Blog: Nissan Murano
Dave Leggett | 16 May 2005
What is a socially responsible form of transport and what isn't? Many of us have had our little digs at 'Chelsea tractors' over the years - people driving off-roaders in central London or other urban/suburban areas that will rarely or, indeed, never actually go off-tarmac. There's something just a little wasteful in such an over-engineered solution for moving people around cities (but why single out SUVs? How green are 180 mph supercars for that matter? And are they not a tad over-engineered for speed-limited and crowded public roads?).
But the car companies aren't completely daft. There are a whole lot more car-like 'soft-roaders' available now. Think Honda CR-V and off-roaders that couldn't actually mix it with serious mud-pluggers. But they are better ride on-road though (and cheaper to make, incidentally). So, you get the lifestyle associations in a vehicle that looks like an off-roader but isn't quite as uncompromising as the real McCoy. Give the public what the public wants and make some money in the process.
And now we have the Nissan Murano to add to the list.
Nice piece in The Sunday Times from Jeremy Clarkson reviewing the Murano; the article neatly distills some of the more basic issues surrounding such vehicles (below link). Also, for those that don't know, Robin Cook was a government minister here a few years back. 'Soviet attitude to success'? Possibly a little bit harsh, Jeremy. But 'mad hair' seems fair enough.
I'm hoping to have a go in a Murano at the annual SMMT (UK auto industry trade association) test day tomorrow (17th May) at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford (some fifty miles north of London). Many manufacturers make their cars available for auto journalists to try out for size. Plenty of cars to try, PRs to talk to (or pull faces at) and a few journalist colleagues to catch up with. Should be good. Aiming to be there for bacon rolls, coffee and Chris Macgowan (SMMT CEO - see www.automotivedesktop.com) presentation at 8:15am. Another unpleasantly early alarm call in prospect. Just hope it isn't raining tomorrow.
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