You Won't Believe the DEAL On This
2003 Nissan Murano
 

Well, I've done it again. I've gone and bought a replacement car before I was ready to sell the car I'm replacing.

You'd think I'd learn.

So now I have to sell my 2003 Nissan Murano, and QUICK, because my 2005 model is already here.

Yes, you heard that right. I have a 2003 Murano SL (2-wheel drive), and I'm selling it to buy a 2005 model. I can hear you now -- what on earth am I doing that for? It sounds to you like I must be off my rocker, selling one that's only four years old and buying the same thing that's two years newer. But at the same time, it sounds like I must like the older one a LOT, to be buying a newer model of the same thing.

Well, a little of the "off my rocker" part is true, and a LOT of the "I like this car" part is true.

Here's the story. I got a GREAT deal on the 2005 model, one that I just couldn't pass up. So I bought it. Now I'm going to pass on some of that great deal to you. Hey, I may be a bit off my rocker, but I'm not totally off my rocker -- I'm keeping some of that good deal for myself. But I don't mind passing SOME of it on to you, if you're the lucky soul who winds up buying my 2003 Murano. In a nutshell, I'll give it to you for more than a $4,000 discount off what you'd pay for it at a dealer (according to www.edmunds.com).

By the way, 537 consumers on edmunds.com rate the Murano a 9.1 on a scale of 10. Pretty impressive! The Mercedes-Benz M-Class, roughly equivalent to the Murano, rated only 8.2 , and the Lexus RX300 rated 9.0. You can check it out for yourself.

ABOUT THIS MURANO:

You want to know what you'll get for your money, right? Let me tell you about it. I'm going to tell you everything I can think of, the good stuff and the warts. I don't want you to have any surprises when you get it home.

Overall, it's a GREAT car, and that's the main reason I'm buying another of the exact same make and model. Here's what I know about it, in no particular order.

THE TECHOLOGY STUFF:

This car has got GREAT technology in it. If you're a gadget freak, you'll be in heaven with this car.

GPS Navigation System! This is my favorite! The included DVD has got the entire continental US on it. You can be in Key West, Florida, and plug in a street address in Seattle, and it will take you directly there! It will tell you the distance to your destination and how long it will take you to get there. If you don't like the route it has planned for you, you can edit the route by adding waypoints. (For some reason, the GPS doesn't like to send me onto the Natchez Trace. Go figure.) You can even put in a store name or a phone number. We were in Marietta, Georgia, for my son's wedding, and we needed to find a Wal-Mart. I simply went to the "Points Of Interest" feature, selected the Wal-Mart in Marietta, Georgia, and it took us right there! One time I had to have someone who was visiting my family from out of town drop me off at the airport. They didn't know their way around town, but we took this car, and when they dropped me off, I just put my house into the GPS system, and this friend followed the blue line right back to my house! Is that cool, or what! You can see why it's my favorite feature.

Photochromic rearview mirror. This means the rearview mirror doesn't have one of those pesky lever-devices to switch from day to night. Instead, it automatically senses when it's night and when there is a car behind you, and automatically changes to darker so that car's lights don't blind you. Really cool!

Compass. Actually, there are two. There is a compass that displays in a corner of the rearview mirror, and it tells you which direction the car is headed, and there's also another compass as part of the GPS navigation display. So you'll NEVER get lost again!

Heated Seats! Yes, that's right! This is the favorite feature for the females in the family. Get in the car on an icy day, and in mere seconds, it's "AAAAAAHhhhhhh" as the seat heaters kick in. There are two heat levels, high and low, for different needs.

Tire pressure sensors. That's right! You can punch up a screen on the display that tells you the air pressure in your tires. It also alerts you if one of the tires goes below 29 psi or so, which can save you a LOT of hassle if you somehow pick up a nail and get a slow leak.

FOUR trip computers. I don't know what else to call them. Trip odometers, maybe? Anyway, you have two trip odometers in the speedometer display, A and B, and you have two MORE trip odometers in the navigation system in the center of the dashboard. The two that are part of the nav system also have indicators for elapsed time and average speed in addition to miles. So if you need to record miles traveled for any reason, this car can certainly do it for you!

