Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

There's two engines available: a 2.5-litre four-cylinder diesel and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol. The 187bhp diesel is the better buy and although it's not particularly powerful it is the right powerplant for this vehicle. Performance (0-62mph in 10.5 seconds) is acceptable and you get a healthy 450Nm of punch at a lowly 2,000rpm so it's great for brisk getaways.

Nissan upgraded the petrol engine and automatic gearbox for the second-generation Murano, with more power and better response. It uses the same 3.5-litre V6 engine (which can also be found in the 350Z) but with 20bhp more than before, bringing power up to 256bhp. Pulling power is also slightly up and this means the Murano feels noticeably livelier on the road.

It's impressive from 0-62mph with a time of just 8.1 seconds - not bad when you consider it weighs almost two tonnes - but doesn't need to be revved too hard to get meaningful pace. The standard gearbox is a CVT automatic - a continuously variable transmission - which ensures the Murano pulls seamlessly when accelerating.

The Murano isn't intended to be driven off road and it's fairly nimble on the road for a large 4x4. Although there is a degree of leaning into corners when travelling briskly, it still feels stable and there is plenty of grip at safe speeds. The four-wheel drive system is actually engaged when sensors detect the front wheels slipping - only then is drive sent to the rear wheels.

The Murano has accurate steering although more driver-focused 4x4s, such as the BMW X5, allow the driver to feel more confident on twisty roads.