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Is the Nissan Murano Good on Gas?

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For Canadian drivers, the cost of filling up at the pumps has become an increasingly painful experience. Gasoline prices have skyrocketed in recent years, putting a significant strain on household budgets across the country. From Vancouver to Halifax, motorists are feeling the pinch every time they pull up to the gas station.


The reasons behind this surge in fuel costs are multifaceted. Global supply and demand dynamics, geopolitical tensions, and the transition towards cleaner energy sources have all contributed to the volatility in gas prices. However, for the average Canadian driver, the root causes matter less than the immediate impact on their wallets.


As fuel prices continue to climb, the importance of fuel efficiency has taken on a new level of urgency. Drivers are now actively seeking out vehicles that can help them stretch every liter of gasoline, minimizing the frequency of those dreaded fill-ups. In this climate of rising costs, the question of whether a particular vehicle is “good on gas” has become a critical factor in the purchasing decision for many Canadians.

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Why SUV Drivers Need to Care About Gas Mileage

With their larger engines and increased weight, SUVs tend to guzzle more gas than smaller passenger vehicles. This higher fuel consumption hits SUV owners hard when prices at the pump rise. Even a small increase in gas prices can translate to substantially higher annual fuel costs for an SUV compared to a compact car.

The financial impact is significant. For example, if gas prices rise by just 20 cents per liter, the owner of a compact car might pay an extra $200 per year in fuel. But the owner of a less efficient midsize SUV could easily pay $400 or more annually with the same price hike.

Beyond the wallet impact, poor fuel economy also carries an environmental toll. SUVs produce more greenhouse gas emissions per kilometer driven due to their inefficient engines. This contributes more to climate change, local air pollution, and Canada’s overall carbon footprint. SUV drivers concerned about their environmental impact have an extra incentive to choose a more fuel-efficient model.

As gas prices remain volatile and environmental concerns grow, SUV owners need to carefully consider fuel costs over the full ownership period. An SUV with just moderately better gas mileage can save thousands in fuel bills while reducing emissions. For budget-conscious and eco-minded buyers, maximizing MPG is crucial when shopping for a new SUV.

 

The Nissan Murano: A Popular Midsize SUV

The Nissan Murano has carved out a unique niche in the crowded SUV market by blending stylish design with a comfortable interior and capable performance. First introduced in 2003, the Murano has evolved into Nissan’s flagship midsize crossover SUV, offering a blend of premium amenities and family-friendly versatility.

With its sleek, almost coupe-like styling, the Murano stands out from its more traditionally boxy SUV competitors. Its curvaceous body lines and sloping roofline give it a sporty, aerodynamic profile that turns heads on Canadian roads. Yet inside, the Murano maintains the spacious cabin and cargo room that SUV buyers crave.

Canadian drivers have embraced the Murano’s combination of style and practicality. In 2022, it was the fifth best-selling midsize SUV in Canada, moving over 15,000 units. Its strong sales reflect how the Murano has resonated with buyers seeking an SUV that doesn’t sacrifice design for utility.

 

Murano Gas Mileage: The Official Ratings

According to official fuel economy ratings from Natural Resources Canada, the Nissan Murano offers respectable but not outstanding gas mileage for its midsize SUV class:

 

For front-wheel drive models:

  • City: 10.5L/100km
  • Highway: 7.7L/100km
  • Combined: 9.2L/100km

 

All-wheel drive Murano models see a slight efficiency penalty:

  • City: 11.1L/100km
  • Highway: 8.1L/100km
  • Combined: 9.7L/100km

 

These ratings put the Murano’s fuel economy on par or a bit better than other midsize gas-powered SUV competitors like the Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Hyundai Santa Fe. However, it trails the fuel-sipping hybrid and plug-in hybrid SUV leaders.

 

How the Murano’s Gas Mileage Compares

When stacked up against other popular midsize SUV models, the Nissan Murano’s fuel economy is about average for the segment. It offers better mileage than some less aerodynamic, truck-based SUVs like the Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Toyota 4Runner. However, it falls slightly behind sleeker crossover competitors.

For example, the Honda Passport with AWD gets an EPA-estimated 19/24 mpg city/highway, while the AWD Murano is rated at 20/28 mpg. The Hyundai Santa Fe AWD achieves 21/28 mpg, edging out the Murano. And the Toyota Venza hybrid SUV is in another league, rated at 40/37 mpg.

Among mainstream midsize SUVs without hybrid tech, the Murano ranks somewhere in the middle of the pack for fuel efficiency. Its mileage is on par with the Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. But models like the Subaru Outback, Mazda CX-9, and Kia Sorento tend to get slightly better gas mileage.

