2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs. 2020 Nissan Murano

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/07/11

The Atlas Cross Sport has standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Murano doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Atlas Cross Sport 4Motion’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Murano doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the Atlas Cross Sport and the Murano have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The Atlas Cross Sport comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Murano’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Murano’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas Cross Sport for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Murano.

Reliability

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The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Murano’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Atlas Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 16 more horsepower (276 vs. 260) and 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas Cross Sport’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Murano doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Atlas Cross Sport

Murano

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

12.1 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Atlas Cross Sport has larger standard tires than the Murano (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Murano (265/45R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Murano’s standard 65 series tires. The Atlas Cross Sport R-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Murano SL/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas Cross Sport R-Line has standard 21-inch wheels. The Murano’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/07/11

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas Cross Sport’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Murano (117.3 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas Cross Sport is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the Murano.

For greater off-road capability the Atlas Cross Sport has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Murano (8 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Atlas Cross Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Atlas Cross Sport has 3.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Murano (112 vs. 108.1).

The Atlas Cross Sport has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Murano.

Cargo Capacity

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The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Murano with its rear seat up (40.3 vs. 32.1 cubic feet). The Atlas Cross Sport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Murano with its rear seat folded (77.8 vs. 67 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Murano’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Nissan Murano is only 1500 pounds. The Atlas Cross Sport offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Atlas Cross Sport’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Murano’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the Atlas Cross Sport and the Murano have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Atlas Cross Sport is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Murano prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Murano’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Murano S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas Cross Sport SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Murano doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Atlas Cross Sport offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Murano doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Atlas Cross Sport SEL also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Atlas Cross Sport to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Murano doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Murano SV/SL/Platinum.

The Atlas Cross Sport (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Murano doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Murano doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/07/11

The Volkswagen Atlas outsold the Nissan Murano by 19% during 2019.

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

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