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2004 Nissan Xterra

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$2,092 — $8,292 USED
6
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
18-21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • V-6 performance
  • Standard antilock brakes
  • Versatile cargo capabilities
  • Passenger and cargo space
  • Ride quality

The Bad

  • Overemphasis on youth
  • Entry and exit
  • Supercharged V-6 fuel economy
  • Noise

What to Know

about the 2004 Nissan Xterra
  • Optional supercharged engine
  • Athletic appearance
  • Cargo-carrying conveniences
  • Five-passenger seating

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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Bold, stark styling makes it quite clear that Nissan’s lower-priced midsize sport utility vehicle is meant to attract youthful shoppers. Sales since its debut as a 2000 model have demonstrated the Xterra’s appeal, but the figures slipped a bit during 2002. The Xterra still sells well ahead of the company’s more costly, traditionally styled Pathfinder.

Following the lead of Nissan’s Frontier pickup truck, a supercharged engine became available in 2002 for the Xterra. The SUV also received a restyled front end that included a power-bulge hood. Based on the Frontier, the Tennessee-built Xterra was introduced as a basic, lower-priced running mate for the Pathfinder.

Offered in XE and step-up SE trim levels, the Xterra is available with rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive. Four-cylinder and V-6 engines are available, and the V-6 may be supercharged. Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control is available, but only in four-wheel-drive models.

New 17-inch five-spoke wheels go on the SE models for 2004, while the XE V-6 gets 16-inch four-spoke wheels. Side curtain-type airbags come as a stand-alone option. A Rugged Leather Package for the SE features suedelike door fabric inserts.


Exterior
Even though the Xterra is traditional in overall appearance, it flaunts a batch of highly noticeable styling touches, including flared fenders, a black grille and a higher roof than some of its rivals. The Xterra measures 178 inches long overall and ...
Vehicle Overview
Bold, stark styling makes it quite clear that Nissan’s lower-priced midsize sport utility vehicle is meant to attract youthful shoppers. Sales since its debut as a 2000 model have demonstrated the Xterra’s appeal, but the figures slipped a bit during 2002. The Xterra still sells well ahead of the company’s more costly, traditionally styled Pathfinder.

Following the lead of Nissan’s Frontier pickup truck, a supercharged engine became available in 2002 for the Xterra. The SUV also received a restyled front end that included a power-bulge hood. Based on the Frontier, the Tennessee-built Xterra was introduced as a basic, lower-priced running mate for the Pathfinder.

Offered in XE and step-up SE trim levels, the Xterra is available with rear-wheel drive or part-time four-wheel drive. Four-cylinder and V-6 engines are available, and the V-6 may be supercharged. Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control is available, but only in four-wheel-drive models.

New 17-inch five-spoke wheels go on the SE models for 2004, while the XE V-6 gets 16-inch four-spoke wheels. Side curtain-type airbags come as a stand-alone option. A Rugged Leather Package for the SE features suedelike door fabric inserts.


Exterior
Even though the Xterra is traditional in overall appearance, it flaunts a batch of highly noticeable styling touches, including flared fenders, a black grille and a higher roof than some of its rivals. The Xterra measures 178 inches long overall and stands approximately 74 inches tall. A tubular aluminum roof rack holds 125 pounds, and tubular side step rails are installed. These add bold detailing, even if they’re not so useful for riders. There’s even a built-in basket for carrying up to 30 pounds of wet or dirty clothes or whatever the owner cares to haul.

Interior
The Xterra is equipped with seats for five people. Split, rear seatbacks fold down, and the back cushions are removable. Available accessories include mounting points for two mountain bikes, tie-down hooks, ceiling hooks and a first-aid kit. Kayaks and snowboards can also be hauled. Storage pockets provide ample places for smaller items. Cargo volume totals 65.6 cubic feet with the seats folded down.

Under the Hood
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine develops 143 horsepower, while the optional 3.3-liter V-6 produces 180 hp in regular form and 210 hp when supercharged. All of the Xterra’s engines are borrowed from the Frontier, and they team with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. The four-cylinder comes only with rear-wheel drive, but the V-6 is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Nissan’s four-wheel-drive system has true offroad ability and shift-on-the-fly capability at speeds of up to 25 mph. Towing capacity for models equipped with a manual shift is 3,500 pounds, while Xterras with an automatic transmission can handle 5,000 pounds.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard. Side curtain-type airbags are available as optional equipment.

Driving Impressions
In performance, handling and even ride comfort, the Xterra scores strongly. If only this SUV weren’t so flamboyantly youth focused, it would warrant an unqualified recommendation for buyers of all ages and backgrounds. Such factors as storage versatility can be just as important for family-oriented buyers as for young singles carrying their friends.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.2
30 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(3.9)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Great SUV

by Gmmarin from Mesa, AZ on December 27, 2018

I've owned my 2004 Xterra for 15 years. 130,000 miles. For the average driver, this vehicle is pretty reliable with normal maintenance. This year doesn't experience coolant/transmission oil ... Read full review

(5.0)

Off-Road Beast

by TwinCasadilla from Albany on November 14, 2018

I've had my Xterra for 4 years and I love it. It has 226,000 miles on it and I just experienced my first break down; the timing belt. The Xterra does extremely well in the snow. I am so impressed with ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Nissan Xterra currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Nissan Xterra has not been tested.

Latest 2004 Xterra Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Xterra received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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