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2012 Nissan Xterra

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$9,308 — $21,400 USED
11
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
17-19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Strong V-6 engine
  • Automatic transmission shifts
  • Supportive seats
  • Towing capacity

The Bad

  • Poor brake-pedal feel
  • Seat belts can get trapped under backseat
  • Gas mileage
2012 Nissan Xterra exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Nissan Xterra
  • Standard 261-hp V-6
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Available leather seats
  • PRO-4X off-road model

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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

Nissan's truck-based Xterra is geared toward young, 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 PRO-4X off-road edition. The other trim levels are X and S. The Xterra seats up to five people. Competitors include the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

New for 2012
There are no significant changes for the 2012 model year.

Exterior
The Xterra's styling is evolutionary, mimicking the original's design heritage. It's defined by its standard tubular roof rack and stepped roofline. All Xterras have short front overhangs — the distance between the front of the wheel well and the front of the SUV — and this helps in off-road situations. Exterior features include:

  • Optional running boards
  • Optional bodyside moldings
  • Roof-mounted off-road lights (PRO-4X)
  • Available 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels


Interior
Five people can fit inside the Xterra. An available fold-down front passenger seat that allows for hauling long items can accompany the SUV's standard 60/40-split folding backseat. Options include an upgraded stereo and a system of rails in the cargo floor. Interior features include:

  • Remote keyless entry, cruise control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Double-deck glove box
  • Easy-to-clean floor
  • Available leather-appointed seating
  • Available Bluetooth connecti...
Vehicle Overview

Nissan's truck-based Xterra is geared toward young, 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 PRO-4X off-road edition. The other trim levels are X and S. The Xterra seats up to five people. Competitors include the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

New for 2012
There are no significant changes for the 2012 model year.

Exterior
The Xterra's styling is evolutionary, mimicking the original's design heritage. It's defined by its standard tubular roof rack and stepped roofline. All Xterras have short front overhangs — the distance between the front of the wheel well and the front of the SUV — and this helps in off-road situations. Exterior features include:

  • Optional running boards
  • Optional bodyside moldings
  • Roof-mounted off-road lights (PRO-4X)
  • Available 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels


Interior
Five people can fit inside the Xterra. An available fold-down front passenger seat that allows for hauling long items can accompany the SUV's standard 60/40-split folding backseat. Options include an upgraded stereo and a system of rails in the cargo floor. Interior features include:

  • Remote keyless entry, cruise control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Double-deck glove box
  • Easy-to-clean floor
  • Available leather-appointed seating
  • Available Bluetooth connectivity and satellite radio


Under the Hood

Nissan's 4.0-liter V-6 is the only engine offered. It makes 261 horsepower and 281 pounds-feet of torque. Mechanical features include:

  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Optional five-speed automatic transmission
  • Available part-time four-wheel drive
  • Double-wishbone front suspension and multileaf solid rear axle


Safety
Standard safety features include:

  • Electronic stability system
  • Antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution
  • Seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for both rows

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
16 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(3.7)
Comfort
(3.7)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Reliable...stylish....goes anywhere.

by SCOOTEROO from AUSTIN,TX on November 22, 2018

AS SUV'S GO....VERSATILE, DEPENDABLE, STYLISH. Easy towing...could be better gas mileage.....owned for 7 years...will use in retirement for ride share use soon. see ya soon Read full review

(5.0)

Most reliable car I've owned

by Bertski on July 15, 2018

This vehicle suits my lifestyle. I can tow my trailer/kayaks. It has the ability to tow much heavier loads. It's a beast in the New England snow and when I ski up north. It has a durable interior and ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Nissan Xterra currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Nissan Xterra has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Nissan

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    6 years/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    84 months/100,000 miles from original new-car in-service date

  • Powertrain

    84 months/100,000 miles (includes LEAF electric vehicle system and powertrain)

  • Dealer Certification Required

    167-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 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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