"Everything you need, nothing you don't" — that was the marketing theme for the original Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle when it launched for the 2000 model year. Mark McNabb, Nissan Division general manager, says it's also the theme for the redesigned 2005 model.
Like the original, the redesigned 2005 Xterra is geared toward the youth market. Jed Connelly, Nissan's senior vice president of sales and marketing, says the Xterra was one of the first models "to reflect the unmet needs" of today's buyers.
More power is one of the main attractions for 2005. The standard 4.0-liter V-6 has more displacement, horsepower and torque than the prior V-6. Rated at 265 hp and 284 pounds-feet of torque, the V-6 works with either a five-speed-automatic or six-speed-manual transmission. Rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models will be offered, and an offroad edition will be available. Three engines — one of which was supercharged — had been offered in the prior Xterra.
Built on a version of Nissan's F-Alpha full-size truck platform, the new Xterra is larger in most dimensions and promises better ground clearance. Wheels as large as 17 inches will be available. New rear side steps have been installed, and the roof rack was redesigned.
Three trim levels — designated S, Off-Road and SE — will be available when the next-generation Xterra goes on sale in early 2005. All Xterras are manufactured in Smyrna, Tenn.
The redesigned version's styling is an evolution of the original Xterra. The roof rack now includes a latchable lid. Between the large hood and the integrated front bumper is a grille with angled bars that's similar to other SUVs in Nissan's lineup. Running boards are optional.
The goal of extending the Xterra's wheelbase by 2 inches is to provide a smoother ride and yield greater interior space. The SUV's overall length increases by a fraction of an inch due to a shorter front overhang. Its width has grown by 2.5 inches and its height by 1.9 inches. The Xterra has an independent double-wishbone front suspension and a rigid axle in back.
Five occupants fit inside the Xterra. Nissan says second-row headroom and legroom increases by 2.3 and 3.6 inches, respectively. Front-seat legroom has grown by 0.9 inch and headroom by 0.7 inch. An optional fold-down front passenger seatback for hauling long items can accompany the SUV's standard 60/40-split, folding rear seat.
A double-deck glove box is installed, and the center console is larger than before. The Xterra's rear section features an easy-clean cargo area floor with an adjustable channel system. Ten utility hooks reside in the cargo area, and a built-in first-aid kit is offered. Audiophiles may enjoy a premium 300-watt Rockford Fosgate-powered system with nine speakers, MP3 capability and steering-wheel controls. Satellite radio is optional.
Under the Hood
Nissan's 4.0-liter V-6 develops 265 hp and 284 pounds-feet of torque. The engine teams with either a five-speed-automatic transmission or a six-speed-manual gearbox.
Two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive Xterras will be available. Part-time four-wheel drive includes Automatic, 4-High and 4-Low modes.
Standard all-disc antilock brakes have electronic brake-force distribution and Brake Assist. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags are optional. Vehicle Dynamic Control is also available.
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