2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 BMW X4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 X4 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 X4 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Murano and the X4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

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 X4 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X4 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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The X4 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 X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The X4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Murano has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the X4 (19 vs. 17.2 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 X4 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 X4 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 1.2 inches wider in the front than the average track on the X4.

For better maneuverability, the Murano’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the X4’s (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the BMW X4.

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 X4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 10.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X4 (108.1 vs. 97.8).

The Murano has .9 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the X4.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Murano’s rear seats recline. The X4’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the X4 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 X4 with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 50.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The X4 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 X4 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 X4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Model Availability

The Murano is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X4 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 $2435 to $5335 less than the X4 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 $13539 to $15597 less than for the BMW X4.

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Murano outsold the BMW X4 by over 19 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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