After years and years pf speculation, Nissan finally made the decision to put the world’s first drop-top SUV into production. It is the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, going on sale in early 2011 with a projected price of around $46,000 USD. The car comes in only one fully loaded model powered by a 3.5 liter V6 and with a CVT gearbox.
To make this car they started with a Nissan Murano, which to all intents and purposes is a very fine crossover vehicle with a great drive, high quality and affordable price. Then they chopped the roof off, removed the rear doors and replaced them with nothing and gave it a new rear-end design.
As mentioned it’s not the last word in beauty and style, but it’s bold and got presence. It also seems to be huge fun to drive, of course if the handling is not ruined during due to absence of the roof.
Nissan went to simply enormous length to make sure the CrossCabrio is a proper car. Along with creating new front doors (7.9 inches longer than 4-door Murano front doors) and eliminating the B-pillars, the structure has been reinforced from the A-pillar rearward. The cloth convertible top also includes a rear glass skylight, helping create a wide-open interior environment even with the top in the closed position. Dual Pop-up Roll Bars are also standard. The coefficient of drag remains close to that of the hardtop Murano, just 0.39 Cd versus 0.37 Cd.
With the top down, the stowed size is similar to that of a conventional 2-seat roadster. Trunk capacity with the top down is 7.6 cubic feet, enough to fit two sets of golf clubs or two carry-on suitcases. With the top closed, cargo capacity expands to 12.3 cubic feet.
Nissan offers the CrossCabriolet with six exclusive exterior colors including unique Murano CrossCabriolet colors Sunset Bronze and Caribbean, plus Merlot, Platinum Graphite, Super Black and Pearl White.
The interior design is the same as before, but to make sure the lack of B-pillar and the roof won’t affect the passengers in speed, the tall windshield and A-pillar design combines with the body’s high beltline and high rear seat shoulders to help reduce conventional interior air turbulence with the top down, allowing conversation between occupants.
The Murano CrossCabriolet comes fully equipped, with a long list of standard features including 8-way power heated driver’s seat with power lumbar support, 4-way manual heated front passenger seat with easy entry function, heated steering wheel, 2-position driver’s seat memory system for seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, passenger seat easy entry release button on instrument panel for driver access, driver and front passenger seatback pocket, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition.
It also comes with a standard Nissan Hard-Drive Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box® hard drive and XM NavTraffic, plus a Bose® AM/FM/CD audio system with 8 speakers including subwoofer, automatic audio adjustment for soft-top up/down position, integrated Interface System for iPod®, speed-sensitive volume control and auxiliary audio input jack.
As for the engine, the drop-top Murano gets the same 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 producing 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, mated to a standard second-generation Xtronic CVT™ with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC). That’s a combination more suitable for comfi and relaxed driving rather than sporty, but it’s capable.
The advanced all-wheel drive system connects the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system, yaw sensors, wheel slip sensors and steering angle sensors to distribute torque according to driving conditions. Standard Murano CrossCabriolet safety features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, Zone Body Construction with front and rear crumple zones, front seat Active Head Restraints, Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), Vehicle Security System (VSS) and Dual Pop-up Roll Bars.
Two options can be specified for this car including specific exterior colors – a Camel interior with upgraded leather and the black top, and the Brown top/Cashmere interior combination (with upgraded leather).