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Transmission Deserves Praise - 2015 Nissan Murano Long-Term Road Test Posts: 9,975
edited September 2015 in Nissan
imageTransmission Deserves Praise - 2015 Nissan Murano Long-Term Road Test

The 2015 Nissan Murano offers a continuously variable transmission, which often puts a damper on engine response and driving fun. Not so in the Murano.

Read the full story here


  • Slight tangent:
    What is with the automotive industry's obsession with naming features with ridiculous portmanteaus that end in "-matic" and "-tronic"? And who started it? Because whoever started it needs to be kicked in the nards.

    Like Mercedes' Distronic. WTF is that supposed to even mean? And 4MATIC all-wheel drive. And Audi's "multitronic" CVT and "S-tronic" DCT? And, in this case, Nissan's "Xtronic" CVT? The Germans are probably the worst offenders, but still, I see "-matics" and "-tronics" everywhere!
  • Way way back, "matic" and "tronic" indicated high tech (or what passed for high tech at the time) in what was a very low tech world. Even though we live in a world of technological wonders those suffixes still mean about the same thing.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisPosts: 509
    I've been impressed with the V6/CVT combination I've driven in a 2013 Maxima. Seems to be a really good combo. I've also found the driving sensation you speak of to be present in the 2013+ Honda Accord CVT. Changes the way I drive and encourages relaxed cruising.
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 513
    This will sound crazy, but I experienced the same responsiveness you speak of while test-driving a lowly 2014 Versa Note. It was instantaneous, as close to driving an EV (like my Leaf) as I've seen. Granted, it was only a brief drive, but it left a good impression of Nissan's CVT.
  • If you are skeptical about CVTs, take one on a road trip that involves moderate to steep grades (like for example, any road trip out of SoCal). If that doesn't sway you from torque converters, then nothing will. :P
  • I will take a CVT any day over the 9 speed ZF automatics. At some point the number of gears is just too much and you might as well go with a CVT. Acura seems to have much better programming for their 9 speed than Chrysler does but still 9 gears is a bit much. I'm wondering how the new 10 speed Ford truck transmission is going to work. I don't understand the technical specs but I think it's supposed to work more like an 8 speed but have a different set of ratios available when tow/haul is engaged.
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 171
    edited September 2015
    My observation has been that manufacturers that wholescale (as opposed to isolated models like Audi and Ford) switched to CVTs (mechanical, not ECVT hybrids which are technically much different) ostensibly for greater fuel economy were often replacing obsolete 4-speed automatics (e. g., Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki) or aging 5-speed automatics (e. g., Honda). They unsurprisingly achieved better fuel economy, but I see little evidence that it is superior to other manufacturers' competing models using even 6-speed automatics, let alone 7 or more). Toyota and Honda continue to use 6-speed autos in other, more expensive models, possibly because of torque limitations in Honda's case. Nissan uses 7-speed autos in most of the Infiniti line. This leads me to wonder if CVTs are less expensive than 6+ speed automatics, making them more attractive in cheaper cars. With only about a decade of experience with large-scale adoption of modern-design CVTs, I'm also curious about durability, reliability, and maintenance. They would seem to have fewer total parts, but that belt or chain has to experience mechanical wear; if there's too thick a lubricant layer, then it would be slipping and not transmitting power/torque very efficiently. Do CVTs last 200K or more miles with regular routine maintenance, like modern torque converter autos will?
  • Nissan has been the only one with CVTs on the market long enough that a few might be approaching 200,000 miles. The Jatco units they use, especially the early models had problems. Nissan's problems seem to comeback to overheating issues causing the failures. Subaru uses Jatco CVTs also but haven't had the problems Nissan has. Subaru may have a better transmission oil cooler or a stronger construction due to their all wheel drive powertrain.
  • Despite the CVT hate out there, after driving 3000 miles with Nissan's CVT in an Altima and 3000 with Toyota's six-speed auto in a Camry, I would much rather drive the Nissan. My trips have included multiple mountain passes with steep grades. The CVT was smooth no matter what the conditions or how I was driving, while Toyota's six-speed lurched and jerked again and again when downshifting on those grades and when passing. The Toyota repeatedly annoyed both my passengers and I and caused significant head toss with those downshifts. The CVT may cause engine drone occasionally, but I'd much rather listen to that than be jerked around by a poorly shifting Toyota.
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381
    I'd like to try one but have seen too many reports of failures after a period of time. I'll stick to my "AUTOMATICS".
  • The CVT in our JX35 is OK, with only a bit of the "motorboat" feel, but I prefer the Sport setting, in which t mimics a six speed automatic... the smoothest shifting "auto" imaginable.
  • 13,133 Miles is not a long term test of a CVT transmission. A little late to the party since the last post is 2015, but my guess is you are not still testing this vehicle and are not likely to put 50K 70K or 100K miles on it. They work great, when they work. Original owner of 2005 Nissan Murano. The original CVT failed at 49,000 miles in 2015, in spite of having a fluid change performed at the Nissan Dealer at 30,000 miles. Nissan did install a replacement transmission under the 10 year 120,000 mile CVT extended warranty. Good deal, hopefully the reman addressed any issues and will take it past 100K. The replacement transmission began making a loud whirring sound with only 19,000 miles, dealer has indicated the transmission is bad. Replacement transmissions from Nissan, whether warranty or customer pay only come with 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. This transmission is 24 months old with 19,000 miles. Both the dealer and myself contacted Nissan for assistance with this. Dealer agrees should not have failed and likely a bad component in the re-manufactured transmission. In spite of being the original owner, The Nissan "consumer specialist" Stephanie, reading from a script and reciting the various warranty coverage's for the vehicle, denied any further assistance. Says the vehicle is too old. I reiterated, the transmission is only 2 years old with 19,000 miles and has failed. The fact I am on a fixed income, can't afford $4000 for another transmission with a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty, or the fact that transmissions should last longer than 2 years and 19,000 miles doesn't resonate with Nissan. So I have a vehicle that is cosmetically fine, with 68,000 miles, a bad transmission and almost zero value in its current condition other than parts value. If Nissan is so committed to the CVT technology, you would think the replacement transmissions they offer would have a better warranty than 12/12.
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