2016 Ford Edge vs 2016 Nissan Murano

Refuting the Boring Crossover Stereotype

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Not all crossovers have to succumb to the stereotype of being little more than a boring, family-hauling transportation appliance.

Some crossovers are stylish, refined and even a bit of fun. Ones like the 2016 Ford Edge and 2016 Nissan Murano.

The latter is obvious in its attempt to stand out from the crowd. When the Murano fist came out, it looked like no other crossover on the road. With futuristic, concept car styling that favored from over function, it was the clear the Murano was not your average family hauling snoozer. Last year, the third generation Murano went on sale and although it’s still oozing style, things have been toned down a bit as it adopts more familiar styling.

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V6 vs Turbo-Four

The Murano is still powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that now makes 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Since this is a Nissan product, gear changing duties are handled by a continuously variable transmission. The best word to describe the powertrain is smooth. Power deliver is instant and linear. There are no valleys or peaks with the big V6’s output.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Nissan Murano Review – Video

Taking on the Murano is the equally new Ford Edge. Although its exterior sheet metal may lack the flash of the Nissan, the Edge does have a modern, cohesive design that’s quite attractive. Like the Murano, Ford offers a 3.5-liter V6 for the Edge, but it returns horrid fuel economy. To combat this, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine can be had that makes 245 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, albeit when fueled by premium gasoline.

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Fuel Efficiency a Close Contest

Surprisingly, when paired to all-wheel drive, the Edge’s turbocharged four-cylinder is still rated slightly worse than Murano’s V6 in terms of fuel economy, with official figures pegged at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway compared to the Murano’s ratings of 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

In our real-world testing, this small difference in fuel economy proved true as the Edge sucked back fuel at the rate of 19.9 mpg compared to the Murano at 20.1 mpg. A higher curb weight and less efficient six-speed manual transmission can be blamed for the Ford’s greater thirst.

The turbocharged engine isn’t just thirstier; it also can’t match the Murano’s drivetrain for overall smoothness or that nice V6 sound. But it delivers power in a refined, subdued way and after a minor boost delay, offers more accessible torque and acceleration under normal driving conditions. Whereas the Murano at times takes moderate amounts of engine speed to produce forward momentum, the Edge is happy puttering along in the lower rpm range.

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Fun to Drive or Refined Drive?

As tested, the Murano Platinum AWD weighs in a few hundred pounds lighter than the Edge Titanium AWD and in the corners, it’s noticeable. The Murano rotates better through a corner and behaves more like a car, while the Edge feels like a regular crossover. The Nissan’s steering is lighter and looser, yet still better communicates what the vehicle is doing. Overall, the Murano is the more fun-to-drive vehicle, but that’s not saying much, as it’s not exactly engaging.

Even if the Edge is a bit dull to drive, it makes up for it in a lot other ways. For starters, it’s incredibly smooth on the highway. Ford is doing a good job when it comes to cabin isolation and the Edge is no exception. It’s so quiet and vibration free, it feels eerily close to the Lincoln MKX.

The Murano’s brakes are a bit spongy and damper rebound control is much better in the Edge, as the Murano can get bouncy at times. The weight and effort from the Edge’s steering was also preferred by many, even if it lacks any sort of feel.

Those looking to tow a boat or small camper trailer will want to opt for the Edge, as it can be had with a tow package that allows upwards of 3,500 pounds to be hauled from behind the crossover with either the turbo engine or the V6. The Murano is only officially allowed to tow just 1,500 pounds.

Compare Specs

Ford Edge
vs
Nissan Murano
Vehicle Ford Edge Advantage Nissan Murano
Engine 2.0 L Turbocharged Four-Cylinder - 3.5 L V6
Horsepower 245 HP Murano 260 HP
Torque 275 lb-ft. Edge 240 lb-ft.
Transmission Six-Speed Automatic - CVT
Weight 4,078 lbs.+ Murano 4,021 lbs.
Rear Legroom 40.6-inches Edge 38.7-inches
Cargo Space Seats Up 39.2 cubic feet Edge 32.1 cubic feet
Fuel Economy (US) 20 MPG city, 28 MPG hwy Murano 21 MPG city, 28 MPG hwy
Fuel Economy (CDN) 11.5 L/100 km city, 7.8 L/100 km hwy - 11.2 L/100 km city, 8.3 L/100 km hwy
Observed Fuel Economy 19.9 MPG Murano 20.1 MPG
Starting Price(US) $29,595 Edge $30,560
Starting Price(CDN) $34,489 Murano $31,785
As Tested Price(US) $46,665 Murano $43,860
As Tested Price(CDN) $52,989 Murano $45,893

