As the 2018 Nissan Rogue and the 2018 Nissan Murano are two similarly styled 5-seat crossovers offered by the same automaker, telling one from the other, let alone determining which is right for you, can be challenging. The Rogue costs less with prices starting at $25,000 and topping out at just under $34,000 in the SL Hybrid configuration, and it competes with the likes of the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, the Jeep Cherokee and the Ford Escape. The Murano is a mix of mainstream and luxury and is targeted at competitors like the Ford Edge, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the upcoming Chevrolet Blazer. Murano pricing starts at $31,000 and stretches to just over $42,000 in fully-loaded form. Below we’ve outlined the major differences between the two.
Outside, the 2018 Nissan Rogue and the Murano both wear handsome bodywork. The Rogue is the more conservatively styled of the two, but that isn’t to say it isn’t muscular and handsome. Having received a facelift for 2017, the Rogue now wears a tougher interpretation of Nissan‘s V-shaped front end design than in model years past. With slablike sides, each of the Rogue’s creases and angles seem to have a place; the vehicle is interesting to look at while not being over-designed. Around back is more of the same — conservative but attractive.
The Murano tries to be more stylish than the Rogue, but the design ends up looking a bit busy, and it may not be for everyone. Still, it’s hard to call the Murano ugly. The Murano’s interpretation of Nissan’s corporate front fascia gives it a somewhat "surprised" look. A nicely placed crease sweeps down from the hood, forming the vehicle’s belt line aft of the A-pillar. The Murano also incorporates the "floating D-pillar" look — a popular design element today that sees the D-pillar separated by a black trim piece. The Murano’s back end is similar to the front, with the taillights stretched upwards toward the D-pillars and into the rear fenders. Dual exhaust tips are incorporated into a large black trim piece at the bottom of the rear bumper. This black trim is extended around the vehicle in an attempt to give it a more athletic stance.
At 192.8 inches long, the Murano is about 8 inches longer than the 184.5 inch Rogue. The Murano is also 1.2 inches taller and 3 inches wider than the Rogue, although the Rogue offers 1.3 additional inches of ground clearance.
The Rogue’s interior is pretty simplistic from a design standpoint, but it gets nicer in higher trim levels thanks to the addition of leather seating surfaces. All trim levels get an LCD infotainment screen and an additional screen located in the gauge cluster. Up front, the Rogue offers 41.6 inches of headroom and 43 inches of legroom. Second-row passengers get 38.5 inches of headroom and 37.9 inches of legroom. 39 cu ft. of cargo room is offered behind the second row. That figure increases to 70 cu ft. with the second row folded.
The Murano offers a more upscale interior design with significantly less black plastic used throughout. Front-seat headroom isn’t quite as generous at 39.9 inches, nor is the legroom at 40.5 inches. The second row is slightly bigger than that of the Rogue, offering 39.8 inches of headroom and 38.7 inches of legroom. The Murano is slightly smaller in terms of cargo space, offering 32 cu ft. with the second row of seats up and 67 cu ft. with it folded.
The Rogue offers two powertrains — standard and hybrid. Non-hybrid Rogues get a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. The Rogue hybrid uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated with a hybrid system and makes a combined total output of 176 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission. Non-hybrid Rogues earn 26 miles per gallon city driving, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg with front-wheel drive and 25 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/27 mpg combined with all-wheel drive. The hybrid powertrain brings about considerable fuel savings for a relatively small price premium. With FWD, the hybrid earns 33 mpg city/35 mpg hwy/34 mpg combined. Add AWD and those figures become 31 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/33 mpg combined.
The Murano also gives buyers the choice of either FWD or AWD, but offers only one engine and transmission combination; a 3.5-liter V6 making 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque and mated to a continuously variable transmission. Regardless of the drive wheels, the Murano makes 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.
Overall, neither of these vehicles is performance-oriented, and their continuously variable transmissions can be seen as a major drawback, as both are loud and rough, delivering power in a confounding manner. Still, they both earn respectable fuel economy, especially in the case of the Rogue Hybrid, and the Murano’s 260 hp V6 is plenty powerful.
Features & Technology
The Murano and the Rogue both offer optional heated front seats and steering wheels, while the Murano takes this one step further, offering cooled front seats and heated rear seats. Both vehicles feature Nissan’s truck tire-filling system that beeps the horn when the desired tire pressure has been reached during filling.
The Rogue comes standard with a 7-in infotainment screen, while the Murano’s screen is 8 inches. Both offer standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Both the Rogue and the Murano are available with a 360-degree surround-view camera system with what Nissan calls Moving Object Detection, a feature that alerts the driver of moving objects around the vehicle while traveling at speeds of under 6 miles per hour.
The Murano offers the means for lowering and raising the second row of seats from the cargo area, perfect for when you’re in the middle of loading a large item only to conclude that it requires that the rear seats be lowered in order to fit.
The Rogue offers an available hands-free power tailgate system, activated by waving a foot under its rear bumper. The Rogue features an additional storage compartment in the floor of the rear cargo area.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash-test ratings, both the Murano and Rogue perform quite well across the board. The Rogue is even named an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Any new car buyer should look for a vehicle equipped with modern driver-assistance features. Surprisingly, the Rogue offers a better overall package than the more expensive Murano in this regard. Nissan calls its driver-assistance system "Nissan Intelligent Mobility." As of 2018, all-new Nissan vehicles come standard with forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking as standard across the board. In addition to these features, the Rogue offers optional adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic monitoring. Murano buyers are only able to select blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.
Quality & Reliability
Both the Rogue and the Murano should offer good mechanical quality, but the interior quality of the more luxurious Murano is a step up from that of the Rogue. This will be noticeable when it comes to seating surfaces, materials and fit-and-finish throughout the cabin.
Nissan products are generally reliable, which should be the case with either the Rogue or the Murano.
Both vehicles offer a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is about the norm for the industry, but it falls short of offerings by Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen. Nissan warranties the Rogue’s hybrid system for 8 years or 100,000 miles.
Put simply, while the 2018 Nissan Rogue and the 2018 Nissan Murano are both practical vehicles, the Rogue is the more mainstream offering and leans more toward function, while the Murano is more luxurious and sacrifices slightly on utility in favor of an attractive, expressive design. While both are similar in terms of dimensions inside and out and offer ample utility, the Rogue is likely more economical for families, while the Murano offers more for the individual.