So while the Murano doesn’t lead its class for fuel economy, its ratings are certainly respectable for a roomy, comfortable SUV with available all-wheel drive. Buyers who want maximum efficiency may want to consider a hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV instead.

 

Real-World Murano MPG Reports

While official fuel economy ratings provide a useful benchmark, real-world driving conditions and habits can significantly impact the gas mileage you actually achieve. Looking at owner-reported mileage from sources like FuelEconomy.gov and vehicle forums can give you a better sense of the Murano’s true efficiency.

According to FuelEconomy.gov, which collects real-world mileage data from drivers, the 2023 Nissan Murano AWD averages around 22 mpg (10.7 L/100km) based on over 100 driver submissions. This falls a bit short of the official 23 mpg (10.2 L/100km) combined rating but is still quite respectable for a midsize AWD SUV.

Owner reports on the Murano tend to cluster around 20-24 mpg (9.8-11.8 L/100km) for mixed city/highway driving. Those with a lighter foot and doing mostly highway miles can achieve upwards of 26-28 mpg (8.4-9.1 L/100km). But drivers doing primarily urban/city driving with the Murano often report mileage in the 18-20 mpg (11.8-13 L/100km) range.

Overall, the consensus from real-world drivers seems to be that the Murano’s fuel economy is good, if not quite class-leading. Proper maintenance, conservative driving habits, and avoiding excessive idling can help maximize efficiency. But those needing a larger SUV and doing mostly city driving may want to consider a more frugal compact crossover instead.

 

What Impacts the Murano’s Fuel Efficiency?

Several factors influence the Murano’s fuel economy, ranging from engineering decisions to real-world driving conditions. One key element is Nissan’s Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), which helps maximize efficiency by keeping the engine operating at its ideal rpm range. Unlike traditional automatic transmissions with defined gear ratios, the CVT can infinitely adjust the gear ratio for smoother, more efficient power delivery.

Aerodynamic styling also plays a role in the Murano’s decent gas mileage ratings. The sculpted body, sloped windshield, and other aerodynamic touches help reduce wind resistance at highway speeds. Less drag translates into less engine effort required to maintain speed, improving fuel economy.

Under the hood, the Murano’s 3.5L V6 engine balances power and efficiency relatively well for its size. While not a compact four-cylinder, the V6 still achieves decent mileage for a midsize SUV. Nissan’s direct injection and variable valve timing technologies extract more power from every drop of gasoline.

Of course, real-world driving conditions like cold weather, aggressive acceleration, headwinds, and hauling heavy cargo will all negatively impact fuel efficiency. But in normal operation, the Murano’s CVT, aerodynamics, and modern V6 powertrain combine to deliver reasonable real-world gas mileage for its class.

 

Hypermiling: Getting the Best Murano MPG

While the Murano’s official fuel economy ratings are decent for a midsize SUV, savvy drivers can employ various techniques to maximize efficiency and squeeze out even better gas mileage. This practice, known as “hypermiling,” involves making minor adjustments to driving habits and vehicle maintenance to reduce fuel consumption.

One of the simplest hypermiling tips for Murano owners is to drive smoothly and avoid sudden acceleration or braking. Aggressive driving burns more gas, so take it easy on the pedals and plan ahead for stops. Using cruise control on the highway can also help maintain an efficient, consistent speed.

Another key factor is reducing aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance. Remove roof racks or cargo boxes when not in use, as these create extra wind resistance. Ensure tires are properly inflated to the recommended PSI, as underinflated tires increase rolling resistance and decrease fuel economy.

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping the Murano running at peak efficiency. Follow the recommended service schedule for oil changes, air filter replacements, and spark plug swaps. A properly tuned engine and clean filters allow the powertrain to operate with minimal effort, improving mileage.

Finally, travel light by removing unnecessary cargo and items adding extra weight. The more weight the Murano has to haul around, the more fuel it will consume. Ditch the golf clubs, sports equipment, and other heavy items when you don’t need them on each trip.

 

Is Premium Gas Worth It for the Murano?

While premium gasoline promises increased performance and efficiency, it doesn’t provide any real benefits for the Nissan Murano. Nissan recommends using regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher in their Murano models.

The Murano’s 3.5L V6 engine is designed to run optimally on regular fuel. Using premium gas won’t increase horsepower, torque, or fuel economy numbers. It’s simply an unnecessary expense that won’t improve the driving experience.

Some drivers mistakenly assume premium gas is required because the Murano is a higher-end vehicle. However, Nissan’s engineers have tuned the Murano’s engine and fuel system to take full advantage of regular unleaded gasoline.

