Best & Worst Nissan Murano Years

We've ranked each Nissan Murano model for all generations so you can avoid picking the worst Nissan Murano years and pick the best Nissan Murano years.

In this guide, I’ll break down all Nissan Murano generations, revealing the best Murano years to buy and the worst Nissan Murano years to avoid.

Our rigorous assessment is backed by data from trusted sources, including NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book, ensuring a thorough and reliable evaluation.

Particularly noteworthy in this article is our deep dive into the Nissan Murano’s reliability, safety, common owner-reported problems, recall history, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

Related:Best & Worst Nissan Altima YearsBest & Worst Nissan Frontier YearsBest & Worst Nissan Sentra Years

Table of ContentsShow

Nissan Murano Generations

The Nissan Murano, first introduced in 2002, quickly gained popularity with its sleek design and impressive features.

It stood out as a mid-size crossover SUV that offered style and substance. Over the years, the Murano has evolved significantly, with each generation bringing new advancements and improvements.

Here is a detailed table of Nissan Murano’s generations from 2003:

1st generation (Z50)2003-2007
2nd generation (Z51)2009-2014
3rd generation (Z52)2015-Present

The changes between generations are noteworthy and can be a key factor in deciding which model year is suitable for you.

Nissan Murano Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the best, neutral, and worst Nissan Murano years, our categorizations consider a variety of critical factors, such as:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

A graph combining all these ratings will represent Murano’s performance over the years.

Nissan Murano Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Based on these factors, we’ve categorized each model year of the Nissan Murano into best, neutral, and worst years.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (Z50)2007N/A2003
2nd generation (Z51)2010
3rd generation (Z52)2018

“Neutral Years” are the years that neither stood out for excellence nor had significant drawbacks. They represent a balanced choice for buyers.

It’s important to note that factors like NHTSA recalls can negatively impact a vehicle’s ranking. A higher number of complaints and recalls generally indicates lower reliability.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst Nissan Murano years.

Best & Worst Years for Nissan Murano 1st Generation (2003-2007)

Nissan Murano 1st generation 2003 model
The 2003 Nissan Murano

The Nissan Murano, introduced in 2003, pioneered a unique crossover SUV design, blending an SUV’s utility with a car’s driving characteristics.

2007 is the best Nissan Murano year of the generation, while 2003-2006 are the years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2007

The Nissan Murano’s best year in its first generation, the 2007 Murano, equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine, delivered an impressive 240 hp, providing a blend of performance and efficiency with an average of 17-23 mpg.

This year stood out for its improved reliability and reduced issues compared to its predecessors.

It offered key technological advancements like a navigation system and a rearview camera, enhancing safety and convenience.

Available in various trims, S, SL, and SE, each variant offered a range of amenities, from basic to luxurious, catering to a broad audience.

While there were reports of subframe corrosion, the 2007 Murano was generally well-received for its dependability and fewer mechanical problems.

The Worst Years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

What are the worst Nissan Murano years to avoid? With many recalls and owner complaints, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 are Nissan Murano’s worst years in this generation.

The 2003 Nissan Murano was notorious for engine stalling, door actuator malfunctions, unintended acceleration, and broken driver seat metal supports.

It faced multiple recalls for wire breaking inside the alternator, which may drain the battery, intake air ducts separating from the resonator, and broken cam position sensor welds, both causing engine stalling, fuel tanks, which may puncture, and seat belts.

The 2004 Nissan Murano year saw transmission and alternator failures becoming more common, and by 2005 and 2006, issues with broken driver seat frames and lock actuator failures were prevalent.

The 2006 Murano was also troubled by subframe corrosion, affecting vehicle safety.

See NHTSA 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Nissan Murano recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Nissan Murano 2nd Generation (2009-2014)

Nissan Murano 2nd generation 2009 model
The 2009 Nissan Murano

The second generation of the Nissan Murano, launched in 2009, built upon its predecessor’s success with a more refined design and enhanced features.

