2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Porsche Cayenne

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

Both the Murano and the Cayenne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, 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 Cayenne has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

There are almost 6 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Porsche 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 42 points higher than the Cayenne.

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

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Cayenne with its standard engine (20 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cayenne 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 Cayenne 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 Cayenne doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Murano’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Cayenne’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Murano may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 900 pounds less than the Porsche Cayenne.

The design of the Nissan Murano amounts to more than styling. The Murano has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is lower than the Cayenne (.34 to .35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Murano get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cayenne with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 27.1 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cayenne with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 60.3 cubic feet).

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

 

Murano

Cayenne

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

39.6”/74.9”

Max Width

54”

42”

Min Width

43”

42”

Height

33.7”

30.4”

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

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 Cayenne can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

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

The Nissan Murano outsold the Porsche Cayenne by over 8 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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