The only time premium fuel may provide a benefit is if you experience knocking or pinging from the engine under heavy loads or high temperatures. In those cases, a higher octane could help prevent pre-ignition. But for most Canadian drivers under normal conditions, regular gas is perfectly suitable for the Murano.

Sticking to regular unleaded gasoline instead of premium can save Murano owners around $300 per year in fuel costs based on today’s prices and average driving distances. That’s money better spent on other vehicle maintenance or simply kept in your pocket.

 

The Hidden Costs of Poor Fuel Economy

While the Murano’s gas mileage is decent for a midsize SUV, those extra liters at the pump can add up quickly over years of ownership. To put it in perspective, let’s compare the 5-year fuel costs of a Murano versus a more efficient hybrid SUV like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

 

Assuming 20,000 km of driving per year, an average of 11 L/100km for the Murano, and $1.50/L for regular gas:

  • Murano 5-year fuel cost: $16,500

 

For the RAV4 Hybrid at 6.3 L/100km combined:

  • RAV4 Hybrid 5-year fuel cost: $9,450

 

That’s a difference of over $7,000 in just 5 years of ownership! And this gap will only widen the longer you own the vehicle or if gas prices continue to rise. Factor in the higher upfront cost of the hybrid, and it may take 5-7 years to offset the premium. But from that point on, the hybrid puts more money back in your pocket each year.

The fuel savings become even more dramatic when looking at lifetime costs over 10-15 years of ownership. An extra $1,000+ per year in gas can really eat away at your budget over the long run. For high-mileage drivers racking up 30,000+ km annually, the smarter choice from a cost perspective is crystal clear.

 

What About Hybrid/Electric SUV Options?

For Canadians frustrated with high gas costs, hybrid and electric SUVs offer a great way to slash spending at the pumps. These eco-friendly models combine the functionality and space of a traditional SUV with vastly improved fuel efficiency.

One of the leading hybrid SUV options is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. This plug-in hybrid can travel up to 39 km on pure electric power before the gas engine kicks in, perfect for city driving. It gets an estimated 3.2 Le/100km combined. Even in hybrid mode, it achieves an impressive 7.9 L/100km.

Another compelling hybrid is the Toyota RAV4 Prime. This plug-in hybrid RAV4 boasts an electric range of up to 60 km and sips just 2.5 Le/100km combined. For drivers who can charge regularly, you may rarely need to stop for gas.

Of course, going fully electric eliminates gas costs entirely. Nissan is preparing to launch the Ariya EV SUV for the 2024 model year. With an estimated range over 480 km and plenty of cargo space, it could be a game-changer for eco-conscious SUV buyers.

While hybrid and electric SUVs come with higher upfront costs, the lifetime fuel savings can easily offset the premium, especially for high-mileage drivers. These models provide all the SUV functionality with 2-3 times the efficiency of gas-only counterparts like the Murano.

 

Making the Murano More Efficient: Future Updates

While the current Murano offers decent fuel economy for its segment, Nissan will undoubtedly look to push efficiency even higher with future redesigns and updates. Automakers are under increasing pressure to improve their corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) ratings to meet stricter emissions standards.

 

Some potential fuel-saving technologies we could see on the next-gen Murano include:

  • A more advanced continuously variable transmission (CVT) with an expanded gear ratio spread to better optimize engine rpm
  • Cylinder deactivation to shut off part of the engine when full power isn’t needed
  • Aggressive auto start/stop to prevent idling at stoplights and in traffic
  • Reduced weight through increased use of aluminum, high-strength steel, and composite materials
  • Aerodynamic improvements like active grille shutters and smoother body sculpting
  • A 48V mild hybrid system providing electric torque assist and smoother stop/start operation

 

Down the road, we may even see a plug-in hybrid or full EV version of the Murano join Nissan’s growing electrified lineup. For now though, the focus will likely be on incremental gains through smarter engineering and drivetrain refinements.

 

Choosing the Right SUV for Your Fuel Needs

When it comes to selecting the right SUV that balances capability with fuel efficiency, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The Nissan Murano’s gas mileage may be suitable for some drivers but leave others wanting more. Here are some key considerations to help determine if the Murano is the right fit:

 

Low Annual Mileage: If you only drive your SUV for short commutes, running errands around town, or the occasional road trip, the Murano’s fuel economy could be perfectly acceptable. Drivers who log under 15,000-20,000 km per year may find the cost at the pumps to be reasonable.

Primarily Highway Driving: The Murano’s highway rating of 7.7L/100km (FWD) or 8.1L/100km (AWD) is quite good for its size. If most of your driving is on the open road, the Murano can maximize its efficiency potential.

