With a certain expected bias aside, I would appreciate opinions comments. My wife and I are looking to replace her Mazda Tribute. We're looking for something to take on long road trips, and of course most running around town will occur in this (I just drive my truck to work, and for my own personal uses) so ride comfort and amenities are a major priority.
With that being said, my wife is a VERY tepid driver in the snow, and living where we do, we see a fair share of it. Coming from a 4wd, where she can just press a button, and she's good to go, to a part-time AWD system in the Murano has me a little worried. I've heard some not so great things about part time AWD systems not engaging long enough or with enough duration (especially at speeds greater than 15mph) to truly give a great snow performance feel.
We've test drove both the 11 4Runner and 11 Murano SL (the final two). I LOVED the 4Runner, but of course, I like the ride height, and the feel (a bit more truck like than the crossover Murano). Admittedly, there are not near as many bells and whistles on the 4runner as there are on the Murano, and I didn't get a chance to evaluate long term comfort (although I can tell the Murano is WAY more comfortable).
I know my wife is not planning to offroad this vehicle, but two major things are giving me some hesitation. One, it's a Nissan. I've heard really GREAT things about them, but also some HORRENDOUS stories (i.e. Titan). Secondly, the AWD vs. 4wd system.
I know long term resale value is undoubtedly favoring the 4Runner, but then again, I REALLY don't think my wife likes it as much.
I'll be showing my wife the responses to this thread, so, any input and or opinions (constructive) are really appreciated. Thanks!