My partner and I are looking for a well-equipped SUV. We don’t anything too small, but we also don’t want a third row. We haven’t seen anything we like in our price range (under $30,000 or, preferably, a lot less) from Honda, Toyota or GM. We’d also like something with a bit of style. – Beth, Airdrie, Alta
Among crossovers, the smallest and the biggest tend to get the most attention. But there’s a middle ground with vehicles that offer more space than a compact without dooming you to roaming the streets in search of a big enough parking space.
You’ll probably want all-wheel drive. Two options are the 2015 Nissan Murano (starting at $27,442 used, for AWD, on average) and 2015 Ford Edge (starting at $22,898, used, for AWD). Another option is the Jeep Grand Cherokee from 2014 ($23,709) or 2015 ($27,124).
Here, we’ll look at the Murano and the Edge.
The Nissan fares better on looks and reliability, but the Ford has the edge on the road.
2015 Nissan Murano
- Third generation: 2015 to present
- Average asking price for base: $20,650 (Canadian Black Book)
- Original starting MSRP: $29,998
- Engine: 260-hp 3.5-litre V-6
- Transmission/Drive: CVT/Front-wheel, all-wheel
- Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 11.0 city, 9.2 highway (FWD), 11.2 city, 8.3 highway (AWD); regular gas
For 2015, Nissan’s Murano got spiffy new looks – but it wasn’t just another pretty face.
“This Murano is terrific to drive for this class,” Globe Drive reported. “Easy to enjoy on straights and in turns, quiet … and powered by a perfectly responsive, 260-horsepower V-6.”
New for 2015, the Murano came in four trims: S, SV, SL and Platinum. The base S was FWD-only and came with plenty of bells and whistles – including heated seats, push-button start, dual automatic climate control and rear-view camera. AWD was optional on the SV (with add-ons that included power seats and panoramic sunroof) and standard on the SL (leather, 360-degree around-view monitor) and Platinum (emergency braking, LED headlights).
For any of the trims with AWD, Canadian Black Book gives an average asking price of just over $27,000.
Consumer Reports praised the 2015 Murano’s “concept-car like” styling, plush near-luxury cabin, powerful engine, simple infotainment system and generous collection of standard features. But it didn’t like the “limited” rear and side visibility, lower towing capacity than some rivals (1,500 lbs to the Edge's 3,500), “overly light and numb” steering and general lack of sportiness, especially compared to the previous Murano.
Consumer Reports gave the 2015 Murano three out of five for reliability, with some users reporting trouble with frozen display screens. There were three recalls, including a glitch that could deactivate the passenger-side airbag when an adult is sitting in the seat.
2015 Ford Edge
- Second generation (the third generation is for the 2019 model year): 2015 to present
- Average asking price for base: $20,950 (Canadian Black Book)
- Original starting MSRP: $31,199
- Engine: 245-hp, 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, 280-hp, 3.5-litre V-6, 315-hp, 2.7-litre turbocharged V-6 (Edge Sport)
- Transmission/Drive: Six-speed automatic/Front, all-wheel
- Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 11.5 city, 7.8 highway (FWD, four-cylinder), 11.8 city, 8.4 highway (AWD, four-cylinder); regular gas
You wouldn’t call it edgy, but the 2015 Ford Edge was bigger, better and (slightly) bolder-looking. “The new Edge looks and drives better than the prior model and offers a range of features to rival more expensive luxury cars,” Globe Drive reported.
For 2015, the Oakville, Ont.-assembled Edge came in five trims: SE (used: $20,950 FWD, $22,898 for AWD), SEL ($23,277 FWD, $25,740 AWD), Sport ($32,874 AWD) and Titanium ($29,400 FWD, 29,282 AWD). SE came with rear-view camera and push-button start. SEL gave you heated front seats and a power driver’s seat.
The 3.5-litre, 280-hp V-6 was an option on every trim except the Sport, which came standard with a 2.7-litre, 315-hp V-6.
Consumer Reports liked the Edge’s “premium feel,” “refined” four-cylinder engine, quiet interior, super-easy access and generous rear seat and cargo space. It didn’t like the thick rough pillars that hurt visibility and the “frustrating” MyFord Touch infotainment system.
It gave the 2015 Edge two out of five for reliability, with users reporting trouble with frozen display screens and leaking oil-pan gaskets. There were two recalls, including a fix to bolts that could corrode and potentially cause a loss of power steering on the road.
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