- The Nissan Murano is in its third generation.
- The Ford Edge is in its second generation.
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: 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-hp 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 Ford Edge
Base Price: $32,495 / Read our 2021 Ford Edge Review
What we like: Standard active-safety features; XXL infotainment display; sporty ST version; roomy interior
What we would change: Interior materials could use an upgrade; outward visibility is not great; ditch the dial gear selector
Overview: With wide but stubby proportions, the Edge is a mid-size crossover that’s strictly a five-seater, a genre that’s increasingly popular. Wide doors and low sills ease access, and passenger space is generous—so, too, is the cargo hold, either behind the rear seats (with 41.7 cubic feet) or with the seatbacks folded (74.8 cubic feet). Interior finishes aren’t great, however, while thick pillars and a faraway windshield make for an awkward view out. Most Edge variants use a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four and an 8-speed automatic. The combination is adequately powerful and fairly economical, with EPA combined ratings of 24 mpg with FWD and 23 mpg with AWD. The sporty Edge ST gets a potent 2.7-liter turbo V6 with 335 horsepower and standard AWD. The ST supplements its muscular engine with a stiffer suspension and (optionally) more robust brakes. The standard Edge, though, is unremarkable in corners, though it delivers a smooth ride. Neither version offers much is the way of off-road capability.
What’s new for 2021: The big news for the 2021 Edge is a big new touchscreen. The vertically oriented 12-inch unit is standard on all trims. Rear parking sensors are now standard but some lesser standard features have been removed. The ST replaces its previous 8-speed automatic with a 7-speed and adds a heated steering wheel and a 6-way power passenger seat. Finally, there are new wheel designs and two new exterior colors (both gray).
Features and technology: The 2021 Ford Edge’s S, SEL, and Titanium trims climb a ladder of ascending equipment, although even the top Titanium isn’t super-fancy. The high-performance (and high-priced) Edge ST is its own animal, while the ST-Line gets the sporty look without the high-performance equipment. All trims come standard with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams. Adaptive cruise control with lane-centering is optional. The new infotainment system runs the latest SYNC 4 with natural-speech recognition and wireless smartphone mirroring, though navigation remains optional.
What does the future hold: The current-generation Ford Edge dates back to 2015, so this model is due for a redesign soon. See 2021 Ford Edge models for sale near you.
Murano vs. Edge: Strengths comparison
Nissan Murano Benefits: Luxe interior, comfy seats, smooth ride, stylish exterior
Ford Edge Benefits: Powerful turbo V6, sporty ST variant, large cargo hold, extra-large display with wireless smartphone mirroring
2021 Nissan Murano vs. 2021 Ford Edge: Which is better?
More stylish outside and more luxurious inside, the Nissan Murano holds a subjective advantage, but the Ford Edge counters with more modern infotainment, a much larger cargo hold, and a sporty ST variant that the Murano can’t match, which together put this Ford ahead in our book. Find a 2021 Nissan Murano for sale or Find a 2021 Ford Edge for sale
|2021 Nissan Murano||2021 Ford Edge|
|Engine||3.5-liter V6||2.0-liter I-4 turbo|
|Horsepower||260 hp at 6,000 rpm||250 hp at 5,550 rpm|
|Torque||240 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm||275 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg (20 city/28 highway)||24 mpg (21 city/29 highway)|
|Also Available||AWD||2.7-liter turbo V6; 7-speed AT; AWD|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||111.2 inches||112.2 inches|
|Overall Length||192.8 inches||188.8 inches|
|Width||75.4 inches||75.9 inches|
|Height||67.8 inches||68.3 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.7 feet||39.3 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.9 inches||40.2 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.8 inches||40.3 inches|
|Legroom, Front||40.5 inches||42.6 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.7 inches||40.6 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||59.5 inches||60.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||58.9 inches||60.5 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||108.1 cubic feet||113.9 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||32.1/67.0 cubic feet||41.7/74.8 cubic feet|