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2008 Nissan Xterra

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2008 Nissan Xterra Review

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Many SUVs have grown into giant luxury barges incapable of tackling little more than snow-covered pavement, which is why off-road devotees and weekend warriors love the 2008 Nissan Xterra. Nissan's most affordable SUV is renowned for its rugged body-on-frame construction, powerful standard V6 engine and insatiable appetite for all things dirty and boulder-strewn. Although it now faces tough competition from Jeep's Wrangler four-door, the Xterra remains an attractive prospect. Innovative features, such as a built-in first aid kit, adjustable cargo-hold track system and a roof-mounted drying rack, are geared toward those with active lifestyles, while the Xterra's civilized interior and comfortable ride make it perfectly suitable as a daily driver.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2008 Nissan Xterra is ideally suited for the active adventurer highlighted in so many Xterra commercials. An affordable price tag allows just about anyone to own this tough Nissan SUV, and a civilized ride makes it easy to live with in day-to-day driving.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for economy over power, the Xterra's new V6 won't impress you. The Xterra's ride, though not rough, is a far cry from the car-like comfort provided by the Honda CR-V and Toyota Highlander.

What's New for 2008

The Xterra's standard equipment list grows larger, starting with the base X trim which receives power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry and cruise control. The S trim gains step rails, a first aid kit and a cargo net.

Driving the Xterra

Driving Impressions Around town and on the highway, the 2008 Nissan Xterra rides and handles impressively; it tracks straight, rides smooth and handles even higher-speed sweeping turns as calmly and confidently as...

a solid sedan. Its impressive V6 powerplant, a modified version of the engines found in the company's 350Z and G35, quietly delivers power whenever you need it. The Xterra performed admirably in our off-road tests, negotiating soggy access roads and fording streams deep enough to think twice about crossing. And judging from our off-road experience in another Xterra sibling, the Nissan Frontier pickup, the Xterra would likely traverse large boulders just as well.

Versatile Cargo Area
In addition to no-carpet and Easy Clean surfaces, the Xterra's cargo area features a total of 10 cargo hooks in the sides, ceiling and in the adjustable Utili-track Cargo Channel System in the floor.

Side Steps
Integrated into the body of the vehicle, the Xterra's side steps make it easy to access and secure cargo at the rear of the roof.

2008 Nissan Xterra Details
2008 Nissan Xterra photo Interior

The Xterra's long wheelbase and tall height create ample headroom and legroom for every passenger, front and back. Rear 60/40-split seats combine with a fold-flat front passenger seat to create enough room for lengthy outdoor gear (or tall floor lamps). A clean and purposeful interior features dual stacked glove compartments, multiple 12-volt outlets and a versatile cargo area.

Exterior

With a tubular roof rack, stepped roof and bump on its back, the Xterra looks as if it were born to be a long way from pavement. The 2008 Nissan Xterra appears to sit on the road with a comforting sense of security, thanks in large part to its long wheelbase and short overhangs, as well as its wide, pronounced fender flares. Its "angled strut grille" serves as the new face for many of Nissan's trucks and SUVs. The bin at the front of the roof rack features a latchable cover, and the rear bumper includes integrated side steps for easier access to the roof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Features on the base Xterra include a 4.0-liter V6, six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel disc brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution, stability control, roof gear basket, single CD sound system, power door locks/windows/mirrors, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control and an Easy Clean cargo area surface with multiple heavy-duty hooks and Utili-track Cargo Channel System. Standard safety equipment includes front airbags, front-seat active head restraints and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Optional Equipment

Options, offered as parts of various trim levels or available individually, include a five-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, 380-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with MP3-compatible in-dash six-disc changer, XM Satellite Radio, fold-flat front passenger seat, front side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags. The Xterra Off Road model includes electronic Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, an electronic locking rear differential, Bilstein shocks, additional skid plates and unique blue seat cloth (Off Road model features vary by 4x2 or 4x4, and manual or automatic transmission).

Under the Hood

The Xterra's V6 pulls as strongly on the highway as it does climbing rocks and dirt mounds. Ample torque translates into ample towing ability, but all that power comes at a price, and you'll pay it at the pump.

4.0-liter V6
261 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (2WD, manual), 15/20 (2WD, automatic), 16/20 (4WD, manual), 14/20 (4WD, automatic)

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2008 Nissan Xterra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 464 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Best Rugged SUV Out There

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great looks, performance, comfort, practicality"

Cons: "Gas guzzler"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased a 2007 used SE in 2013 and have had a good experience so far with it (now 2015). This is my second Xterra and sorry to see them go after this year. But the truck does eat gas. Plenty of power in the renowned 4.0 V6 taken out of the older Z car. I am over 6 ft tall and this is one of the few vehicles I feel comfortable driving. The driving position is a sitting position and not a lying down position with legs extended forward as in the Forerunner, which is made for short people. The X is the best looking SUV I have seen other than the Jeep G Cherokee too which is twice the cost. It has been reliable other than replacing the power window motor in the front passenger side which set me back $450."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I Love my Truck

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dependable, plenty of space, drives great"

Cons: "Fosgate stereo has no DVD player"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my truck! Seats are easy to change from sitting to flat-plenty of space for seating, both front and back. Drives awesome--a tad bit tippy-feeling if it is empty, but otherwise, rides like a truck--meaty, not "floating" all over the road. Handles speed great and eats up bumpy and 4x4 driving like a race horse. 4x4 driving during winter even on icy roads is great. Engine and power are great when its needed--Best vehicle I have ever owned."

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

expect to be driving this vehicle for a long time

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"precisely what I was looking for in a versatile vehicle. Surprisingly smooth ride over the road a bonus."

4 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Capability plus Liveability

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Capability, comfort, style"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased my Xterra Pro-4X to find a happy medium between a Jeep Wrangler and an Acura TL. I've owned both. Two ends of the spectrum! Needed daily driver comfort and amenities and weekend capability on the beach and trails. The Xterra is the perfect combination. Able to take everything I throw at it off-road and comfortable for the daily work commute. Leather interior, technological amenities, room for passengers and cargo. This is a keeper. Only critique is gas mileage but you know that when you purchase. Unfortunate that this is the last year of the Xterra."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

BEST 4 X 4 VEHICLE OWN

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ROUGH AND TOUGH"

Cons: "NONE SO FAR"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"BOUGHT THIS UNIT AFTER OUR HYUNDIA SANTA FA 2001 RUSTED OUT. OUR FIRST TRIP WITH IT TO GEORGIA FOR VACATION JUST LOVED THE RIDE AND CONFORT. WIFE WAS WARY AT FIRST BUT LOVES IT AND CLAIMED IT FOR HER SELF SO ITS HER RIDE HENCE NAME SHE CALLS IT FRED I WANTED TONKA FOR ROUGH. OVER ALL WE LOVE IT."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Awesome SUV

By on Thursday, June 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,068

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Power, solid frame, off-road prowess, reliability"

Cons: "Gas mileage, transmission / radiator issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The 2005 xterra was the fastest 0-60 SUV in production that year. Faster than the Porsche Cayenne. Even after 100,000 with regular oil changes it still rips when I want it to. I learned of the flaw with the radiator and had a trans-cooler put in for $300 before disaster struck. I also had to sink $1200 into the transmission and for that I give it an 8 in quality. Compared to some other brands $1500 over 10 years is pretty darn good. What I like best about this SUV is its solid build. It drives like a truck, not like a car with a truck body. It has alot of torque and climbs and four-wheels like no other. Very functional interior for outdoors or events, especially with the rubber floor mats and hard plastic fold down hatch. Lets just say that when I am ready to trade this one in, I'm getting another."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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