Phone, GPS and Tablet Mounts for a Nissan Murano

2016 Nissan Murano InteriorI recently purchased a 2016 Nissan Murano SL.  Hooray for me.  You should not be surprised to know that one of the first things I wanted to do was mount my smartphone in my Murano.  Turns out it wasn’t as simple as it had been in other cars I have owned.  So here I am writing an article to help other Nissan Murano owners looking to mount a cell phone, tablet or GPS in their car.

The Nissan Murano is a great looking car on the exterior and interior.  It’s unlike anything I ever encountered.  Not an ounce of wood on the inside, it’s all leather and chrome.  The design lines bend in ways I haven’t seen before.  I feel like I’m sitting on a Disney ride.  That’s where the challenges come in.  Traditional mounts may not work that well on a Nissan Murano.  A photo of the interior of my Murano accompanies this article.

A Nissan Murano has several trim levels.  All have Sirius Radio so I won’t cover those mounts.  Most of the trim levels have navigation so while I won’t cover GPS mounts specifically, many of the recommendations I make for a phone will apply to a GPS too.

One of my favorite places to mount a GPS or cell phone is the air vent.  I had a good magnetic mount on my old Acura MDX and decided to attach it to my Murano.  It didn’t work.  The middle vents are located directly above a lip on top of the 8″ display.  The air vent mounts are very short in height but long in width.  This means that my magnetic mount won’t work since the metal plate on my case is located near the top portion of the case.  In other works, the phone falls off the magnetic mount.

The presence of that lip also rules out use of traditional cradle mounts which have a stabilizer bar built into the bottom of the mount.  This means that a vent mount isn’t going to work unless you don’t mind using the vent all the way in the corner of the car.  I don’t recommend using that location because your eyes need to divert to an inconvenient location.  So much for the vent.

The next place I decided to check was the windshield.  I went to my go-to mount for this location which is the Arkon MegaGrip Suction Cup Windshield and Dash Mount.  This worked great.  It fits my Apple iPhone 6s Plus with a big thick Otterbox Defender case so it’s going to fit almost any phone.   The mount features a vacuum locked suction assembly attached to a pivoting arm.  The phone can swivel into any orientation.  The mount also comes with an adhesive disk that you can stick to the dash to turn the mount into a console mount (don’t do this until you read the next paragraph).  The suction assembly can adhere to the adhesive disk just like it would on a windshield.  I used these on the windshield of several other cars and they work great.

You may also want to consider an extra long suction cup solution such as the Arkon Extendable Smartphone and Midsize Tablet Mount.  The cradle is spring-loaded and expands to over 7 inches .  It’s going to fit most smartphones and tablets up to an Apple iPad Mini.  The mount itself has a metal arm that can extend from 14.5 to 18.5 inches.  The cradle rotates 360 degrees so your tablet can be in portrait or landscape mode.  The suction cup has a vacuum lock to maintain a secure connection.  The metal arm will keep the tablet very steady in normal environments.

Maybe a dash mount?  That’s another place I checked out.  The Nissan Murano has a severely sloped windshield.  Most dash mounts aren’t going to work well because there isn’t enough clearance.  You can also forget about mounting a tablet here.  Simply not enough space.  While the clearance on the dash is sparse, you can mount a small dash camera such as a Garmin Dash Cam 30 or 35 without a problem.

Turns out the CD Player is a good spot for mounting a cell phone or tablet in a Nissan Murano.  For those that don’t have the navigation package, it’s a great place for a GPS.  The Mountek nGroove Universal CD Slot Mount for Cell Phones and GPS Devices uses a knob on the bottom to secure the mount within the CD player.  I prefer this mount to others in this category as it permits a more custom and secure fitting.  This mount includes an expandable cradle that will grip your device from the sides.

The cup holder is a good place to mount a smartphone.  The Arkon Ultra Slim Grip Cup Holder Mount is an excellent choice for a smartphone or small tablet.  The cup holder base is expandable to fit either of the two front seat cup holders on the Nissan Murano.  There is a flexible stem that allows bending of the mount to the right angle for the driver or passenger.  The holder can rotate 360 degrees into portrait or landscape.  The cradle opens to over 7 inches so it’s going to fit most phones as well as tablets up to the size of an Apple iPad Mini.

How about a rear view mirror mount?  No good (at least not for me).  Remember, I have a Nissan Murano SL.  There’s something called Homelink that’s located on the bottom of the mirror.  I use Homelink to open and close my garage doors.  A rear view mirror mount attaches to the bottom and top of the mirror.  When I attached the rear view mirror mount, it actually pressed my Homelink buttons and opened my garage door.  If you don’t have an SL or Platinum edition, you can likely use a rear view mirror mount but it’s a no-go with Homelink.

The last mounting location I considered was a seat bolt or floor mount.  Seat bolt mounts are traditionally excellent for tablets and phones.  Not here.  The seat bolt isn’t a traditional one that can easily be loosened for a mounting claw attachment.  You can use a floor mount but would have to drill some holes into the floor board.  It’s a new car so I’m not going to do that.  Negative on the seat bolt and floor mount.

So there you have it.  I really like my new SUV but not so much on the mounting options.  A windshield mount will work fine.  A cup holder mount is good and so is the CD Player.  The other typical locations are a challenge.