MPG indicator. Actually, it's more than that. It's a "gas tracker." It will tell you your current miles-per-gallon, your average miles-per-gallon since last you reset it, and the estimated number of miles you can still drive with the gas remaining in your tank. Fortunately, the miles remaining figure is conservative, and doesn't account for the fuel reserve. One time, I wasn't paying close enough attention on a long stretch of interstate, and I had to drive another 20 miles past where the "miles remaining" indicator said zero. I made it, thank, goodness. But having that indicator is still a very handy thing to be able to look at.

Oil change reminder and tire rotation reminder. This is one of the coolest features ever. You can set the alerts for any interval up to about 7,500 miles, and when that mileage has gone by, an alert pops up on the computer screen, so you can't forget these important maintenance items.

Continuously Variable Transmission, also known as a CVT. You've seen these advertised on TV lately. They don't have gears, and the TV ads tell you how there's no "shift shock" as you get with other cars. I've driven this thing to over 100,000 miles, and I'm happy with it. Very smooth, and no problems at all.

Anti-lock brakes. This is one of those features you hope you'll never use, but if you ever need it, you're really glad you've got it. Extensive research (mostly with aircraft on wet runways) has shown that the most effective way to stop a car is NOT to lock the brakes. You have better stopping power and better steering control while stopping, with a 15% to 20% rolling skid. No human can do that. When you need to stop NOW, all you have time for is to stomp the brake pedal. This feature pulse-releases your brakes, to give you as close to that 15-20% rolling skid as possible, to give you the best stopping power AND good control over the car while stopping. If you ever slam on your brakes while going through a puddle, you'll feel the pulses in the brake pedal.

Side curtain airbags. This is another of those items you hope you'll never need. The Murano has the standard front air bags, but it also has side curtain airbags to help protect you in the event of a side-on collision.

Cruise control. This is pretty much standard in cars these days, but the one in this Murano is very easy to operate. There is a light in the dash that tells you when the power is on, and another that tells you when the cruise control is engaged. You can bump the controlled speed up or down one MPH at a time, and with the CVT, it helps you maintain speed when going up and down hills.

Power Moon Roof. Fully electric, this roof opening will either lift up only the back part of the roof for good ventilation, or it will open all the way. An openable sun shield also keeps out the sunlight, or lets it in without opening the roof as well. Tight and dry when closed, there is no wind noise at all, and there are no water leaks either.

Sound system buttons on the steering wheel. This makes it really easy to mute the sound system, change the radio station, change the volume, or switch CDs without taking your hands off the wheel, or eyes off the road. An excellent safety feature.

THE MECHANICAL STUFF:

Mileage: The car has over 118,000 miles on it, as of September, 2007. They are town and highway miles, not racing miles or off-road miles or mountain-climbing miles or Katrina miles. They are gentle miles -- as gentle as you can get, given the condition of the roads in central Mississippi.

I know, that sounds like a lot of miles. But cars these days are built for that kind of mileage. I drove my previous two cars, a Suburban and a Saturn SL-2 for 249,000 miles and 293,000 miles, respectively, and they were still in great shape when I sold them. This Murano has both of those others beat by far when it comes to keeping its "drives like a new car" qualities past the hundred-thousand-mile-mark. It's still tight and quiet, with very little indication of the mileage. It is a great example of the superb quality Nissan builds into their vehicles.

Tires. The first set of tires on this car lasted about 100,000 miles. I replaced the front tires at 96,000 miles, and the rear tires at 103,000 miles. They've been rotated a couple times since then, so I'm not sure now which is the older set. But the new tires are exactly the same type tires as the original equipment, so there's every reason to believe they will last equally as long. In other words, you have a LONG TIME to go before you have to think about replacing worn-out tires on this car.

Spark plugs. When I took the car in to the Nissan dealership for "periodic maintenance" at about 104,000 miles, one of the things they replaced was the spark plugs, even though there was nothing wrong with the way the car was running. It was rather expensive to have the platinum plugs put in, but I couldn't argue with how long the old ones had lasted.

Radiator flush. This was another periodic maintenance item at just over the 100,000 mile point. According to the dealership, there was nothing wrong with the radiator, and the fluid they took out of it looked to be in good shape, but it was the factory recommendation that the flush be done at this point. So I had it done.

Lifetime alignment. One of the keys to long tire life and good gas mileage is to keep your tires aligned. So when I first got this car, I took it to Firestone and paid the extra money to get a lifetime alignment. I've had it aligned periodically since then, and it's paid off.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT?