Light Cargo/Towing Needs: While the Murano has decent towing capacity for its class, hauling heavy loads will naturally increase fuel consumption. If you only plan to use it for light-duty tasks, the mileage hit may be minimal.

Tight Budget: For drivers on a very tight budget who need to minimize fuel costs, the Murano’s gas mileage may be a dealbreaker. Other compact SUVs or hybrids could provide much greater savings. Over 5-10 years of ownership, those savings can really add up.

Long Commutes/High Mileage: If you have a long daily commute through stop-and-go traffic or drive well over 25,000-30,000 km annually, the Murano’s city fuel economy of 10.5-11.1L/100km could get expensive. High-mileage drivers are likely better off with a hybrid or fuel-sipping compact SUV.

 

The Murano MPG Verdict

So is the Nissan Murano good on gas? The short answer is yes – for a midsize SUV, the Murano’s fuel economy ratings are respectable, especially for the front-wheel drive models. With combined ratings around 9.2L/100km, it outperforms many competitors in the non-hybrid midsize SUV class.

However, those seeking maximum efficiency will find better options in hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV models. The Murano can’t match the 6-7L/100km combined ratings of something like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. And fully electric SUVs like the upcoming Nissan Ariya have vastly lower operating costs, albeit at a higher initial purchase price.

For the average Canadian SUV buyer who doesn’t rack up an excessively high annual mileage, the Murano represents a solid balance of versatility, features, and reasonable fuel costs. But if you drive over 25,000-30,000km per year, the long-term fuel savings of a hybrid or EV may make more financial sense.

The Murano works best for urban and suburban families who want a comfortable, well-equipped SUV without the pain at the pumps of a full-size truck-based SUV. It delivers enough capability for hauling kids and cargo with decent, though not class-leading, fuel efficiency. If gas mileage is your top priority, you’ll find better choices – but the Murano hits a respectable sweet spot for many SUV owners.

 

Conclusion: Balancing SUV Capability & Efficiency

For many Canadian drivers, an SUV offers the perfect blend of utility, comfort, and capability for tackling everything from urban commutes to outdoor adventures. The Nissan Murano exemplifies this versatile formula, providing a spacious interior, rugged performance, and stylish design that appeals to modern families. However, as fuel costs continue their upward trajectory, the gas mileage of any vehicle has become an increasingly critical consideration.

While the Murano delivers respectable efficiency for its class, averaging around 11L/100km in mixed driving, that still amounts to thousands in annual fuel expenditures for high-mileage drivers. Those frequently tackling long highway trips or racking up over 20,000 km per year would be wise to carefully evaluate the long-term cost savings of opting for a hybrid or electric SUV instead.

Ultimately, choosing the right vehicle comes down to striking a balance between your specific needs and priorities. If maximum cargo space, towing capacity, and off-road prowess are must-haves, the trade-off in fuel economy may be worthwhile. But if you primarily need an SUV for its versatile cabin and light-duty capabilities, a more efficient option could save you considerable money at the pumps while still delivering the SUV functionality you desire.

No matter which direction you lean, being an informed consumer is crucial. Carefully research real-world mileage figures, calculate your estimated annual fuel costs, and weigh them against the higher upfront prices of hybrid and EV models. With gas prices showing no signs of retreating, making smart choices today can pay dividends for years to come and help you keep more money in your pocket.

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Questions About Nissan Murano Fuel Economy

Nissan Muranos have decent gas mileage for a mid-size SUV. The front-wheel drive models with the 4-cylinder engine are rated by Natural Resources Canada at 10.7 L/100 km in the city and 8.1 L/100 km on the highway. The all-wheel drive V6 models have slightly worse fuel economy at 12.1 L/100 km city and 9.1 L/100 km highway. So while not the most fuel efficient vehicles, Muranos can deliver respectable gas mileage.

The Nissan Murano has very comparable fuel economy to its midsize SUV competitors in the Canadian market. For example, an all-wheel drive Ford Edge is rated at 12.2 L/100 km city and 9.0 L/100 km highway. The front-wheel drive Hyundai Santa Fe is rated at 10.7 L/100 km city and 7.8 L/100 km highway. So the Murano ranks right alongside its rivals when it comes to gas mileage. It balances performance and efficiency quite well.

No, using premium gasoline will not improve fuel economy in the Nissan Murano. All Murano models are designed to run on regular 87 octane gasoline. Premium gasoline has a higher octane rating but does not contain more energy per litre. So there is no mileage benefit to using more expensive premium fuel in this vehicle. Stick with regular gasoline.

