2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Audi Q8

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 Q8 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 Q8 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 Q8 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 Q8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Murano and the Q8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Q8 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q8. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q8 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Murano has a standard 550-amp battery. The Q8’s 380-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Q8 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q8 requires premium for maximum efficiency, 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 Q8 doesn’t offer a CVT.

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 Q8 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Murano’s turning circle is 4.8 feet tighter than the Q8’s (38.7 feet vs. 43.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Murano has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Q8 (6.9 vs. 5.8 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 850 to 1200 pounds less than the Audi Q8.

The Murano is 3.5 inches shorter than the Q8, making the Murano easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Q8 (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Murano get better fuel mileage.

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 Q8 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q8.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume than the Q8 with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 28.6 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Q8 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics

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 Q8 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Model Availability

The Murano is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q8 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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

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

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