There’s a lot to be said for midsize crossovers. They tend to get better fuel economy than trucks or big SUVs, and they’re easier to get around town in. When you’re up in the hills, as long as you have enough ground clearance, they can be a lot easier to maneuver through the tight spots on the forest roads, too, because they’re not as long.
That ground clearance can be an issue on some backroads, but most of the forest roads in the state are pretty well maintained. If your hunting and fishing haunts are on those nicer forest roads, and if you need your off-road vehicle to do double-duty as your everyday ride, take a good look at the Nissan Murano.
It’s available in all-wheel-drive, which isn’t as helpful in sticky situations as true four-wheel-drive, but Nissan’s Intuitive All-Wheel Drive is one of the better systems available. It’s capable enough to handle those forest roads, even if they have a little bit of mud or snow on them.
Where the Murano truly excels, though, is on the daily drive. The version I drove was the SL package, which is the third nicest of four packages. But even though it wasn’t the top-of-the-line Platinum edition, it still had plenty of comforts and conveniences. It’s not a cheap vehicle at $42,000, but it had a lot of options on it you can’t get on other vehicles for the same money.
The bottom line is that the Murano is a very nice ride, and you can get one with a heck of a lot more options than you can get on many of its competitors, at the same price. It might not be the perfect hunting and fishing vehicle, but since it gets 28 miles to the gallon on the highway, you can certainly do a lot of exploring on those forest roads without having to worry about running out of fuel.