NIssan Murano- "intelligent keys"

<p>Today I looked at the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano. Preferred the way the Murano drove and handled. The lease deal was a bit better too, and it's now near the top of my list. I know it's probably smarter to buy in the long run, but at this point it's more important for us to keep the payments low.</p>

<p>I liked the Murano, but am unsure about all the gadgets. The center console has a screen that has dozens (hundreds??) of settings to be customized, bluetooth (I never use a cell while driving - would I ever use Bluetooth? Not sure). Being technologically impaired, what the salesman considered selling points were almost turnoffs for me. For one thing, I doubt I'd use most of them, and another - I think the more extras, the more opportunity for malfunction and repair. Are there any Murano owners out there who could pass on their opinions re: these extras, and reliability in general? </p>

<p>The thing that I found the strangest was the "intelligent key." Once you're in the car, you put your foot on break and start the car with a button on the upper dash. Both the key fob and the receptor button on the car send signals, so you don't even need to use your key to unlock the car - as long as you're close enough. I asked how much a replacement key cost if you lost one, and the salesman said $350. Yikes!</p>

<p>That said, I suppose most people like the "intelligent key" feature or they wouldn't have offered it in recent years. Would love to hear others' opinions. Do any other auto makers use them?

<p>My brother-in-law's wife had a new Murano. She got rid of it within 2 months. My brother-in-law said his wife hated the width of it as well as some weird blind spots. They took a big loss on the vehicle by trading it in so soon, but she hated so much that they were just happy to get rid of it. I think she ended up replacing it with a Suburu.</p>

<p>One of our cars has that intelligent key thing, personally I would prefer a simple old fashioned key, but I would not choose my car based on that feature. I think it is just silly and one of those "just because you can, does not mean you should" techy upgrades. Though I do like not having to dig in my purse for the key! But I don't like that I cannot leave the key in the car in the garage!!</p>

<p>All keys are pretty expensive to replace, even the less smart kind. We recently lost (ok, I flushed it in a restaurant!) a key that has a chip in the head. Apparently the passive theft deterrent requires a chip to start the car, we need to pay $200 at the dealer or $100 at a locksmith to get a new key with a chip. We still have one key with a chip, but if we lose that, they would actually have to replace the theft deterrent system in the car to make new keys ($$$) Dumb. (Also dumb to flush a key ;))</p>

<p>My husband loves his Murano. I'm a petite female and I do find it has a lot of blind spots when backing up. As far as the Smart Key, he likes it. A friend of mine bought a Rav 4 with a smart key. One night we were going somewhere in her car and she couldn't find the key. She was about to get out of the car and go call her daughter to see of she took the key by accident when I suggested she just try starting the car. If the key was on her person it would start. Sure enough, it started! I don't know where she eventually found the key but we were able to go out to dinner and back without knowing where, exactly, it was!</p>

<p>Thanks, all!
The dealer today made a big deal about the better rear visibility for the 2011 model. Am guessing visibility must have been an issue.</p>

<p>The middle grade model we looked at came with a rear view camera. Probably a good idea (esp. with blind spots!) but I;d prefer it just not be necessary in the first place.</p>

<p>I don't know why the key thing bothered me so much! Could probably get used to it in a day, but I just found the whole idea of it so foreign. Guess in certain situations - like lockouts, flushing :) etc, it could be handy.</p>

<p>We have a Murano and a Nissan Versa. The Murano is an excellent car, but too big for me and the visibility not great for me out the back. The Versa is mine and I love it. These cars are 2007 and 2008 and they have been tremendous values.</p>

<p>I love the Bluetooth on my Versa - especially since I didn't order that bell and whistle but it came by mistake and they gave it to me. You have to take the time to program in any names you want it to remember, but it is totally hands and eye free.</p>

<p>Both of our cars have the intelligent keys and we love them. So convenient. </p>

<p>However, each of our keys has failed at some point - programming just no longer worked. We are not sure why, neither is the dealer and I've never had a good answer online. They replaced one set under warranty. The other we had to pay for - not fun.</p>

<p>My only hypothesis is that I used to carry the keys for each car in my purse together - maybe they "talked" to each other and messed up the programming, lol. I don't carry the one for my H's car anymore - keep it in the closet and will only take it with me when needed, and then leave the other one behind.</p>

<p>My Audi had an intelligent key. I miss it. I put it in my pocket in the morning, and I took it out at night. I didn't ever have to look for it.</p>

<p>Had no idea Nissan used those keys for all their cars. Ex has a 2008 Pathfinder, but it has the old fashioned type.</p>

<p>lspf, when you go for another test drive of the Murano, try to do some backing out, backing around a corner, parallel parking, etc. to feel the dimemsions of the car. Very often people get too excited while test-driving a new vehicle and only drive it forward on 35+ mph roads.</p>

<p>To answer your question about other car makers... I believe all Toyotas now use the smart key technology. I'm not a fan.</p>

<p>Sometimes, the pushbutton start is included in a higher trim line or option package, so that if you do not want it, you can see if a lower trim line or option level is available without it.</p>

<p>We have two vehicles that use that type of technology. Keys never come out of my purse and I love it. I had DH install a keyless lock on the door from the garage into the house so I don't have to fumble for keys after I get out of the car.</p>

<p>The key may be "intelligent" but sometimes the driver is not. I was visiting my elderly parents and used my mother's car to run some errands for her. I stuck the key in my pocket and went about doing her business. I later drove 2 hours back to my house. Imagine my surprise when I stuck my hand in my pocket and discovered the smart key. Unlike keys, which I would have just thrown on the table when I got back, the key stayed in my pocket, where I forgot about it. The next day I had to make the 4 hour round trip to get the key back to her.</p>

<p>A lot of newer cars have some digital thing that makes life more difficult in some way. Just found out that with the new Subarus, if you lose your key, you gotta have the car towed to the dealer to get a replacement one, because it has to be matched with the electronic system and can't be done without the car right there. </p>

<p>I was handed some device that I couldn't figure out when someone asked me to pick up something during a play rehearsal. Didn't have my car there, so s/he threw some contraption that I had no idea how to use.</p>

<p>My sister has the Nissan Rogue which I think is the smaller version of the Murano. She loves it and I think it gets pretty good gas mileage, she drives 45 miles to work. </p>

<p>She likes the push button start, I don't think she has the bluetooth thing but maybe she just doesn't know how to use it. I like the radio though. It tells you what station you are listening to and the song. Great when you forget what that song is called or who sings it lol!</p>

<p>Ford also has that bluetooth option, it's called SYNC and it was on every Ford my S looked at. I think that Ford also offers the push button start. The one thing my S wanted in a new car was a port for his ipod. My kids don't listen to the radio ever, they just use their ipods. One car he looked at, if you head a song on the radio that you liked you could buy it from your phone to itunes. Crazy the things cars do for you now days.</p>

<p>The "intelligent key" is pretty common in recent years. My Lexus SUV that I've had for more than two years has one. You'll get used to it quickly and will be happy to never have to search for your key. Bluetooth capability is good, even if you don't use your cell in the car now. You can program it in so that if you ever do need to use it, it's there. It's a safety feature, too, and will allow you to use it in places where use of anything but a hands-free system is prohibited. You can also use it to hook up your Ipod while travelling which is a wonderful feature.</p>

<p>The Murano is one of the few SUVs we haven't had so I can't give you personal experience but I have two friends who have one and they like them a lot. They're also one of the nicest looking SUVs out there in my opinion.</p>

<p>A friend of mine has an intelligent key. Last winter she had the key in her coat pocket and started the car to warm it up. Went back inside the house and decided to change coats. Since the car was running she left and drove three hours to her destination. Only after she wanted to return and was unable to restart the car did she realize what she had done. Hubby had to make a 6 hour trip to bring her the key. We see the humor in it, but hubby not so much...</p>

<p>Thanks again everyone - lots of good advice, pros and cons.
BTW, I DID ask yesterday if AAA would still work with a lockout if intelligent key was lost. Salesman thought so but wasn't sure....</p>

<p>njblue, your friend's problem wouldn't be an issue with many/most cars with the intelligent key design. Every car I've been in, mine included, has an alert if the key is not in the car with you, so you wouldn't be able to do what your friend did.</p>

<p>I have a 2010 Murano and I love it. The intelligent key is a great PLUS and I never need to dig into my purse to get my keys out. I have the middle model with leather seats, backup camera and audio control on the steeling wheels. The backup camera is another plus although I did not want this option at first. The control panel on the front is not a big deal and easy to use once you read your manuel :).</p>

<p>I searched the car thru internet by checking into all the inventory of local Nissan dealers near me. I did not want a fully loaded car and usually that's what dealer wants to sell you.</p>

<p>Good to know alwaysamom. The car was a Murano, although a few years old. Now I know to ask about the alert for the next car.</p>