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Nissan’s appetite and boldness to dig out new niches is respectable. The Qashqai/Dualis offered an “SUV alternative” to Golf class hatchbacks, the wild Juke is an SUV styled supermini competitor and this – the Murano CrossCabriolet – is a big topless SUV. Nissan says its crossover convertible blends all of the things people love in a crossover with the open air enjoyment of a convertible, and vice versa.

“Everyone loves the convertible experience, no one loves the convertible reality – compromised trunk space, a cramped back seat or none at all, and a lack of flexibility for everyday life. The Murano CrossCabriolet is the reinvention of versatility, encouraging people to rethink what a convertible can be,” Al Castignetti, VP and GM of Nissan North America.

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The Murano’s transformation from SUV to CC is more than just lopping off the roof. There are two doors less, so along with creating new longer front doors and eliminating the B-pillars, the structure has been reinforced from the A-pillar rearwards. The hydraulically operated fabric top (with power latch/unlatch) also includes a rear glass skylight. With the top down, boot capacity is 215 litres, enough to fit two sets of golf clubs. Roof up capacity is 348 litres.

Aerodynamics are only slightly compromised – 0.39 Cd vs 0.37 Cd. Nissan says that the tall windshield and A-pillar design plus the high beltline and high rear seat shoulders all combine to minimise air turbulence with the top down. Dual pop-up roll bars are also included.

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The drivetrain is identical to the hardtop Murano, which means a 265 hp 3.5L V6 paired to a second-gen Xtronic CVT ‘box with Adaptive Shift Control. There will only be one single full spec offered which includes kit like dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch multi-info colour display, Fine Vision gauges and and Remote Keyless Entry. Two roof/cabin colour options are available – Camel leather and black top or the Brown top with Cashmere leather.