Okay, there are a few things wrong with it. But that's as you'd expect with a vehicle of this age, right?. After all, it IS a used car. Here is everything I know that's currently wrong with the car.

Of the three DC electric outlets in the car, two of them are out of commission. This leaves one outlet, in the front seat, that works just fine. The Nissan dealer spent most of a day trying to find out why the other two outlets aren't working, and said they suspect it's a relay behind the dashboard that needs replacing. It sounded expensive to me, and I still have one outlet working, so I told them let's not fix it right now.

The rear cup holder is on the bottom of the center console, between the two front seats. It was sitting open one day when I had to put my brakes on hard, and a musical instrument I had on the back seat slid off the seat onto the floor, and it broke one of the arms off the holder. So one of the two cup holders in the back won't hold a cup any more. I still have the piece, and if you're good with glue, you may be able to fix it. The other rear cup holder works just fine.

A couple of months ago, I started hearing a faint noise from the front suspension. A friend heard it, too, so it wasn't my imagination. I took it to the Firestone dealer, where I have a lifetime alignment, and they told me the car may need struts and strut mounts. Of course, I asked for an estimate, and without blinking, they told me something over $900. Then they gave me a printed out sheet of recommended repairs, which included the struts and mounts, and also included a brake job and a transmission flush, which I had just had done less than a month ago! That left a bad taste in my mouth about their recommendations, so I got on the phone to the Nissan dealer, and asked them how much it would cost to replace struts and mounts. Their price? Less than $700. So I had yet another bad taste in my mouth about the Firestone estimate. The noise never got any worse, and this last week, I noticed it's not making the noise at all any more. The suspension is acting fine, and it's not making noise, so I am NOT getting it fixed. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? All this is to say that sometime in the future, this car MIGHT (or it might not) need to have the struts and mounts replaced. If it does, DON'T go to Firestone shop. If you want a good, honest dealer, ask me and I'll tell you who I drive all the way across town to use (bypassing another dealer I don't fully trust).

Mechanically, that's all I know that's wrong with the car. Everything else, as far as I can tell, works just fine, and is in great operating condition.

APPEARANCE STUFF:

The car is a champagne gold (I think Nissan calls it "Pewter," but it doesn't look like pewter to me) with a tan LEATHER interior. The condition of the leather is excellent! THere are a couple small marks on the back seat where I put some equipment one time, but I'm going to try to get those out with leather cleaner before I sell the car.

The front seat and back seat floors have carpet floor mats, and the rear cargo area has a rubber/plastic cargo tray over the carpet there. The floor mats show a small amount of wear, but the vehicle's main carpets are in like-new condition.

For the most part, the paint and chrome is in very good shape. There are a few parking lot dings and relatively minor paint scrapes and minor creases. One of them is where I was backing into a parking place, and "found" this concrete light pole exactly in the blind spot where I couldn't see it in any mirror or by twisting around. I don't notice any of the dings or chips or creases except when I'm washing the car, or actually looking for them. They really are that minor.

OTHER CONVENIENCES:

There are several other things that I really like about this car.

Center Console. I know, it doesn't seem like much, but I really like this feature. In here, concealed from critical eyes, you can keep your everyday mess. A few napkins from the fast food joint, just in case you need a napkin for something. Extra CDs for the CD player. The latest map you used. Pencils, pens, a notepad. Not only does this console have plenty of room, but it's also got an insert, which if you pull that out, reveals still more storage space underneath!

Pencil-holder in the console lid. On the inside of the console lid is a strap of elastic. It's a GREAT place to keep pens and pencils for easy access, but that's not what I keep there. I keep something there that's even more useful than that. A toothbrush! How many times have you had to go someplace right after lunch and wished you had a toothbrush handy? Well, I do! And many's the time I've been glad of it.

Cup holder. I like BIG tumblers. I like the 24-oz. insulated tumblers, they hold a lot of drink and ice, and they stay cold a long time. Absolutely wonderful for long trips. The only problem is that most cars don't have a cup holder big enough to accommodate one of these, but the Murano does! There are two cup holders right in front of the console, just the perfect size to hold this big tumbler I carry around with me. I don't know about you, but I don't like to travel without something to drink on the way. Water. Soda. Tea. Doesn't matter, I need something. And with the Murano, I can carry whatever I want.

