2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2018 Porsche Macan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Murano are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Macan doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Murano has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Macan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano (except S/SV) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Macan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Macan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Murano’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Macan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Murano Platinum has standard NissanConnect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Macan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Murano and the Macan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Murano the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Macan has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Porsche covers the Macan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Macan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 6 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Murano’s reliability 13 points higher than the Macan.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 8 more horsepower (260 vs. 252) than the Macan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Macan Auto turbo 4 cyl. (20 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Macan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Murano has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Macan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Murano stops shorter than the Macan:

 

Murano

Macan

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Murano has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Macan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Murano has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Macan uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Nissan Murano amounts to more than styling. The Murano has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Macan (.36 to .37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Murano get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 12.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Macan (108.1 vs. 96).

The Murano has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom and 4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Macan.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Murano’s rear seats recline. The Macan’s rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Murano is 2.9 inches lower than the Macan (15.8” vs. 18.7”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 3.9 inches lower than the Macan’s (15.1” vs. 19”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Macan with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Macan with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 53 cubic feet).

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

 

Murano

Macan

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

39”/68.5”

Max Width

54”

46.7”

Min Width

43”

41”

Height

33.7”

29”

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Macan doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Murano’s liftgate can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Macan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Murano offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Macan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

If the front windows are left open on the Murano the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Macan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Murano has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Macan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Murano has standard extendable sun visors. The Macan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

The Murano is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Macan doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Murano owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Murano will cost $1705 to $5730 less than the Macan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Macan because it costs $378 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the Macan, including $12 less for a water pump, $582 less for a muffler, $187 less for front brake pads, $49 less for a starter, $5 less for fuel injection, $272 less for front struts and $253 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $7654 to $31113 less than for the Porsche Macan.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Murano and the Porsche Macan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Porsche Macan by almost four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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