The Arizona Auto Show didn’t have a lot of jazzy cars, but one that did catch my eye was Nissan’s Murano Cross Cabriolet. It was the only car in the exhibit hall that actually made me take a second look.
The concept is simple, take a mid-sized SUV crossover and chop the top. Of course execution is never that simple, so I imagine a lot of engineering went into making the Murano topless. Of course that adds to the price, so Nissan did the only logical thing, they made it a little more luxurious inside so it would cost more. The final result comes in at nearly $50,000. Once you reach that price point, you need to start asking some serious questions.
Let’s assume it does everything it’s designed to do just great. Do you really need a crossover convertible?
I’m a huge top down fan. My daily driver is a Mustang convertible and it’s the fourth topless car I’ve owned. I actually feel guilty when I don’t put the top down. But I’ve discovered that my passengers rarely feel the same. My wife is always worried about what her hair is going to look like when we get where we’re going. The few times I’ve had passengers in the back, I’m always amused at how the wind buffets their hair until it’s practically standing straight up. Not to mention the fact that the road noise makes conversation complicated. My point is that I think convertibles tend to be personal cars for the driver.
Now let’s talk about the price. $50k is a lot of money. For about the same price, you could get a BMW, Infiniti or Lexus convertible. For just a little more you could hop into a Corvette or Mercedes SLK 350 (although they only seat two people). The problem with spending $50k on the Cross Cabriolet is that you still have a Nissan. It may be one of the coolest and most luxurious Nissans around, but it’s not a name that is going to wow your friends.
I can’t imagine that Nissan is planning to sell a ton of the Cross Cabriolets, but that’s probably just as well. It’s an interesting gimmick that a few people will no doubt love. I just don’t think I’m going to be one of them.