View Full Version : Driving Impressions of Murano Xtronic CVT

01-23-2003, 12:12 AM
I was wanting to get some comments from Murano owners who have had their vehicle for some time now.

I have read some posts that the feeling of driving the CVT was a little strange at first. Is it still strange feeing or have you gotten used to it?

Now that you have you vehicles broken in, have you pushed it? How does it perform?

What are the good and bad points about the CVT?

From the posts I have read lately the fuel economy hasn't been as great as I expected. That was one big consideration when I thought about buying a CVT.

I am not sure if I would be better off buying a Pilot or MDX or something.

01-23-2003, 12:40 AM
It's been an interesting ride for the last 2 weeks. Have logged about 600 miles ... mostly stop-and-go ... but I'm starting to getting used to the feeling. Yup, I think it does feel weird at first ... the shift sensation, or lack thereof. But I can say that when I was on the freeway, it moves smartly and hits 60+ quickly (C&D said 6.5 sec I think). And passing other traffic has been a snap ... it just hauls astericks http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/blush.gif

The other thing that I've noticed, and I do like a lot, is when I go downhill it's so easy to maintain the speed. With my last truck ... a 4Runner ... I'd have to down**** to Low or ride the breaks, to keep from flying downhill. Now I just cruise down without touching the breaks at all.

I'm not too worried about the less than stellar fuel economy ... yet http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif ... I think (well hope) that it will improve as I rack up some more miles.

01-23-2003, 02:44 AM
The lack of shifting does take some getting use to. My buddy drove it and commented it was like being shot out of a sling shot. And as stated when dropping the hammer above 60 on the freeway this thing moves out. I am nothing but impressed with this SUV, and I have had a number of cars & sport utes. http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

01-23-2003, 02:58 PM
I too am impressed with mine. I don't even notice the CVT anymore. But, the gas mileage was an issue for me when I bought it, and I am dissapointed that I am only getting 15 and 20 MPG city and highway. Other than that, I couldn't be happier with my Murano. Good car, good quality, and good fun to drive.

01-23-2003, 03:37 PM
Thanks for the comments.

I feel better about the CVT after hearing your impressions.

I still am still wondering about the fuel economy.

By the way, Is a sling shot a good thing?

01-23-2003, 03:45 PM
I hope that everyone is using 91+ octane. Although you can "technically" use lower grade, the knock sensor will kick in and the ECU will retard the timing, resulting in poorer performance and fuel economy. Saving a few pennies up front will lose a few later, not really worth it.

01-23-2003, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the reminder Eric. You're correct ... the owners manual recommends 91 octane for optimal performance ... but says 87 is okay.

From what I've heard, this also seems to be the standard recommendation for the Z and G35 as well.

But yikes ... $1.95 @ gal for Chevron Supreme by my place http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif Oh well ... guess my new toy is well worth it http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif


01-23-2003, 04:15 PM
I'm running 93 octane through mine. And I don't want to beat a dead horse with this mileage thing. It's just that my actual is 5 MPG from the estimates. That's big to me. So, for the potential buyers out there, if you can live with 15 and 20 instead of what the sticker says, you will be very happy with your new Murano.
Oh, and in this case, a slingshot is a good thing! This car has great performance!!

01-23-2003, 04:17 PM
I have mine a few days now and am still trying to get used to the CVT. I am noticing a slight vibration on the pedal when I hit the gas from a stop. I also hear a bit of a low groan at the same time. (For those of you who correspond with Chris I'm sure you can tell that I'm his wife as I am no where near as technical about cars and their parts/sounds). My husband isn't concerned. Any one else experiencing this or am I just having new car/new model jitters?

01-23-2003, 05:09 PM
I have found that driving the Murano is a bit like riding a motorcycle. The smoother you are with the throttle, the better the engine response and acceleration.

I am finding that at certain RPM's (2500-3000), letting up on the accelerator generates a lot of engine braking power, not unlike letting up on the throttle of a motorcycle.

Otherwise, I find it fairly quiet and nearly vibration free. It does have a slight hesitation at takeoff when the pedal is not uniformly applied.

01-23-2003, 05:30 PM
Mine does the same thing. From a stop the rpm's seem to drop slightly creating that "low groan" sound. Nothing to worry about.

