Monday, May 23, 2016

Confused Styling: 2015 Nissan Murano

A while ago I wrote about the three generations of the Nissan Murano, mentioning that I might have more to say regarding the most recent version.  That time has come, inspired by a glance at the rear of a Murano I noticed while driving in the Palm Springs, California area recently.

I suppose I should feel sorry for the stylists assigned to redesigning the Murano.  But they were in pretty much the same spot as stylists for other brands, having to deal with basic shapes dictated by government fuel economy regulation as played out by wind tunnel testing.  Like the others, their solution was to dress up that basic shape with all sorts of decorative details.

Where the Nissan crew went wrong, in my opinion, was that they created a disorganized mess of details, the only clear styling theme being that of confusion.

Side view.  The front section of the vehicle is a set of curves when seen in profile.  The side and rear are more linear and angular, aside from the area of the rear wheel.

The rear three-quarter view is where things fall apart design-wise.  The most fussy area is the C-pillar and the nearby tail lights.  What we seem to have here is a series of wedge-shapes flying off in different directions.  Worse, they are concentrated, crammed together in a small section of the body.  Immediately below the wedged tail light is a curve aft of the rear wheel opening, an echo of previous Murano styling.  This abruptly and awkwardly transitions to the rear surfaces that are a confusing blend of flattened arch-shapes and essentially horizontal lines.  This field of fussiness is emphasized by its contrast to the comparatively clean forward sides.

The frontal theme is more coherent, thanks to the angled elements creating a convergent effect.  This is somewhat counteracted by the headlight assemblies with their spikes or wedges pointing in different directions.  Note that the side-shoulder character line crease is the only really linear style feature and, in this image at least, it does not blend well with the rest of the ornamentation.

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