23 April 2004

Nissan’s Murano SUV will finally go on sale in the UK early next year, slotting between the popular X-Trail junior 4x4 and full-size Patrol off-roader.

Autocar first snapped the American-market model on a Paris side-street near Nissan’s European HQ last June while the car was over for secret tests. Now it has been given the green light, with sales starting early next year for around £30,000.

The Murano is powered by a detuned version of the 3.5-litre V6 from the 350Z, developing around 245bhp. However, there won’t be a turbodiesel available in this generation car – a potential hindrance in Europe.

Nissan blames development costs, and says that the Patrol’s oil-burner wasn’t refined enough for this car, which will compete against the Volvo XC90 and BMW X5.

Nissan will start taking orders from UK customers at next month’s British Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

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