Extensible sun visor. Did you ever have the sun shining in your eyes while driving, and put down the sun visor only to find that the sun was positioned to shine right through that gap the visor doesn't cover? No more worries. The Murano has an extender shade inside that you can pull out and cover even those gaps.

Fold-out map pockets in the doors, Not only are there LARGE map pockets at the bottom of the driver's and front passenger's doors, the rear two-thirds of these pockets snaps out about 30 degrees to allow you to neatly put whatever maps or books you wish in there. No more stuffing maps to shreds!

Compartments for cell phone and change. Not only does this car have great storage in the console, you also have, in a very handy location right next to the console gear shift, two additional compartments ideally suited for a cell phone, and for pocket change to have handy at the next toll booth. When not in use, these compartments have spring-loaded brushed aluminum doors that close and blend perfectly with the rest of the console.

Cargo area mat. Just in case you suddenly find yourself needing to haul something horribly dirty, you don't have to worry about ruining your cargo area carpet. The Murano comes with a hard rubber (or is it plastic?) cargo area mat, so all potential messes can be contained to an easily cleanable area.

Cargo area concealer privacy shield. I've never used this, but you'll have it. This shield mounts in the rear cargo area, and covers the entire area beneath the rear glass. So if you're concerned about someone looking through the glass and seeing something there they might want to break in and steal, you can hide it with this shield.

Reading and map lights. In some cars, if you want to use the map light or reading light, you have to twist your body into a contortionist's position, or else it glares into the driver's eyes. Neither of those is a problem with the front map lights and rear reading lights in the Murano.

Xenon high intensity headlights. These are very bright, very focused headlights. They light up things a long way out. One drawback to these lights, though, is that they are so highly focused there is almost no scatter at all. This means that road signs that are higher up are very difficult to read at night -- there's simply no light scatter from your headlights to illuminate their reflective paint.

Six-disc CD changer. You can load six different CDs at once. Several people can have their own music loaded at once, or you can load six CDs from an audio book for a long trip. I've enjoyed this immensely.

AM/FM/Cassette. Can you tell I take a lot of trips? I do. And I love checking out audio books from my local library to keep me company on the trips. Most of these books are still on cassette, not CD, but in this Murano, I can play both. I can also pick up AM or FM radio when I wish. Among all the radios, you can have eighteen preset channels.

BOSE Sound System! Simply the best automotive sound system available in a production vehicle. 'Nuff said.

Fold down rear seats. If you have cargo too large for your rear cargo area, you can always just fold down the rear seats, and just about double the available room!

HOW MUCH AM I SELLING THIS CAR FOR?

You now know as much about the car as I do. You can go look it up on www.edmunds.com for yourself. As you may know, the EDMUNDS company and website is the most respected name in car valuations. You can read about it here: http://www.edmunds.com/about/pricingtable/lo/about_pricing.html,

When I go to that website right now (August 31, 2007), this is what I entered, and this is what their results are. (You can check it out for yourself at http://www.edmunds.com/used/2003/nissan/murano/100196153/options.html )

  • Sell (not buy), Gold color, 117,500 miles
  • AM/FM/Cassette/CD Changer
  • Bose Audio
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather seats
  • Navigation System
  • Power Adjustable Pedals
  • Power Driver Seat w/memory
  • Power heated mirrors
  • Power moon roof
  • Roof rack
  • Stability control
  • Tire Pressure monitoring system
  • Traction control
  • Xenon high intensity headlights
  • Condition - #2 - CLEAN

EDMUNDS' SELLING PRICE:

  • Trade-in: $15,536
  • Private Party: $17,322
  • Dealer Retail: $19,122

MY SELLING PRICE:

I'm willing to take TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS off the suggested private party price, AND split some of the cost of the possible strut repairs, and let this car go for an amazingly low $15,000!

Why so low? I need to sell it quickly -- I don't need two car payments.

NEGOTIATING:

Want to haggle the price? Go for it. But I need to tell you right up front that I know my asking price is a great bargain for this car. So if you want to offer less than my asking price, I'll probably tell you to call me back in a week or so. If I still have the car at the end of the week, THEN I might be willing to talk a bit less money. However, if you recognize what an amazing DEAL this is for this car, you won't want to take a chance that someone else is willing to snap it up at my bargain price while you sit and wait to see if you can steal it from me.

Still interested? Give me a call and we'll get together so you can look at it. Call me now at 601-607-7264, and don't let this bargain get away.