2012 Nissan Xterra

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11 reviews
Available Price Range $13,229-$25,233 Trims5 Combined MPG 17-19 Seats 5

Our Take on the 2012 Nissan Xterra

Our Take

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... Read Full Report

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 side curtain airbags
  • Available leather seats
  • PRO-4X off-road model


Our Expert Reviews

The Xterra certainly has its place in the world: It's a go-to SUV for the uber-rugged sort. I can see my 20-something brother driving this five-seat SUV (if only he'd hold down a job to pay for it); he'd throw his mountain bike in the back, skillfully traverse seemingly impassable terrain, then toss his muddy gear into the plastic-lined cargo area before meeting his girlfriend fo... Read Full Review

Consumer Reviews

4.1 out of 5

Based on 11 reviews

Best SUV in its class

by Outdoorsman from Boise, Idaho on August 7, 2012

This is my second Xterra since 2005. The Xterra is a true SUV, not a soccer mom SUV. The "expert" review for this vehicle on Cars.com is completely off base. This is not a luxury SUV and should not be... Read Full Review

5 Trims Available

A trim is a style of a vehicle model. Each higher trim has different or upgraded features from the previous trim along with a price increase. Learn more about trims

Trims Explained

When talking about cars, “trims” is a way of differentiating between different versions of the same model. Typically, most start with a no-frills, or “base” trim, and as features are added, or a different engine, drivetrain (gas vs. hybrid, for example) or transmission are included, trim names change and prices go up. It’s important to carefully check the trims of the car you’re interested in to make sure that you’re getting the features you want, or that you’re not overpaying for features you don’t want.


Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 2 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

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.

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