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Nissan Shows Its Highly Anticipated Murano Convertible

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On: Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 3:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Shows Its Highly Anticipated Murano Convertible

We knew it was coming this week, but it came a little early. Nissan released a picture of its Murano CrossCabriolet, a model which will debut at the LA Auto Show later this week. Soon to be the market's only AWD crossover convertible, the Murano CrossCabriolet doesn't look nearly as crazy or horrible as it could have and is much better than the renderings that we've seen over the years.

According to Nissan its Murano convertible "delivers the open-air exhilaration of a convertible while extending the versatility of the Murano in exciting new ways." And now that we've actually seen it, we kind of agree with that description.

When I first heard that Nissan was cutting the top off the Murano, I thought: "Why!!!?" Crossovers aren't exactly modeled to be convertibles, so I wondered if the world really needed a convertible crossover. In fact, I didn't really wonder; I thought that the world didn't need a crossover convertible at all.

But from what I see, Nissan has actually done a good job of translating crossover utility into convertible form. The heavily raked windshield and redesigned back-end make for an attractive, rational profile that answers my initial question with an emphatic "Because it can be done." As was rumored, the convertible also loses two doors.

And now that we realize that a crossover convertible isn't necessarily a Frankenstein-like monster, it makes perfect sense. Why not enjoy some of the navigational advantages of a crossover, while having the option of dropping the top. In other words, open the top and enjoy that summer sun when driving on the highway or light off-road and still have a car ready to tackle the snow and ice in the winter. Basically, consumers will have a more road-centric, car-based answer to the Jeep Wrangler. So we now have to ask "Why not?"

Of course, we reserve the right to retract that question, when we see more pictures later this week.

Love or hate the design, you'll lose a little utility with the top: there's only room for four rather than the hard-top Murano's five-person seating, and you lose the hatch out back. So you won't have quite as much room for all your gear, something that can be a disadvantage when using the car for activities that crossovers are good for.

The Murano CrossCabriolet will hit the market next year as a 2012 model. We're sure to have more details before the week is out.


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