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2008 Nissan Xterra

Overview
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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.
Favorite Features

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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 422 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

I bought two!

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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: "Value in functionality you need and iconic styling"

Cons: "More MPG but not at expense of functionality"

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

"I bought a 2012 xTerra that I used for my hunting dogs and traveling cross country from MN to WA every other month or so. I have a love/hate relationship with the MPG. I wish for more MPG but at the same time I don't want the xTerra to lose it's iconic styling and functionality so I deal with it. I pretty much get around 18 MPG in ideal conditions cross country. Everything else I love so much that I just bought a 2014 model because I am afraid Nissan might stop making the xTerra. My wife also loves the xTerra so I said fine, I'll get my own. I also like the xTerra because i feel like I am paying for value in functionality I actually need rather than junk I don't need. Example: I don't want or need a car that parks for me, stops for me, checks my blind spot or any other goofy safety computer junk. I like to drive and don't need help. I don't even care about the navigation or other computer and audio stuff. I would rather buy aftermarket and install professional sound. At the same time the stock navigation and audio are very good in the xTerra as long as you can deal with a subwoofer under your seat. I had to change that. Now power, braking, handling, off road capability, and iconic styling? I'll pay for that. My 2012 has 70,000 miles and my 2014 has 5000. Neither has had any issues and am happy to have both of them. It gives us peace of mind that we can handle nearly any road or off road condition in MN and driving across country. Dogs are comfortable too in back with the seats folded down."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever owned.

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Perfect for hauling dogs, dirt, and gear. Mileage (worst 16.5, best 24(!had to check twice!) on a road trip, flat across CO/NE/IA/MN, with a tailwind. Usually around 18.5 in mixed driving. Have the Pro-4X because of the options. Great truck. I'm a "25000 and trade it" guy, have 50,000 on this one and will be keeping it for a long time."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Handles like a champ in all terrains and weather.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well in all weather conditions."

Cons: "Needs some work done at about 60k miles"

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

"This is our second Xterra, and we have been very happy with both of them. We take it over the mountain pass several times per year, and never hesitate to tackle the toughest weather conditions. It handles well off-road as well. The 4-wheel drive function works extremely well while driving. I would recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a good SUV 4-wheel drive. It has plenty of room in back, and the seats also fold down. Only issue we have seen is that you have to have some work done at about 60k miles."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Handles like a champ in all terrains and weather.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well in all weather conditions."

Cons: "Needs some work done at about 60k miles"

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

"This is our second Xterra, and we have been very happy with both of them. We take it over the mountain pass several times per year, and never hesitate to tackle the toughest weather conditions. It handles well off-road as well. The 4-wheel drive function works extremely well while driving. I would recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a good SUV 4-wheel drive. It has plenty of room in back, and the seats also fold down. Only issue we have seen is that you have to have some work done at about 60k miles."

Handles like a champ in all terrains and weather.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well in all weather conditions."

Cons: "Needs some work done at about 60k miles"

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

"This is our second Xterra, and we have been very happy with both of them. We take it over the mountain pass several times per year, and never hesitate to tackle the toughest weather conditions. It handles well off-road as well. The 4-wheel drive function works extremely well while driving. I would recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a good SUV 4-wheel drive. It has plenty of room in back, and the seats also fold down. Only issue we have seen is that you have to have some work done at about 60k miles."

My favorite SUV of all I've owned

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,550

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Size, handling, feels very solid, looks"

Cons: "Only 18 mpg, key fob alarm too sensitive"

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

"Bought new in Dec 2009 and have put a lot of miles on it. Currently has 114,500 and I have yet to put brakes on it - which is unbelievable. Get regular maintenance done every 5,000 and I'm coming to the end of my second set of tires. Plan to get 200,000 on it before I trade it in for another one. I really like it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?