- The Nissan Murano is in its third generation.
- The Chevrolet Blazer nameplate dates back to the 1970s.
2021 Nissan Murano
Base Price: $33,605 / Read our 2021 Nissan Murano Review
What we like: Ritzy interior; powerful standard V6; standard active-safety features
What we would change: Continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) dulls accelerator response; not much off-road capability; no choice of powertrains
Overview: The Nissan Murano makes its case on comfort and style in a field now crowded with competitors. The Murano’s expressive exterior design might not appeal to everyone, but it stands out against boxier rivals. The interior, particularly in upper trims, can get fairly luxe with available quilted leather, and all Muranos have soft, cushy front seats. Room for five is good and ingress/egress is easy. Cargo space is only moderate, however. The Murano’s chassis delivers a cushy ride (no sporting version is offered) and limited off-road capability. The standard, and only, engine is a stout 260-horsepower V6. It’s paired with a CVT transmission, which unfortunately dulls accelerator response, although this is less noticeable when driving gently. Fuel economy is good for an engine of this size, at 23 mpg combined for either the front-wheel-drive or AWD version.
What’s new for 2021: The Murano ups its safety game this year, as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear auto-braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beams are now standard on all trims. A new Special Edition package replaces the previous SV Premium package and includes a panoramic sunroof, a 360-degree-view monitor, heated front seats, 20-inch wheels, and synthetic leather upholstery.
Features and technology: The 2021 Nissan Murano is offered in S, SV, SL, and Platinum trims. All versions get an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation is included on the SL and Platinum. Adaptive cruise control and an auto-dimming mirror arrive with the SV trim, while the SL also adds a hands-free power liftgate and Homelink. A 360-degree-view monitor and parking sensors are standard on the top two trims and optional on the SV. Some competitors have larger infotainment screens, and the Murano is also missing wireless smartphone charging and wireless smartphone mirroring, which have begun appearing elsewhere.
What does the future hold: The Murano has been around for a while, so the time for a redesign is likely drawing near. See 2021 Nissan Murano models for sale near you
2021 Chevrolet Blazer
Base Price: $29,995 / Read our 2021 Chevrolet Blazer Review
What we like: Sharp-looking design inside and out; sporty handling; available V6; tows up to 4,500 pounds
What we would change: AWD unavailable with the two lower trims; driver-assists not standard on lower trims; richly priced at the high end
Overview: This Chevy nameplate may have been born out on the trails, but the 2021 Chevrolet Blazer is an urbane crossover whose chief calling cards are sporty styling and sharp handling. That’s particularly true of the Blazer RS, although its stiffer suspension exacts a toll in ride comfort. There’s plenty of room for five in the stylish interior, but some cabin materials are disappointing. Cargo space, meanwhile, is average for the class. A 193-hp 2.5-liter engine powers lower trims, but the 227-hp 2.0-liter turbo four offers more grunt, is more fuel-efficient, and can be combined with AWD. Our favorite, though, is the potent 306-hp V6 that’s standard on the RS and Premier and optional on the 2LT and 3LT. It can tow up to 4,500 pounds and can be paired with FWD or AWD, and the latter includes rear torque vectoring in the RS. The V6’s mileage is a not-so-great 22 mpg combined (FWD) or 21 mpg (AWD). The turbo four adds 3 mpg to those numbers and is the most economical choice. All engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic, which can be slow to downshift.
What’s new for 2021: The Safety Assist Package, consisting of forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams is now standard on the 2LT, 3LT, Premier, and RS trims. V6 Blazers with front-wheel drive can now be had with the trailering package (raising the tow rating from 1,500 to 4,500 pounds).
Features and technology: The Blazer is offered in L, 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, RS, and Premier trim levels.
All trims get a user-friendly infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, while the RS and Premier add navigation. Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams is now standard on the 2LT and above. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional on 1LT and 2LT and standard on higher trims. Leather arrives with the 3LT. Adaptive cruise control and wireless device charging are optional on the two top trims. The RS and the Premier are the most desirable variants, but they’re also quite pricey. Better to option a 2LT or 3LT with your preferred features.
What does the future hold: The current-generation Blazer has been around since 2019, which means it’s likely to see a minor redo for 2022. See 2021 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale near you
Murano vs. Blazer: Strengths comparison
Nissan Murano Benefits: Standard active-safety features, nicer interior, comfy seats, smooth ride
Chevrolet Blazer Benefits: Available sporty RS variant, 4,500 pounds max towing, lower starting price
2021 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2021 Nissan Murano: Which is better?
These SUVs are quite different in personality yet very closely matched. Interior and cargo space is similar, but the Murano is the better choice for those interested primarily in a comfortable ride and an upscale environment. The Blazer, particularly in RS form, gets the nod for those looking for a sportier appearance and engaging driving experience. See 2021 Nissan Murano models for sale or See 2021 Chevrolet Blazer models for sale
|2021 Nissan Murano||2021 Chevrolet Blazer|
|Engine||3.5-liter V6||2.5-liter I-4|
|Horsepower||260 hp at 6,000 rpm||193 hp at 6,300 rpm|
|Torque||240 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm||188 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg (20 city/28 hwy)||23 mpg (21 city/27 hwy)|
|Also Available||AWD||2.0L turbo i-4; 3.6L V6; AWD|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||5 stars||n/a|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||111.2 inches||112.7 inches|
|Overall Length||192.8 inches||191.4 inches|
|Width||75.4 inches||76.7 inches|
|Height||67.8 inches||67.0 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.7 feet||38.7 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.9 inches||39.8 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.8 inches||38.6 inches|
|Legroom, Front||40.5 inches||41.0 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.7 inches||36.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||59.5 inches||59.1 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||58.9 inches||58.6 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||108.1 cubic feet||107.8 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||32.1/67.0 cubic feet||30.5/64.2 cubic feet|