2009 is the worst Nissan Murano model year of the generation, while the best Murano years span between 2010 and 2014.

The Best Years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

The Murano’s best years, from 2010 to 2014, saw significant improvements in reliability and overall performance.

The powertrain remained consistent with a 3.5L V6 and Xtronic CVT, providing around 260 hp and maintaining an average fuel economy of 18-24 mpg.

These models boasted advanced safety features, including standard curtain airbags and stability control, contributing to higher safety ratings.

Technological enhancements such as Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system, and a rearview camera were increasingly common.

The trim levels – S, SV, SL, and LE – offered varying degrees of luxury, with higher trims featuring leather upholstery, heated seats, and premium audio systems.

These models stood out for their reduced mechanical issues and increased owner satisfaction.

The Worst Years: 2009

The 2009 Murano, marking the beginning of this generation, encountered notable issues, particularly with its CVT transmission, leading to complaints about jerking and hard shifting.

Electrical system problems included stalling and power loss.

The model also faced critical issues with its brakes, notably unresponsive braking, which posed significant safety concerns.

This year was subject to recalls addressing the Occupant Classification System (OCS) malfunctions and ABS valve issues, which affected braking performance.

The convergence of these problems in the 2009 Nissan Murano significantly impacted its reliability, making it the least reliable year of this generation.

See NHTSA 2009 Nissan Murano recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Nissan Murano 3rd Generation (2015-Present)

Nissan Murano 3rd generation 2015 model
The 2015 Nissan Murano

The third generation of the Nissan Murano, introduced in 2015, represented a significant leap forward in design and technology.

2015 and 2016 are the Nissan Murano years to avoid in this generation, while model years from 2018 to 2024 are the most reliable.

The Best Years: 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

What is the best year for the Nissan Murano? The best years for the third-generation Nissan Murano, 2018, 2019, and 2021 onwards, are characterized by robust performance, advanced safety features, and various technological enhancements.

The 3.5L V6 engine, delivering approximately 260 hp, combined with the CVT transmission, provides a smooth and responsive driving experience.

These models boast improved fuel efficiency, averaging around 20-28 mpg.

Safety features are top-notch, with standard automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring, contributing to its Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS.

The trim levels – S, SV, SL, and Platinum – offer luxury features like leather seats, panoramic sunroofs, and advanced infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

These years stand out for their high-reliability scores and reduced mechanical issues.

The Neutral Years: 2017, 2020

The 2017 and 2020 Murano models serve as transitional years with consistent performance and reliability.

These models use the 3.5L V6 engine and CVT transmission, ensuring a reliable and comfortable driving experience.

Safety features like rearview cameras and automatic emergency braking are standard, providing peace of mind.

However, the 2017 Nissan Murano was subjected to recalls concerning brake fluid leaks.

The 2020 Murano was subjected to recalls concerning steering knuckle or rear axle housing deformation and traverse link, which may separate from the ball joint.

The Worst Years: 2015, 2016

What are the Nissan Murano years to avoid? The initial years of the third generation, 2015 and 2016, faced several issues with the Xtronic CVT and brakes, which led to complaints about performance and reliability.

These models experienced issues like transmission failures and emergency braking system malfunctions deactivating adaptive cruise control.

Recalls were issued concerning brake fluid leaks, which could affect braking performance.

Despite their modern design and ample features, these early years were marred by these significant issues, making them the least recommended in the third generation.

See NHTSA 2015, 2016 Nissan Murano recalls and complaints.

Nissan Murano Resale Values

See the graph below, which shows the average resale values for Nissan Murano across different model years.

Nissan Murano Average List Price


Wrapping up our in-depth look at the Nissan Murano, the 2010-2014 and 2018-2024 models emerge as the best model years to buy for reliability and features, while the 2003-2006, 2009, 2015, and 2016 models are the worst years to avoid.

Which of these years aligns best with your needs and why?

Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below!

Relevant For You

The Best and Worst Years For Cadillac SRX
Best & Worst Cadillac SRX Years
Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.