Option for Option

The Edge features a quality-feeling interior, but it’s lacking any real style. The Murano adds a dose of style to an equally well laid out interior, but there are some cheap pieces of switch gear that feel like left over bits from a bygone era.

And speaking of bygone eras, Ford has finally ditched the much despised MyFordTouch and installed the brand’s new Sync3 infotainment software that isn’t just an improvement, it’s downright great. Not to be outdone, Nissan has an equally new version of NissanConnect that operates in a very similar fashion and is just as user friendly.

For some reason, automakers think precious metals make for good trim grades, so it’s the Murano Platinum against the Edge Titanium. As equipped, both vehicle come loaded with features like adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroofs and remote starters. The Edge takes things a step further by offering automated parking assist, rain sensing wipers and active lane keep, while the Murano counters with 360-degree parking cameras and power folding rear seats.

2016-Nissan-Murano-15

Space and Comfort

Spending time in the back seat of either vehicle shouldn’t be an issue, as they offer a ton of space. Despite the Edge having more room on paper, the Murano is actually the more spacious, more comfortable vehicle of the two.

SEE ALSO: Ford Edge Review

But hauling gear swings back in the Edge’s favor, as not only does it offer more cargo room overall, it also has a lower load floor.

2016-Ford-Edge-01

The Verdict: 2016 Ford Edge vs 2016 Nissan Murano

The Murano is a stylish, spacious and a somewhat fun to drive crossover. But it’s missing the refinement found in the Edge. The Edge, on the other hand, is stylish, refined and spacious, but it’s missing some of that fun-to-drive factor. So what to pick?

Well, as tested, the Murano is about $2,800 cheaper and scores slightly better on the IIHS crash tests. That alone could be the deciding factor for many. But for my money, I’d still take the Ford. It’s elegant, surefooted and feels a step above the Murano from behind the wheel.

Discuss this story on our Ford Edge Forum and Nissan Murano Forum

  • gjrip

    Not to mention, when I walk away from my car I like to look back and see something pretty. Styling alone would keep me away from the Murano.

    I’d spend the extra dough on the Edge Sport.

  • Slab it up

    The VQ V6 Engine inside the current Murano, Maxima, Altima & Quest is one of Wards Automotive Top Ten Best Engines of the World right now. You missed that. The Murano is near perfect, the Edge – not so much. The Murano is the Top Safety Pick Plus.

    Better engine, better safety, lower cost, BUILT IN THE USA – the Murano wins!

  • Frank Yoster

    I dont know bout these guys..but ive driven both premium editions…and the murano felt way better and way more redefined then Edge!

  • wcjeep

    We test drove a mid 2015 Ford Edge Titanium. It drove ok. Fit/Finish wasn’t perfect. Looking at NHTSA and other websites the Edge seems to have reliability issues. Salesman recently called to inform us the 2016’s were arriving. I asked if the 2015 problems were fixed. You can guess is answer. He promised all the 2015 problems were fixed. He never bothered to ask what I was talking about.

  • Rocket

    I actually agree with this one. I’d like to see an Edge Platinum combining the Sport’s 2.7T with a more comfort-oriented suspension.

  • Oldtreker

    FYI The Ford owners manual says to use no less than 87 octane for the 2.0 4 cyl. Premium is not mentioned.

  • Shawn

    Did I miss something? Per the review, the Murano is safer, more fuel efficient, less expensive, has a smoother drivetrain, has better cornering and more fun to drive. So why did the reviewer suggest we spend more money on the Edge?

  • closingracer

    I have driven both and while I liked the Murano was nice I prefer the Edge IMHO. I find it more comfortable and the automatic transmission is a clear winner over a CVT no matter how good it is and nissan makes the best CVT. I actually love the Maxima and it’s very fun to drive even with the CVT and front wheel drive.