2019 Nissan Murano vs. 2019 Volvo XC40

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 XC40 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Murano and the XC40 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, 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 XC40 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC40. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the XC40 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Volvo 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 36 points higher than the XC40.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The XC40 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th, 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 Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 15 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 73 more horsepower (260 vs. 187) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 221) than the XC40 T4’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 12 more horsepower (260 vs. 248) than the XC40 T5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the XC40 T5:

 

Murano

XC40

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

84.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The XC40 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Murano has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the XC40 (19 vs. 14.2 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 XC40 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 XC40 are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops much shorter than the XC40:

 

Murano

XC40

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

125 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 XC40 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the XC40 (111.2 inches vs. 106.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 1.6 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the XC40.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the XC40 T5 R-Design AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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 XC40 (.34) 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 XC40 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Murano has .9 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC40.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Murano’s rear seats recline. The XC40’s rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Murano is 1.9 inches lower than the XC40 (15.8” vs. 17.7”). The Murano’s rear step up height is 3.1 inches lower than the XC40’s (15.1” vs. 18.2”).

Cargo Capacity

The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the XC40 with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 20.7 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the XC40 with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

The Murano’s cargo area is larger than the XC40’s in every dimension:

 

Murano

XC40

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37”/74.4”

34.9”/65.7”

Max Width

54”

47.8”

Min Width

43”

39.5”

Height

33.7”

29.4”

Ergonomics

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 XC40 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 XC40 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 costs extra on the XC40.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Murano is less expensive to operate than the XC40 because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Murano than the XC40, including $22 less for front brake pads and $53 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo XC40 isn't recommended.

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

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