Review: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
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Fast-forward to 2011 and Renault-Nissan is at it again. The Murano CrossCabriolet resembles nothing so much as an overgrown rendition of one of those European B-segment convertible runabouts that never seem to make the transatlantic leap. Americans, the conventional wisdom goes, prefer their droptops more grandiose or sporty than cutesy. Seeing an opening, Renault-Nissan Poobah and part-time Mr. Bean re-enactor Carlos Ghosn shepherded the CrossCabrio to market.
So what it is it? It’s a damned bushel-barrel of bonobos on some very choice psychedelics, that’s what it is. Alternately, it’s Malibu Real Estate Barbie’s dream machine. The two, remarkably, are not mutually exclusive. The Wall Street Journal’s Dan Neil once compared the CrossCab to a “sorbet of mouse scat,” but Neil works for Rupert Murdoch. He has your phone tapped and has likely spent the last two weeks working up creative metaphors to describe your feeble sexting prowess. Regardless, the CrossCabrio is not an unpalatable frozen dessert concocted by Johnny Knoxville and company. Rather, it’s a smile-generation machine built to weed out the soulless. It’s a car constructed specifically to drive a stake through the heart of people so self-serious that they’ve begun to actively hate fun.
On paper, it’s either ludicrous or genius. In execution, it’s a bit of both. Available in only one fully-loaded trim for $46,390, the CrossCab’s equipped with two doors, Nissan’s always-excellent V6, a continuously-variable automatic transmission, all-wheel drive and a folding soft top with a bi-level rear window. Nissan’s well-executed nav/infotainment system is also standard. Yes, 46k is inching into Infiniti territory, but so is the interior. Plus, the sound system is fantastic and really rather loud. Perfect for Friday afternoons in Carmel with the roof down, blaring Fear’s “I Love Livin’ In the City,” an utterly uncouth anthem that’s as obnoxious and true today as it was in 1977. And yes, of course that happened. Why wouldn’t it? The CrossCabriolet requests — nay,