2012 Nissan Murano LE The Platinum Edition Shines>

Our recent test drive of the new Nissan Murano LE Platinum Edition left us feeling like shiny happy people. This decked out crossover has a handsome, distinctive body style, a comfortable, well-appointed interior, and it’s truly a joy to drive.

On the outside, the Murano LE has a rugged muscular profile and a wide, sturdy stance. From the bold front headlamps to its LED taillights and standard dual exhaust pipes, there’s simply nothing wimpy about it. The Murano LE Platinum Edition looks ready to rumble —to your favorite ski resort…or over to Sears to pick up tools or appliances.

Strapped into the driver’s seat, we were impressed by the Murano’s precise steering, confident cornering and overall smooth ride. Press your cute Prada flats into the gas pedal, and the Murano’s peppy 3.5-liter V6 doesn’t hesitate to send you on your way courtesy of the 260 horses under the hood. Smoothly delivering all that power is sophisticated, continuously variable Xtronic automatic transmission. This high-tech power train and all-wheel drive system is pretty good on gas, managing an estimated 18-city and 23-highway mpg.

Standard features for the Murano LE Platinum Edition include cruise control, navigation, six-disc CD changer, dual zone air conditioning, 20-inch alloy wheels, and LED rear taillights. You’ll also take comfort in the Murano LE’s solid list of safety equipment: vehicle traction and stability control, brake assist, six airbags, plus front seat active head restraints are all standard.

With its two rows of seating, the Murano seats five. Three adults fit fairly comfortably in the supportive back seat. And while this crossover may not have quite the cargo capacity of others in its class (Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot), the rear seats fold flat in an instant with the flip of an easy access lever near the rear hatch. All it takes is one finger to switch from a people mover to cargo hauler.

This sporty and spirited crossover comes in four trim levels — S, SV, SL and LE —and all four are available with front- or all-wheel drive! Check out all the optional equipment, technical specifications and pricing by clicking here.

Written by: HerHighway Staff Contributor and Editor Christina Selter