2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2018 Tesla Model X

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 Model X 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 Model X 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 Model X doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Murano (except S/SV)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Model X doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Murano (except S) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model X only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Model X 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 Model X 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 Model X 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 Model X 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

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 Model X has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Murano’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model X’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 17 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Tesla 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 53 points higher than the Model X.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Model X isn’t in the top three in its category.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 13 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Murano’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 532 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model X’s range is only 295 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Murano has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model X doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

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 Model X doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Murano has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Murano’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Model X’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Murano has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Model X (6.9 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Murano to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1250 to 1450 pounds less than the Tesla Model X.

The Murano is 5.5 inches shorter than the Model X, making the Murano easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Murano is 6.1 inches narrower than the Model X, making the Murano easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

The Murano has .3 inches more rear legroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model X.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume than the Model X with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 26 cubic feet).

The Murano’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Model X 6-Passenger doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Model X 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 Model X doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Murano to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and tire rotation based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model X.

Ergonomics

The Murano SL/Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Model X doesn’t offer an easy entry 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 Model X 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 wiper. The Model X doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Murano’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model X doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

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 Model X doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Murano Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Model X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Murano has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Model X doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Model X because typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the Model X, including $528 less for a water pump, $19 less for front brake pads, $2 less for front struts and $226 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Murano outsold the Tesla Model X by over three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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