With a 19.5 gallon (74 litre) fuel tank and highway fuel consumption of around 9.1 L/100 km, a Nissan Murano can drive approximately 675 kilometres on a full tank of regular gasoline. This gives the Murano decent driving range for road trips before needing to stop for a refill. City driving range is lower at around 530 kilometres per tank due to the higher rate of fuel consumption.

Regular 87 octane gasoline is recommended by Nissan for use in all Murano models. Premium higher octane gasoline is not required for these vehicles and offers no performance, fuel economy or longevity benefits over regular fuel. So drivers can save money by fuelling their Muranos with widely available 87 octane gasoline in Canada.

Like all vehicles, cold winter weather can negatively impact the gas mileage of the Nissan Murano SUV. Estimates indicate fuel economy may decrease by 15-30% in very cold temperatures. This is due to the engine and transmission taking longer to warm up as well as increased rolling resistance from winter tires. Shorter trips and extensive idling in winter also reduce mileage.

Here are some tips to help maximize fuel efficiency in a Nissan Murano:

 

– Accelerate and brake smoothly – aggressive driving reduces economy

– Observe speed limits – fuel economy decreases rapidly above 100 km/h

– Avoid excessive idling when stopped

– Use cruise control on highways to maintain steady speeds

– Remove unnecessary cargo weight from the vehicle

– Make sure tire pressure is at recommended inflation level

Yes, driving with a clogged or dirty air filter can lower gas mileage in a Nissan Murano. Reduced airflow to the engine causes incomplete fuel combustion, wasting gas. Replacing a dirty filter can improve economy by around 10%. The Murano air filter should be inspected at least every 20,000 kilometres as part of routine maintenance.

To help maximize gas mileage and engine longevity, Nissan recommends changing the engine oil and filter every 8,000 kilometres or 6 months in a Murano – whichever comes first. This helps keep the engine running clean and operating at peak efficiency. Severe driving conditions may necessitate more frequent oil changes. Always consult the owner’s manual.



Fuel system cleaners that contain detergent additives can effectively remove deposits that build up in fuel injectors, intake valves and combustion chambers over time. By cleaning these areas, fuel economy can improve by around 3-4% in some cases. Cleaners that contain polyether amine (PEA) tend to work the best for restoring lost performance and gas mileage.

Nissan covers the hybrid battery in the Murano hybrid SUV with an 8 year/160,000 km warranty. Independent testing indicates these batteries are very durable, often lasting 12-15 years and over 240,000 kms before needing replacement. Driving style and climate can impact longevity – frequent full-cycle charges/discharges may shorten life somewhat.

The Nissan Murano hybrid is rated at an impressive 7.3 L/100 km in city driving and 7.0 L/100 km on the highway. These numbers make it one of the most fuel efficient midsize SUVs available. Driving conservatively can allow owners to achieve even better mileage from this advanced hybrid powertrain.

The Murano hybrid uses an advanced petrol-electric powertrain that seamlessly blends power from a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The electric motor provides extra power when accelerating and recaptures energy during braking to improve efficiency. It allows the gas engine to shut off completely when coasting or stopped, reducing fuel consumption.

Yes, Nissan Muranos equipped with intelligent cruise control feature an ECO driving mode. When activated, it adjusts throttle response and transmission shift points to maximize fuel efficiency. It also moderates the climate control system. Using ECO mode helps improve gas mileage during everyday driving.

Some smaller crossover SUVs with 4-cylinder engines offer better combined city/highway fuel economy ratings than the midsize Murano in Canada. For example, the front-wheel drive versions of the Hyundai Kona (7.4 L/100 km) and Kia Seltos (7.7 L/100 km). Going up in size, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (6.7 L/100 km) and Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid (6.4 L/100 km) also beat the Murano’s fuel numbers.

No, using premium gasoline is not necessary or recommended in any Murano model. All trims with the base 4-cylinder or optional V6 engine are designed to run on regular 87 octane fuel. Premium gas costs more but offers no benefits in performance, fuel economy or engine protection over regular grade fuel in this vehicle.



Nissan recommends inspecting the engine air filter in the Murano every 20,000 kms and replacing it as needed. Driving on dirt roads or in dusty conditions necessitates more frequent replacement. A severely clogged filter can decrease acceleration and fuel economy. The air filter is easy to access and change yourself to save on maintenance costs.

Yes, the Nissan Murano is fully compatible with ethanol blended gasoline available in Canada containing up to 10% ethanol (E10). This ethanol additive helps boost octane ratings while reducing petroleum dependency. Nissan endorses using common E10 gas as it meets all fuel specifications for proper Murano engine operation and performance.

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