01-23-2003, 05:49 PM
After drving one it reminds me of a golf cart. Just a very souped up one LOL...Mash the throttle down and it takes off smooth, let up and the engine braking kicks in.


01-23-2003, 05:52 PM
http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif lol, a golf cart, that's a good description.

01-23-2003, 06:08 PM
Awwwwwwwww a golf cart, no way!!!!!!!!!!!! http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/mad.gif

01-23-2003, 06:15 PM
In the way a golf cart stays at a constant RPM kinda thing http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

01-23-2003, 06:43 PM
I'm pretty impressed with this transmission. I had it in the mountains this past weekend and had no problem keeping up with all the other big SUV's. The roads were dry, so I've got no opinion on the AWD yet. I found I had no problem passing on some of my favorite grades. The CVT seems well suited for the mountains. I find it a little sluggish off the line in "D", but then again, I'm used to more power with my Chevy Silverado Truck and our Corvette. Once the Murano gets a head of steam though, it goes. OTOH, I find the Murano to be just as fast climbing the hills as my Chevy truck. The power/weight ratio seems about right.

Going downhill I didn't find the CVT mode that much different than conventional automatics. Others have reported that engine braking was improved, but I found I preferred putting it in second for that. It did seem that second was geared too low at times. Still, I'd rather it be geared too low, than too high. All in all, a great ride.

Midnight Blue Murano SL

01-23-2003, 06:56 PM
has anyone noticed that it takes a while for it to warm up? I have a half hour commute - by tht time I get home, it is very smooth, but early on, not so smooth- in fact I drive around in S for a while until I get on the highway.

01-23-2003, 08:54 PM
I live in Michigan each morning when I have gotten out of work about 4am is has been about 8 deg outside. My car is parked outside all night I have not noticed anything like that, takes a while for it to idle down, but thats about it. But this CVT is smooth as hell even in the sub zero weather, this trans has my blessing...... http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif

01-23-2003, 09:12 PM
exactly, like an electric motor.


01-23-2003, 09:32 PM
Yeah, a like a GOLF CART motor... hahahahaha http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

01-23-2003, 11:15 PM
just smooth power all the way up. http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif


01-23-2003, 11:19 PM
yeah a 38k golf cart. I guess you have to own one to appreciate the UTE. Test driving one just does not get it done. I guess you appreciate what you have after you have driven it for a while. I have never owned an import, but I am very impressed with it so far. I turn in my 2000 Eldorado in a month, and I like the Murano better the the GM and thats was a 44k car top of the line-so they say. I still have another sport ute, my Ford sport trac 4x4 and this Murano drives so much smoother. I would not even call the Murano a UTE it's more like a sports car that seats 4. We have performance style and a practical car. Actually what more can we ask for, yea I know what you going to say the satelite radio. But then agian we would probably complain about the 10.00 a month service charge on the sat radio if we had that option. The bottom line is some people are never happy no matter what they have...... http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/ooo.gif

01-23-2003, 11:23 PM
? Not happy? I like the Murano. I just think it accelerates smooth like a golf cart does.


01-24-2003, 12:18 AM
LOL ... just had my "electric golf-cart" http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif up to 80 on the freeway tonight. And I love it!!!!!!! And it wasn't even straining one bit. The CVT is really growing on me ... and I agree with Omega Rains, a test-drive really doesn't do it justice.

Glad to hear that performance in the cold is good too. Am looking forward to heading up to Tahoe and go play in the snow http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif

The only "problem" thus far ... is when I got in Monday night after work ... I'd been parked in a garage all day. It was kinda' cold ... probably mid-40s all day ... I noticed a slight rattle which seemed to be coming from the speaker cover on the dash in front of the driver. But after driving for about 10 minutes, and the cabin warmed up, the rattle went away. Gremlins maybe??? http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

01-24-2003, 08:43 AM
Benihana: We were recently getting 23.6 mpg on trips, freeway driving. But seem to have to use premium to get it there. On regular it gets 19.6. It has 3400 miles on it now. SE 4wd White with sand interior. PS. somebody called the white one "like buying a refrigerator at the big box store." Actually it has a metallic finish when seen in the sun! http://forums.freshalloy.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif We like it alot. The transmission is the perfect compromise when you want sportiness without having to shift all the time.