2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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 Stelvio 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 Stelvio 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 Stelvio doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 Stelvio 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.

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 Stelvio 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 Stelvio 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 Stelvio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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 rear cross-path warning.

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 Stelvio has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

The Murano’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Stelvio’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are over 6 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Alfa Romeo 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 56 points higher than the Stelvio.

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

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Murano has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Stelvio (19 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Stelvio doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Murano stops much shorter than the Stelvio:

 

Murano

Stelvio

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

127 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 Stelvio doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 1.1 inches wider in the front than on the Stelvio.

Chassis

The front grille of the Murano uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Stelvio doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 3.9 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 6.8 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Stelvio.

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

The front step up height for the Murano is 1.2 inches lower than the Stelvio (15.8” vs. 17”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 2.9 inches lower than the Stelvio’s (15.1” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Stelvio with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Stelvio with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

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

 

Murano

Stelvio

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

39.4”/72.5”

Max Width

54”

46.5”

Min Width

43”

36.7”

Height

33.7”

28”

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

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Murano. The Stelvio doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

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 Stelvio can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the Murano SL/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Stelvio’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Stelvio doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Murano owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Murano will cost $1595 to $2885 less than the Stelvio over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $4411 to $10192 less than for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn't recommended.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Alfa Romeo Stelvio by almost 8 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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