2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 BMW X3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Murano are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 X3 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 X3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Murano and the X3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW 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 33 points higher than the X3.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The X3 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 12 more horsepower (260 vs. 248) than the X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Murano has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Murano has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the X3 M40i’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 17.7 gallons).

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 X3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Murano stops much shorter than the X3:

 

Murano

X3

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the X3 (235/65R18 vs. 225/60R18).

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 X3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the X3 xDrive30i pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Murano’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the X3 xDrive30i’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.4 feet). The Murano’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the X3 M40i’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 200 pounds less than the BMW X3.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 6.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X3 (108.1 vs. 101.4).

The Murano has .2 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the X3.

The front step up height for the Murano is 2.7 inches lower than the X3 (15.8” vs. 18.5”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 3.4 inches lower than the X3’s (15.1” vs. 18.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X3 with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 28.7 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the X3 with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 62.7 cubic feet).

The Murano’s cargo area is larger than the X3’s in almost every dimension:

 

Murano

X3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

36.5”/69”

Max Width

54”

47”

Min Width

43”

43.3”

Height

33.7”

30.1”

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 X3 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 X3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 X3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 X3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 X3 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 $485 less than the X3 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the X3 because it costs $540 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Murano than the X3, including $367 less for a water pump, $535 less for a muffler, $54 less for front brake pads, $229 less for a starter, $115 less for fuel injection, $211 less for front struts, $182 less for a timing belt/chain and $501 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $7403 to $8617 less than for the BMW X3.

Recommendations

The Nissan Murano outsold the BMW X3 by 73% during the 2018 model year.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos