2020 Nissan Murano vs 2020 Nissan Rogue
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2020 Nissan Murano vs 2020 Nissan Rogue

By Autolist Staff | September 10 2020

2020 Nissan Murano

2020 Nissan Rogue

Our User's Take

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2020 Nissan Murano score: 7/10

Highlights:
  • Upscale interior design.
  • Distinctive exterior looks.
  • Wide availability of standard driver assistance features.
  • Fuel economy is among the best for the class.

2020 Nissan Rogue score: 7.6/10

Highlights:
  • The Rogue offers an excellent array of both standard and optional safety and technology features.
  • Fuel economy figures are some of the best-in-class.
  • Interior space and comfort are class-leading.
  • Ride quality and comfort are both noted to be excellent.

How they stack up:

Safety Features:

Nissan Murano: 7/10

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2020 Murano a ‘Good’ rating in all crash tests, including front and side tests. It also gave it the highest’ Superior’ rating in crash prevention with its standard automatic emergency braking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2020 Murano five stars in overall testing, including front, side, and rollover evaluations.

  • All 2020 Murano models get standard automatic emergency braking, and only the base model does without adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist, and automatic high beam assist.

  • These features are part of the optional Technology Package on the base S model, and some rivals include this equipment on every model as standard.

  • SL and Platinum models also add front and rear parking sensors and traffic sign recognition.

Nissan Rogue: 8/10

  • The 2020 Nissan Rogue has earned solid safety scores from both the National Highway Traffic Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The NHTSA has given the Rogue four out of a possible five stars for overall safety. The IIHS has also rated the Rogue highly in most categories except for the headlight and structural categories in which it falls behind.

  • Driver safety assistance systems also help boost the Rogue’s ratings. Features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking are all standard on the base Rogue, a robust combination of standard technology not available on several competitors.

Value:

Nissan Murano: 8/10

  • The base Murano, at just over $33,000, is relatively well-equipped with alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, and modern technology features; opting for all-wheel-drive pushes it over $35,000.

  • One level up, the SV adds common features such as a power driver’s seat and the suite of driver assistance features that includes adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors.

  • Even adding the Premium Package with the dual-pane moonroof and heated seats will keep the price around $40,000 for an all-wheel-drive model. SL and Platinum models add a lot of other features, like leather upholstery, but it starts to nudge the price closer to larger SUVs or base versions of premium models.

  • The Murano is also among the least expensive of its immediate peers. While Honda Passport is slightly less expensive, its base models lack features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is also less expensive but comes standard with a less powerful turbocharged four-cylinder instead of the Murano’s V6. The Buick Envision, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento are also less expensive but have less standard horsepower and features.

Nissan Rogue: 7/10

  • A base Rogue starts at just over $26,000, including destination. At that price, it undercuts several key competitors like the Toyota Rav4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and Honda CR-V. However, this doesn’t make it the least expensive SUV on the market, as it comes in higher than a base model Kia Sportage and Subaru Forester.

  • Slotting into the middle of the segment in terms of price, the Rogue offers a well-rounded approach to potential SUV buyers, providing some of the best cargo space, passenger space, safety features, fuel-efficiency, and ride comfort compared to competitors. The Rogue’s value proposition drops slightly in terms of interior materials and general styling, both of which aren’t as quality or sharps as many competitors.

Efficiency:

Nissan Murano: 7/10

  • The EPA rates all 2020 Nissan Murano models at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and 23 combined.

  • The Subaru Outback XT models with a similarly powerful engine are rated at 30 mpg highway and 26 combined, and Outbacks without the turbo engine get even better fuel economy, although they’re very far down on power.

  • The Buick Envision, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorento) also get better mileage than the Murano, but only with their base engines that are as much as 75 horsepower down on the Nissan’s V6.

  • The Ford Edge and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport with their respective base turbocharged four-cylinder engines have similar performance and economy to the Nissan’s V6. All other V6-powered rivals, such as the Honda Passport, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport get several MPG worse than the Murano.

