- 2021 Nissan Murano holds a maximum of 74 cubic feet of cargo.
- The 2021 Buick Envision is all-new for this year and gets plenty of upgrades.
- Both offer great standard safety features and a single engine choice.
2021 Nissan Murano
Base price: $33,605 / Read our 2021 Nissan Murano review
What we like: V6 power; standard safety features; ample passenger space; premium vibe.
What we would change: Single engine/transmission choice; big rear blind spots; CVT can drone; resale value; towing limited to 1,500 pounds.
Overview: In a segment in which carmakers try to cram in three rows, Nissan wisely went with two in the 2021 Murano, and we applaud that choice. The Murano has plenty of space for rear-seat passengers and a useful cargo capacity, with 37 cubic feet available with the seats upright and 74 with them folded. The cabin is comfortable and cosseting, with an unexpectedly premium feel.
Power comes from Nissan’s excellent V6, which gives the Murano plenty of oomph when needed, although the CVT can drone when pushed hard. Handling is also so-so, with the Murano more oriented toward comfort than sportiness through the turns. Be aware that the Murano’s high waistline and thick rear pillars lead to poor rear visibility. Fortunately, standard safety features include Nissan’s Safety Shield 360. This includes rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, and automatic emergency braking, among other things. Base features also include dual-zone climate control and an 8-inch touchscreen, and a 6-speaker stereo. Resale values are about average.
What’s new for 2021: With an emphasis on safety this year, the Nissan Murano includes Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of active safety features, as well as new rear emergency braking. Other than that, the Special Edition package replaces the previous SV Premium package, and new paint colors include Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Magnetic Black Pearl, and Boulder Gray Pearl.
Features and technology: With only one engine and transmission choice, the 2021 Nissan Murano also only includes four trim levels. The base S is well equipped, though, with dual-zone climate control, push-button start, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD Bluetooth audio system with both USB and aux inputs. As mentioned above, Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 comes standard, including rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and, new for 2021, automatic rear braking.
The next up is the SV, which adds power front seats, adaptive cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and wood interior trim. The SL brings heated leather front and rear seats, 20-inch wheels, a navigation system, a Bose 11-speaker audio system, an around-view camera system, and 20-inch wheels. The top Platinum has semi-aniline leather seats with diamond quilting, a dual-pane moonroof, ventilated front seats, and NissanConnect services, which allows the Murano to be controlled remotely (such as locking it) from your phone.
What does the future hold: Our big complaint about the 2021 Murano is the large rear three-quarter blind spot, so we would like to see that fixed in a redesign. Other than that, we’d like to see the CVT tuned to be a bit less drone-y. Find a 2021 Nissan Murano for sale
2021 Buick Envision
2021 Buick Envision starting price: $31,800 / Read our 2021 Buick Envision Review
What we like: Turbocharged engine; great safety suite; wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; great top-of-the-line Avenir model; optional AWD across the lineup.
What we would change: Increase towing capacity; offer more powertrains; add power liftgate on the base model.
Overview: The Buick Envision is a compact premium crossover by Buick that offers tons of luxury amenities for a good price. It is a 2-row, 5-passenger vehicle that is built off the same chassis as the Cadillac XT4. While the vehicle is an American SUV, it is built in China.
What’s new for 2021: The Envision is all-new for this model year. It is about the same length as the previous generation, but it is lower and wider and comes in three trim levels: Preferred, Essence, and Avenir. All versions get a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that makes 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. There are no other engine options, though you can opt for either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive across the lineup. The FWD version gets 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. The AWD versions are slightly less fuel-efficient, making 22 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. Adding AWD will cost you $1,800 regardless of the trim level you choose.
Features and technology: At the base level, or Preferred trim, the Envision comes equipped with Bi-LED headlights, manual cloth-covered front seats, and an infotainment system featuring an 8-inch touchscreen, Sirius XM radio, and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. It also comes with push-button ignition, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, cruise control, and a safety suite that includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.
The mid-grade Buick Envision is the Essence trim, and it adds heated, power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-inch touchscreen, an 8-inch multicolor driver information center, and a power liftgate.
Most luxurious is the Envision Avenir. At this level, you get a premium Bose 9-speaker audio system, a cargo compartment cover, premium floormats, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, a massaging driver’s seat, heated rear seats, and an infotainment system with more memory. The Buick Envision Avenir also has front and rear park assist, plus larger wheels and tires.
In addition to a $1,450 optional moonroof, the 2021 Buick Envision Essence can be ordered with a $2,500 Technology Package that includes front and rear park assist, HD surround vision, the 9-speaker Bose audio system, and a head-up display. The Essence and Avenir versions of the Envision also are available with a $1,965 Technology Package II. This includes enhanced versions of the automatic emergency braking and parking assist programs, plus adaptive cruise control, articulating headlamps, a video rearview mirror, and active suspension with continuous damping.
What does the future hold: Buick sells more cars in China than it does in the U.S., which means that we may see some additional engine options in future iterations. Find a Buick Envision for sale near you
Murano vs. Envision: Strengths Comparison
Nissan Murano benefits: More cargo space; more power.
Buick Envision benefits: Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; tons of luxury amenities; turbocharged engine.
2021 Nissan Murano vs. 2021 Buick Envision: Which is better?
While the Nissan Murano offers more cargo space than the Buick Envision and a more powerful engine, we still have to put our money on the Buick Envision. It provides a luxury experience for a really good price, and there’s no droney CVT to contend with.
|Popular Powertrains||2021 Nissan Murano||2021 Buick Envision|
|Engine||3.5-liter V6||2.0-liter turbo I-4|
|Horsepower||260 hp @ 6,000 rpm||228 hp @ 5000 rpm|
|Torque||240 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm||258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg (20 city/28 hwy)||25 mpg (24 city/31 hwy)|
|Basic warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||4 years/ 50,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||6 years/ 70,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||NA|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||111.2 inches||109.4 inches|
|Overall Length||192.8 inches||182.5 inches|
|Width||75.4 inches||74.1 inches|
|Height||67.8 inches||64.6 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.7 feet||38 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.9 inches||39.6 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.8 inches||38.9 inches|
|Legroom, Front||40.5 inches||40.4 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.7 inches||39.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||59.5 inches||56.7 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||58.9 inches||55.9 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||108.1 cubic feet||100.4 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||32.1 cubic feet||25.2 cubic feet|