By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley walks you through the 2008 Nissan Xterra. It competes with the Ford Explorer and Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com and this is the Nissan Xterra SUV. It's a go anywhere, do anything type of SUV designed for people with active lifestyles.
And today I'm going to show you some of the features that allow it to be that kind of vehicle. The Xterra has pretty rugged styling. You can see that has these big front and rear fender bulges right here. It also has this interesting step roof line, but what's interesting even more is what's on top of the vehicle. You can see it has this big tubular roof rack. And if you step up on top, like I'm going to right here and show you, there's a storage area in the front of the roof rack. You can put in kind of wet, muddy items, close this thing down and carry it outside the vehicle so it won't mess up the inside. For all the things you need to carry inside the Xterra, it's got some interesting features. One of them is this molded cargo floor, and while it may be good for carrying wet items, helping to be easy to clean up, it's not very great for ordinary things like grocery bags. They slide all over the place. Also has some cargo hooks in the ceiling, which you don't always see and a rail system in the cargo floor, which Nissan says you can hook a bike rack up to, to carry a bike inside the vehicle. And if the mountain bike ride gets a little too out of control, it has this first aid kit, which is an Xterra trademark. Part of the Xterra's appeal is it's off-road credentials. It's built on a truck based frame, and it comes with a four liter V6 engine that you see here. And if you choose off-road model like this one here, you also get some additional features, including BF Goodrich off-road tires, good plates to protect what's underneath the vehicle and additional controls like hill descent control, hill start assist, and a locking rear differential. There's pretty decent room for the driver and the Xterra. I'm six foot one, and I fit very well. And overall, the material quality is pretty good in the Xterra. And you can see it has these interesting two-tone fabric seats, but like the cargo area, the little storage spots have this smooth, easy to clean finish, but stuff slides around in them if you put down a cell phone or something else like that. Moving to the rear seats, they're not as big as the front seats. And when you climb in, you can see that there's a step up, which the front seat has as well but there's also this really small door opening that you have to get by, and you also face it when you're getting out of the vehicle. The Xterra has one of the older seat folding designs on the market, but it works decently well, first lift up on the bottom cushion then release the backrest and it folds flat with the cargo area. If you need real SUV capability to get to your outdoor adventures, the Xterra comes up to that challenge pretty well. But if your outdoor sports are accessible by paved roads, there are other vehicles that offer better ride quality to get you there. <v Man>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog, "kicking tires".