2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport

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 Land Rover Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Murano and the Discovery Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, 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 Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

There are over 6 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Land Rover 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 Discovery Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Discovery Sport 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 75 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 31st, 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 71 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 23 more horsepower (260 vs. 237) than the Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0:

 

Murano

Discovery Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

85.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport with its standard engine (20 city/28 hwy vs. 21 city/25 hwy).

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Murano’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Discovery Sport are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops shorter than the Discovery Sport:

 

Murano

Discovery Sport

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

122 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Discovery Sport (111.2 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

Chassis

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

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 Discovery Sport (.36) 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 62.8 cubic feet).

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

 

Murano

Discovery Sport

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

38.8”/74.3”

Max Width

54”

51.8”

Min Width

43”

43.5”

Height

33.7”

29.6”

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

Ergonomics

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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

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

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2016 issue and they ranked the Nissan Murano Platinum AWD higher than the Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by almost 8 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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