What is it? The 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible made its debut at the LA Auto Show, billed as the world's first all-wheel drive crossover convertible. Certainly a unique vehicle, the CrossCabriolet transforms the laudable Murano into a two-door, four-passenger drop top.
The CrossCabriolet will be sold strictly as an all-wheel-drive model, giving the mechanical platypus appeal to both sun worshipers, as well as northern open-air enthusiasts. It is powered by a 265-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6, and we found the Murano SUV delivers 19 mpg overall in our testing. Its elevated ride height, wide stance, and high beltline will have it towering over most other convertibles. Ultimately, the blending of car types may be the vehicle's key attraction.
To be offered as a single, well-equipped model, the CrossCabriolet choices are limited to six exterior colors and three interior/top combinations. Standard features include basic power amenities, keyless entry with push-button ignition, heated seats and steering wheel, driver's memory settings, dual-zone climate control, navigation system, eight-speaker Bose audio system, HomeLink, and xenon headlamps.
The CrossCabriolet will be only the second convertible, alongside the 370Z Convertible, in the Nissan line up. It is hard to peg what its competition would be, though historically the Chrysler Sebring convertible has been the highest volume four-passenger drop-top. On the other hand, it would be a more mannered alternative to a Jeep Wrangler.
The CrossCabriolet is priced at $46,390, well above the comparably equipped Murano SL AWD SUV, which starts at about $38,000.
When will it be available? Early 2011.