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Nissan Wouldn't Let Doug DeMuro Test The Murano CC, He Found One Anyway and Roasted It
We love convertibles, spyders, and open-tops of all kinds here at autoevolution. That's why we dedicated the entire month of June to highlighting some of the landmark convertibles that throughout history made real impacts on their market segment.

Nissan Wouldn't Let Doug DeMuro Test The Murano CC, He Found One Anyway and Roasted It

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This Nissan convertible crossover SUV made its global debut at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show. To say it debuted to a sea of people having a metaphorical question mark floating above their heads was an understatement. Some marveled at the fact a major automaker had the gravitas to mass produce something so unique and to that point so unprecedented. But most others just called it ugly.

Several convertible SUVs, after the fact, like the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, managed to hold some appeal by being handsome and capable off-roaders first. Its double life as a chic and European convertible drop-top came a very distant second. But safe to say, this wasn't true in the case of the Murano CC. Anyone who's watched a Murano from going off-road in anything less than a flat-grassy field knows that they're, at best, not all that happy there.

If a standard Murano would wet itself on a slightly muddy incline, the chances of its convertible counterpart fairing any better in the soft sand dunes its owners would no doubt be driving over seemed pretty slim. Powering the Murano Cross Cabriolet was a 3.5-liter variant of Nissan's venerable VQ-series V6 engines. Granted, the VQ engine is in many ways like the LS of the JDM scene. But the de-tuned version VQ35DE variant found in the Murano CC's 265 horsepower left quite a bit to be desired.

Because the Murano CC is, of course, based upon its more traditional four-door cousin, a fair amount of R&D was needed to take the standard configuration and re-arrange it into a bizarre convertible SUV chimera the likes of which we've seldom seen before or since. The rear passenger doors were replaced by smooth, uniform pieces of aluminum bodywork.


This change rendered the remaining two doors 7.9 inches (20.06-cm) longer than before. While, the roof was replaced with a fully automatic, hydraulic convertible fabric cover with an automated power latching/unlatching system, twin pop-up roll bars, and a neat-looking rear glass skylight. Admittedly, the 7.6-cubic feet (0.21-cubic meters) of cargo room with the top down was simply not enough to satisfy.

Yes, there was undoubtedly enough torque to at least be zippy in stop-and-go traffic. But when competitors from Lexus and especially Acura were fielding V6s with as much as 50 horsepower more at this time, you can start to see why Nissan failed to reel in hip, trendy millenial customers with the Murano CC the same way a New England fisherman reels in shellfish. It wound up being a venture. Nissan probably wishes they'd have never even bothered. The model was discontinued after 2014.

To finish our expose on the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet, we end with an analysis of a famous review of the car from back in 2016 by a young, passionate, rising auto journalism star by the name of Doug DeMuro. Safe to say, he wasn't all that kind to it. He proceeded to rake the Murano CC over the coals systematically, and with a charming flair only Papa Doug could pull off.

Doug was quick to note how the Murano CC's redesigned rear end was so low that even people of modest size would feel cramped like a sardine in a tin can on long journeys. More hilarity was found when he discovered the rear passengers could access the driver's seat controls just by reaching out and grabbing them. A rosy proposition when your back seat is full of curious toddlers. He was especially unkind to the ride and handling to boot.

But the worst offense of all in Doug's eyes was the exorbitant MSRP of $47,190 back in 2011, or an eye-watering $61,320 in today's money. No wonder Nissan basically refused to give Doug a review model. Luckily, his fans are the kind that love to see him roast vehicles like chicken, and happily supplied him with one for our enjoyment.

But if you can believe it, Doug ended the video by saying he loved the Murano CC for the sole reason of being so profoundly different than anything else on the road at the time. With his ending monologue, Demuro said  "I love it. In today's modern world of boring sedans and boring coupes, and boring SUVs, the Murano cross cabriolet stands out. Kudos to Nissan for building it, and kudos to all 19 Murano cross cabriolet owners for buying it."

After spending the last five minutes raking the Murrano CC over the coals, this ending quote was one we certainly didn't expect. what does this tell us? Well, even bad cars have their virtues. Stay tuned for more from Top Open Month here on autoevolution.

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