Nissan takes the lid off the Murano

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In years gone by, the roads in North American retirement communities were littered with Eldorado convertibles. Not long after Cadillac killed their drop top for a couple of decades, Chrysler’s Lebaron convertible reigned supreme in Miami. When the Lebaron left the scene, the Sebring convertible became the favorite of many Q-Tips. Nissan has decided to follow Chrysler’s lead and chop the top off one of their most popular vehicles.

Introducing the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.

Back in my days working in the retail auto industry, I spent 6 years as a Nissan service manager. My relationship with the brand has led to a bit of a bias towards their products but I have to say that Nissan has failed me on this one. The NMCC may be one of the uglier vehicles to come to market since Pontiac foisted the Aztek upon us! Unlike the Aztek though, the NMCC will likely sell like wildfire in warmer climes, despite its looks.

To Nissan’s credit though, the drop top Murano offers something that Lebaron and Sebring owners would have died for: Quality. Given the demographic, I suspect few owners actually outlived their car!

With a beefed up structure, 2 doors instead of 4 and a swanky interior for 4, the NMCC is being offered in one trim only. Full jam, just the way the Miami set like it. Thanks to the AWD system, Nissan is also marketing the vehicle towards the Aspen crowd, hoping to bring skiers into the fold alongside the golfers.

At the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan had a lone model on display during media days. While many photographers paused to shoot images of the GT Academy 370Z and Black Series GTR, most seemed to bypass the NMCC altogether. Watching the puzzled looks on other journos faces when they saw it was almost funny. It would seem that I wasn’t the only one that found the idea of a topless Murano to be a bit absurd.

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