Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 BMW X3 VS 2014 Nissan Murano Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 BMW X3

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VS

2014 Nissan Murano

Safety Comparison

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To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X3. But it costs extra on the Murano.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X3’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Murano doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The BMW X3 has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Murano doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The X3 offers an optional Top View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Murano only offers a rear monitor.

The X3 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Murano doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X3 and the Murano have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the X3 earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the X3’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Murano was rated two rankings lower at “Marginal.”

Warranty Comparison

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The X3 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Murano’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Murano’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Murano.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X3 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Murano’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in initial quality. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 16th in reliability. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

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The X3 xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The X3 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (300 vs. 260) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 240) than the Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the X3 xDrive28i is faster than the Nissan Murano:

X3

Murano

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.8 sec

20.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

9.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.7 sec

3.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

91 MPH

Top Speed

127 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X3 gets better fuel mileage than the Murano:

X3

Murano

2WD

V6/Auto

n/a

18 city/24 hwy

AWD

xDrive28i/Auto

21 city/28 hwy

n/a

xDrive35i/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/23 hwy

V6

Regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Murano doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Murano doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the X3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Murano:

X3

Murano

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.9 inches

12.1 inches

The X3 stops much shorter than the Murano:

X3

Murano

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the X3 has larger tires than the Murano (245/50R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The X3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Murano S/SV/SL’s standard 65 series tires. The X3’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Murano LE’s 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X3 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Murano doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The X3 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Murano’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X3 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Murano’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Murano’s (57.8% to 42.2%). This gives the X3 more stable handling and braking.

The X3 xDrive28i handles at .86 G’s, while the Murano SL AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X3 xDrive35i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Murano SL (26.5 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X3 has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Murano (8.5 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the X3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The X3 is 6.9 inches shorter than the Murano, making the X3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X3 has .6 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the Murano.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X3 easier. The X3’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.8 inches, while the Murano’s liftover is 30.8 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The X3 offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Murano doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X3 and the Murano have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Murano prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X3’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Murano’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

The X3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Murano S/SV’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X3 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Murano doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The X3 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Murano has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SV/SL/LE.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Murano doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X3 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Murano doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X3’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Murano SL/LE.

When the X3 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Murano’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X3 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Murano offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional BMW Apps for the X3 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Murano doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the X3, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Nissan only offers wireless connectivity on the Murano SV/SL/LE.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the X3 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X3 with a number “8” insurance rate while the Murano is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The X3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the X3 will retain 48.17% to 48.27% of its original price after five years, while the Murano only retains 42.5% to 44.95%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X3 is less expensive to operate than the Murano because it costs $522 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the X3 than the Murano, including $66 less for fuel injection and $610 less for a timing belt/chain.

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