2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4

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 Rav4 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Murano and the Rav4 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, 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 Rav4 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 57 more horsepower (260 vs. 203) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 184) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the Toyota Rav4:

 

Murano

Rav4

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

83.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Murano has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 (19 vs. 14.5 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Murano’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:

 

Murano

Rav4

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

11.1 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 Rav4 are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops much shorter than the Rav4:

 

Murano

Rav4

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the Rav4 (235/65R18 vs. 225/65R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Rav4 LE/XLE. The Murano SL/Platinum’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the Rav4 (111.2 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Rav4.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Rav4 Limited pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Murano Platinum AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Limited (27.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Murano has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 (108.1 vs. 98.9).

The Murano has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom, 7.5 inches more rear hip room and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Rav4 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Murano’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Ergonomics

The Murano S’ standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 Rav4 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.

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 Rav4’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Murano has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.

Recommendations

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

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

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