2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

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 Outlander 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 Outlander 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 Outlander 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 Outlander doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Murano’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mitsubishi Outlander has a metal gas tank.

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 Outlander 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 Outlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

 

Murano

Outlander

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Stress

292 lbs.

412 lbs.

Neck Compression

61 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

226/341 lbs.

334/511 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

144

251

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

199 lbs.

221 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

91 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

283/32 lbs.

394/494 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Murano is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

 

Murano

Outlander

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

163

Abdominal Force

162 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

354 lbs.

518 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

212

349

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

794 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

328

365

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

681 lbs.

807 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Murano’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

The camshafts in the Murano’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Outlander GT 3.0 SOHC V6’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Outlander’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Outlander 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th, 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 94 more horsepower (260 vs. 166) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 36 more horsepower (260 vs. 224) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the Mitsubishi Outlander 4 cyl.:

 

Murano

Outlander

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

83.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander GT AWC V6 (20 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

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

The Murano has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander AWC’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Murano has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 16.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Murano’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander:

 

Murano

Outlander

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

11.9 inches

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 Outlander are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops shorter than the Outlander:

 

Murano

Outlander

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the Outlander (235/65R18 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano SL/Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Murano has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Murano has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Outlander (111.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 4 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Outlander SEL AWC pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Murano Platinum AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

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 Outlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 2.8 inches more front hip room, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, 3.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outlander.

The front step up height for the Murano is 2.2 inches lower than the Outlander (15.8” vs. 18”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 2.7 inches lower than the Outlander’s (15.1” vs. 17.8”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outlander with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 63.3 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Outlander 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 Outlander doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Murano uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outlander uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Murano SL/Platinum, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory 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 Outlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

The Outlander’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Murano’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

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

The Murano has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/GT.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Outlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Murano and the Outlander offer available heated front seats. The Murano SL/Platinum also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Outlander.

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 Outlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because it costs $279 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Murano than the Outlander, including $19 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Murano outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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