Nissan Rogue: 8/10

  • Fuel efficiency is one area in which the Rogue shines. Standard front-wheel-drive models return up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway and have a combined rating of 29 miles per gallon. All-wheel-drive models return a combined 27 miles per gallon with only a mile per gallon drop during highway driving. These numbers are among the best in class.

  • The Rogue has also been offered with a hybrid powertrain option, which is being discontinued for the 2020 model year. Front-wheel-drive models get a combined 34 miles per gallon while all-wheel-drive models return slightly lower numbers in both city and highway driving. Not all competitors offer hybrid models, but the Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, and Ford Escape hybrid models all outshine the Rogue for hybrid efficiency.

Driving Experience:

Nissan Murano: 6/10

  • All models get a 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6, which sounds like it shapes up favorably to some of the competition’s base engines. The only transmission choice in the Murano, however, is a continuously variable transmission that lacks choice for manual “gear’ selection, unlike some rivals with eight or nine-speed transmissions. The engine struggles under the Murano’s weight, and it can struggle at times, which causes the engine to be loud. Hyundai and Kia offer better performance with their upgraded V6s, and the Honda Passport and Subaru Outback XT are also relatively athletic. The Murano is more on par with the equally heavy Jeep Grand Cherokee.

  • The Murano has a soft ride and soft seats, giving the driving experience more the impression of a full-size sedan, such as a Nissan Maxima, rather than an SUV. For that experience, look to the Jeep Grand Cherokee or Honda Passport. But the handling is also soft, too, and it doesn’t strike a balance between comfort and agility as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe) or Kia Sorento. Even the comparatively utilitarian Subaru Outback is better in this regard.

  • Slightly blunt responses also hinder the Murano’s agility in tight spaces. While none of its rivals are particularly agile, the Outback is perhaps the handiest in tight spaces. The Nissan feels like a bigger vehicle than it actually is, not far off of larger, three-row SUVs.

Nissan Rogue: 7/10

  • Overall, the Rogue provides a pleasant driving experience. Ride quality and comfort are good for the class, plus it has the added benefit of comfortable seats to help smooth out bumps. Road noise is kept to a minimum, and Rogue’s maneuverability is good for a vehicle of this size, allowing drivers to feel like it is not as large a vehicle as it actually is.

  • Performance is where the overall driving experience falls off a little bit. Most reviewers note that the 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower engine and continuously-variable transmission are a bit slower and more sluggish than many other offerings in the segment. Additionally, many note that many other competitors offer a much more engaging driving experience than the Rogue’s average handling ability can provide.

Tech Features:

Nissan Murano: 6/10

  • All Muranos get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard, along with four USB ports (including 2 USB-C ports).

  • SL and Platinum models add NissanConnect Apps for importing navigation destinations and getting vehicle information.

  • The Platinum model comes with NissanConnect Services, which enables Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant skills to remotely lock or unlock the vehicle, start the engine, or flash the lights, among other features.

  • In addition to the advanced driver assistance features on most models, all cars get a push-button start and keyless entry.

  • SL and Platinum models add touches such as a surround-view camera system, hands-free power tailgate, and a power-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering wheel with 2-position memory that automatically moves away upon entry and exit. Those are relatively premium features unusual of the class.

  • Despite these strengths, the Murano is starting to lag behind the times on technology. The seven-inch driver’s display is clear, but it’s no match for VW’s Digital Cockpit on higher-end Atlas Cross Sport models, or the 11-inch vertical touchscreen that comes on many versions of the Subaru Outback. And Buick and Chevrolet use infotainment systems that offer standard telematics on all models, as well as bright and clear icons with a responsive screen, while the Jeep’s touchscreen-button combination is still among the best in the business.

Nissan Rogue: 9/10

  • Standard technology features make a strong showing in the Rogue compared to other models within the segment. A seven-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker audio system all come on the base model.

  • Available technology equipment offered on higher trim levels and as possible options include navigation, surround-view camera, a Bose sound system, power liftgate, and dual-zone climate control. ProPilot Assist – Nissan’s suite of semi-autonomous driving systems – is also offered as standard on the highest Rogue trim levels.

Style & Design:

Nissan Murano: 7/10

  • The Murano is defined by its styling, more reminiscent of a sedan or wagon than an SUV. It doesn’t pretend to have off-road abilities, which is good because it largely lacks them. Its lines are more upscale than that of the rugged Subaru Outback or Honda Passport, less aggressive than a Chevrolet Blazer or VW Atlas Cross Sport. The Buick Envisionand Ford Edge also have designs that don’t pretend they’re for the muddy trails, but the Murano still stands out a little more – whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

  • That exterior styling, however, doesn’t do visibility any favors inside, so there are some fairly large blind spots to the rear and sometimes the sides. At least there are large windows that give good forward visibility, even if the bumps in the hood might make seeing out more difficult than in some rivals.

  • At least the interior is both well designed and made of quality materials. All models get six cupholders scattered around the cabin, as well as large bins and storage places for phones and wallets. Base models feel slightly spartan, but upper trims have high-quality leather and convincing fake wood trim around the cabin. While the central touchscreen isn’t large by modern standards, it falls readily to hand, and there are numerous physical controls for often-used tasks. The gauges are exceptionally clear, too.

Nissan Rogue: 6/10

  • The Rogue’s exterior design falls within the typical compact SUV parameters. The headlights, body lines, and overall dimensions are attractive for a vehicle of this size. Many agree that there’s nothing too exciting about the rest of the exterior but also note that rear visibility is somewhat limited because of the rear window and pillar design.

  • Interior design is also noted to be adequate but does not provide the best-in-class design and quality that rivals such as the Rav4 and CR-V offer. Numerous plastic pieces throughout the interior give mixed signals with high-quality seating materials. The interior layout is average and beginning to feel dated (an all-new generation of Rogue is due for 2021). Still, the spacious cabin provides plenty of space in both front and back, even for larger passengers.

Practicality:

Nissan Murano: 7/10

  • Passenger space is the Murano’s calling card. The front and rear seats are spacious, and the vehicle is wide enough for five passengers to travel in reasonable comfort. The rear seats are 60/40 split, and while they fold mostly flat, they don’t do anything particularly interesting, such as offer a ski pass-thru, and the front passenger’s seat can’t be folded for more cargo space.

  • However, the Murano’s styling and priority on rear-seat space take their toll on overall space. With 32.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 67 cubic feet with them down, the Murano falls in the middle of the class for cargo space. The Ford Edge), Subaru Outback, and VW Atlas Cross Sport all have between 73 and 77 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Honda Passport trumps them all with about 100 cubic feet. Meanwhile, the Buick Envision, Chevrolet Blazer, and even Jeep Grand Cherokee are considerably smaller.

  • The Murano is rated to tow a maximum of 1,500 pounds. That’s on the low side when at least some versions of rivals can tow around 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. And some versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow more than 7,000 pounds. While a Murano can tow a small trailer in a pinch, those looking to tow more should look elsewhere.

Nissan Rogue: 8/10

  • Excellent fuel-efficiency, one of the largest interiors in the segment, and the availability of all-wheel-drive boost the Rogue’s practicality level to the top of the class. All doors are easy to access, and a motion-sensing power liftgate enables excellent ease of access to the cargo area. As a typical, practical family hauler, the Nissan Rogue excels.

  • Though the Rogue is an SUV, it falls behind many competitors when it comes to towing capacity. Available roof rails help when additional storage and hauling is necessary. Reviewers also note that competitors like the Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee are far more capable vehicles when tough weather conditions and offroad situations present themselves.

Cost of Ownership

2020 Nissan Murano

2020 Nissan Rogue

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,424
15k miles at $2.183/gal
$1,204
15k miles at $2.168/gal
Fuel Economy

20 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
28 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2020 Nissan Murano

2020 Nissan Rogue

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2020 Nissan Murano

2020 Nissan Rogue

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2020 Nissan Murano

2020 Nissan Rogue

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
FWD
Drivetrain
FWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders