One glance at it can quickly change your perception about how an SUV should be styled. It pampers its driver and passengers with cocoon-like comfort and safety. And it can take the tarmac with sports-car like speed and agility.

This SUV, which proudly bears the Nissan badge, caught the imagination of vehicle buyers in North America, Europe and Asia. And today, the Nissan Murano makes its way into the Philippine market.

The Murano is a dream vehicle to many. But it appeals very strongly towards the independent minded, who are actively engaged in trying new things, with a strong sense of self, and have great pride in their ongoing achievements.

"Finally, the Nissan Murano has arrived in the Philippines, and we are not only speaking here about an ordinary SUV, for the Murano is an SUV that is very unique in many ways, particularly its styling and its urban character. It is a highly desirable vehicle, and many have been waiting for the Murano to arrive in the Philippines, and now that day has come," explained Dennis Chang, AVP for Sales and Marketing at Nissan Motor Phils., Inc. (NMPI).

The Nissan Murano was inspired by Murano glass, which up to this day remains one of the most elegantly sculpted glass crafted in the island of Murano near Venice, in Italy.

Like the almost perfect symmetry and elegance of the Murano glass, Nissan's eye-catching SUV boasts of nicely flowing lines over geometric curves, resulting an a beautifully sculpted exterior. While the Murano's styling imparts a high level of style, it is also highly functional since it provides adequate room for five people, and boasts of excellent aerodynamics.

The Murano's sloping hood does not obstruct forward vision, and makes it easier for the driver to see what is closely ahead.

Inside, the Murano imparts a feeling of warmth and comfort, with its well designed leather seats, well insulated indoor paneling, genuine aluminum accents, adequate head, shoulder and leg room. And with its front and side curtain airbags, the Murano provides a very high degree of safety for its passengers.

Although fondly called an "artwork on wheels," the beauty of the Murano is not only skin-deep, for underneath its hood is one of the finest engines to be produced by Nissan – the VQ engine, which is the only engine series to be listed in Ward's 10 Best Engine's List for 12 straight years.

The Murano's 3.5-liter VQ engine, equipped with Continuously Variable-valve Timing Control (CVTC) and Nissan Induction Control System (NICS), produces 234PS at 6,000rpm and 32.4 kg-m of torque at 3,600rpm.

In the markets where it has become highly popular, the Murano made its claim to fame with the high level of driving pleasure it provides, and its superb styling.

"Driving the Murano is not a driving chore – it is always a driving experience, one that is hard to be separated from once you have Nissan's outstanding SUV in your garage. And there is no debating the Murano is a feast for the eyes, whatever angle you look at it," Mr. Chang said.

The Murano's driving pleasure is enhanced with an electric sunroof that only needs a switch to close and open. And there's the Bose audio system with 7 speakers and 6-disc CD changer, that adds a lot enjoyment for the Murano's driver and passengers, even over long journeys.

The airconditioning system controls, which are neatly located at the upper part of the center console, are easy to modulate with its large dials. The rear passengers are also provided with aircon vents.

"Truly, the Murano is one SUV that is very worthy to own, especially for those who are actively trying new things, have a strong sense of individuality, and aspiring to accomplish more in life. These people can find oneness with the Murano, because behind its development was a lot of thinking that departed from the conventional, a need to be distinct by trying new approaches, and a goal to make it a standout in its class," explained Raymond Tribdino, Senior Manager for Market and Product Planning at NMPI.