano and aren’t offered on the Murano S.

The Durango offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Murano offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Durango (except SXT) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Murano doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

The Durango will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Durango will retain 44.54% to 51.14% of its original price after five years, while the Murano only retains 41.28% to 43.8%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Durango is less expensive to operate than the Murano because typical repairs cost much less on the Durango than the Murano, including $183 less for a water pump, $90 less for a muffler, $16 less for a starter, $186 less for fuel injection, $82 less for a fuel pump and $329 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Durango second among midsize SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Murano isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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