Does exactly what it was designed to do.
June 14, 2018
I use vehicles as tools. I like the Xterra because it functions as designed. The benefits in design for off road and all weather travel have a cost; primarily gas mileage, and to a certain extent comfort. These trade-offs are not unique to the Xterra. The exterior design is attractive as well as utilitarian (although the front plastic bumper is far too week for off road, replaced two in three years, bought a brush guard, and then a reinforced off road bumper). The inside designed is plastic and looks cheap. But the modular plastic aspect of the interior is an advantage as I have modified the dash to mount AM/FM, CB, and short wave radios. Running antenna wire was not an issue with minimal drilling and some fire calking to preserve design integrity. The front seats are as comfortable as you will find in a real off road vehicle. The back seats are for short trips only. Three hours back there is enough. The storage space is not overly large but it is usable. The fold down back seats make up for this. I like to keep one back seat as a "jump seat" if needed. The hard plastic flooring makes for lots of load sliding unless you use tie downs (adjustable tiedown points provided in the design) or install a rubber mat insert. I like the availability of after market additions like dash parts, exterior light set, and off road upgrades. Without too much modification (or cost) I have put together a tough little mudder that is capable and reliable. I can camp out of for a week (a 6' man can lay out in the back if need be) I can crawl, commute, and communicate across several states with ease but this rig does not look like I'm getting ready for the apocalypse. Fold down antennas help reduce the "preper" profiling from neighbors and county police. I like that I can get off road as well as travel cross county in relative comfort. This is a good looking and capable vehicle that offers better comfort than other comparable off road offerings. The fuel efficiency is a real consideration but is worth it if you actually go off road. The interior looks cheap but is modular and can be easily customized. I bought it to do what it was designed to do. I really like the design and the flexibility of the Xterra. If you take care of this vehicle, it will take care of you. I live on the plains but drive to (and in) the mountains.