2020 Nissan Murano vs. 2020 Audi A4 Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Murano offers optional Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A4 Allroad 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Murano and the A4 Allroad have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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.

Warranty

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Murano 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A4 Allroad. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A4 Allroad ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Murano has a standard 550-amp battery. The A4 Allroad’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The A4 Allroad isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 12 more horsepower (260 vs. 248) than the A4 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Murano uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A4 Allroad requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Murano has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 Allroad (19 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Murano stops shorter than the A4 Allroad:

Murano

A4 Allroad

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano SL/Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The A4 Allroad’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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the A4 Allroad.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the A4 Allroad Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Murano has a greater minimum ground clearance than the A4 Allroad (6.9 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Murano to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Murano has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The A4 Allroad uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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 A4 Allroad (.33) 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Murano has 16.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 Allroad (108.1 vs. 92).

The Murano has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 2.4 inches more rear headroom, 3 inches more rear legroom and 4.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4 Allroad.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Murano’s rear seats recline. The A4 Allroad’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the A4 Allroad with its rear seat up (32.1 vs. 24.2 cubic feet). The Murano has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the A4 Allroad with its rear seat folded (67 vs. 58.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano Platinum’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics

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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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 A4 Allroad only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Model Availability

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The Murano is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Murano owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Murano will cost $715 to $2125 less than the A4 Allroad over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Murano will be $8333 to $13001 less than for the Audi A4 Allroad.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/06

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A4 Allroad isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Murano outsold the Audi A4/S4 by almost three to one during 2019.

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