Childre Nissan Compares 2011 Nissan Murano VS 2011 Toyota Highlander Near Macon, GA

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2011 Nissan Murano

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2011 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Murano are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer height-adjustable rear seat belts.

Both the Murano and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Engine Comparison

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 73 more horsepower (260 vs. 187) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 186) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Murano is faster than the Toyota Highlander V6:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.6 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

87.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Murano AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander AWD V6 (18 city/23 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

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

The Murano has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (21.7 vs. 19.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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 Highlander are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops shorter than the Highlander:



60 to 0 MPH

136 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

148 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano S/SV/SL has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander. The Murano LE’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Highlander.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Murano has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Murano’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Highlander (111.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The Murano SL handles at .78 G’s, while the Highlander SE AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Murano LE AWD goes through Popular Mechanics’ slalom faster than the Highlander Limited AWD (41.2 vs. 40.5 MPH).

The Murano SL AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Highlander SE AWD (28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Murano’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Highlander’s (38.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Murano SL AWD is quieter than the Highlander SE AWD:



At idle

35 dB

40 dB


71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Murano has a much larger cargo area than the Highlander with its rear seat up (31.6 vs. 10.3 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically raises the Murano SL/LE’s rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer power folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Murano SL/LE, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Highlander doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Murano SL/LE’s standard easy entry system 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 Highlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Murano’s front power windows 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 Highlander’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

On a hot day the Murano’s driver can lower the front windows using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Highlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Murano S/SV’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Highlander’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Murano SL/LE’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Murano’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Highlander’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Murano’s 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. The Highlander Base doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Murano’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Highlander Base doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Murano owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Murano with a number “8” insurance rate while the Highlander is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

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