• (4.3) 9 reviews
  • MSRP: $5,298–$14,482
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-18
  • Engine: 261-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 5
2009 Nissan Xterra

Our Take on the Latest Model 2009 Nissan Xterra

What We Don't Like

  • Poor brake-pedal feel
  • Seat belts can get trapped under backseat
  • Gas mileage

Notable Features

  • Standard 261-hp V-6
  • Standard stability system
  • Revised front end
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Available leather seats

2009 Nissan Xterra Reviews

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.

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

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
  • Easy-to-clean floor
  • 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

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

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 9 reviews

Write a Review

What a great off-roader!

by RobL from Detroit, MI on May 5, 2017

Bought this as a multipurpose car - commuting, driving around the family, and towing. It does it all.

Read All Consumer Reviews

7 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2009 Nissan Xterra trim comparison will help you decide.

Nissan Xterra Articles

2009 Nissan Xterra Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 4 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


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.


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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

Other Years