The USA Pro Challenge, the fifth-year professional cycling event in Colorado, takes the riders throughout cities large and small. In the past few days, I’ve driven the 2015 Nissan Murano from Frisco to Copper Mountain to Aspen to Breckenridge.

The route has primarily been along winding and hilly Interstate 70 that advance through wondrous rock formations. I also drove on a several state routes along flowing rivers and on a few frontage roads and on city streets in Frisco and to the top of Snowmass.

My guide was the touchscreen navigation system. I liked the clarity of the seven-inch screen and its functionality via  straightforward features. When I was getting low on fuel, I quickly found the closest gas station was less than a mile away. It wasn’t visible from the road.

I had two slights issues with the system. The volume of the instructions needed to be adjusted a few times to an audible level. I also opted for the longer interstate drive from Snowmass to Breckenridge, rather than the shorter but harrowing route over Independence Pass. The navigation system’s instructions repeatedly provided instructions of the shorter route and never switched to the longer route even as I approached my destination.

The 2015 Nissan Murano has been redesigned inside and outside.
The 2015 Nissan Murano has been redesigned inside and outside. Images © James Raia/2015

After four days of driving, I stopped with less than 10 miles left in than tank on the outskirts of Aspen. The 2015 Nissan Murano has 3.5-liter V6 engine, a continuously variable transmission and 260 horsepower.

Mountain driving isn’t the easiest on SUVs. The Murano provided a smooth drive and handled the ascents and twisting roads well, with a few exceptions. The engine sometimes labored to pass slower-moving vehicles on the highest climbs near the summit of Vail at more than 10,000 feet. I also often drove with the air conditioning on.

The Nissan Murano has an EPA rating of 21 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway.

My fill-up, after 439 miles, was 16.99 gallons at $3.64 per gallon, a total of $62.01. I averaged 25.8 mpg.

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