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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Cars.com Staff
September 5, 2008
Vehicle Overview Nissan's truck-based Xterra is geared toward young and/or active buyers — or those who want to appear that way. A standard 4.0-liter V-6 drives either the rear or all four wheels. Unlike some SUVs, it's a truly capable off-roader, with an available Off Road edition. The other trim levels are X, S and SE. Its competitors include the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
New for 2009 The Nissan Xterra gets a revised front-end appearance and standard side curtain airbags.
Exterior The Xterra's styling is an evolutionary design, mimicking the original's design heritage. The Xterra is defined by its standard tubular roof rack and stepped roofline. At 178.7 inches long and 72.8 inches wide, the Xterra is smaller than the FJ Cruiser but larger than the Wrangler Unlimited.
Revised front-end appearance
Optional running boards
Bodyside moldings (SE)
New roof-mounted offroad lights (Off Road)
Newly available 17-inch aluminum-alloy or 16-inch alloy wheels
Interior Five people fit inside the Xterra. An optional fold-down front passenger seatback that allows for hauling long items can accompany the SUV's standard 60/40-split folding rear seat. For 2009, there are new seat materials and colors, plus new trim level content. The Xterra has 100 cubic feet of passenger volume, about the same as the FJ Cruiser and Wrangler Unlimited.
Remote keyless entry, cruise control and auto-dimming rearview mirror
Double-deck glove box
Newly available leather-appointed seating (SE)
Redesigned instrumentation and new switches for climate controls
Under the Hood Nissan's 4.0-liter V-6 is the only engine offered. It develops 265 horsepower and 284 pounds-feet of torque.
Six-speed manual transmission
Optional five-speed automatic transmission
Available part-time four-wheel drive
Double-wishbone front suspension and multi-leaf solid rear axle
Safety The Nissan Xterra has a three-star rollover rating, which is fairly poor, even for an SUV. It gets an Acceptable rating in side-impact crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety with its newly standard side curtain airbags.
Electronic stability system
Antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags