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2009 Nissan Xterra

Overview
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2009 Nissan Xterra Review

By

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 2009 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 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 2009 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 2009

Nissan updates the Xterra for 2009 with a freshened front end, new roof-mounted off-road lights (Off-Road trim only), new wheel designs, seat materials and colors. Roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags with roll-over sensors are made standard, while the Xterra's option packages have been simplified to just two choices: Technology and X Gear.

Driving the Xterra

Driving Impressions Around town and on the highway, the 2009 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.

2009 Nissan Xterra Details
2009 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 2009 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, 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 seat side-impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, front-seat active head restraints and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Optional Equipment

For 2009, Nissan bundles the Xterra's options into two packages. The Technology Package (S, Off-Road and SE only) adds a Rockford-Fosgate stereo with six-disc CD changer, eight speakers and subwoofer, steering wheel audio controls, XM Satellite Radio (automatic transmission only), Bluetooth and an auxiliary audio input jack. The X Gear Package (S and SE only) adds roof rack crossbars, first aid kit, gear basket and fog lights.

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), 15/21 (2WD, automatic), 16/20 (4WD, manual), 15/20 (4WD, automatic)

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2009 Nissan Xterra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 435 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 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
    9.0/10

Powerful When Needed

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Competitive price, fun to drive, reliable"

Cons: "Seat comfort, excessive speed in 1 Low"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The Xterra S series had the hauling capacity we needed to build a home, the power needed to get up mountains weekly for skiing and hiking, and the lower price we wanted to pay compared to similar SUVs. While building our home in another town, I was returning to our current home alone late on a winter night. I was almost to the top of a mountain pass at 10,000' or so and had to pull off to relieve myself. Because there was 3' of new snow I could not see the deep ditch I pulled into until it was too late. The Xterra was banked at quite an angle. I attempted to pull forward a few times but the off-road front tire could not jump the embankment. After a moment of panic and review of my options, I threw the Xterra into 4 Low, gunned it in reverse and spun the steering wheel so the back tires could jump the embankment. This was risky because if it didn't work my front tires would now be in the ditch. But it worked! Strangely enough the front and rear tires had enough power to push me out but not pull me out. Being a female by myself in this remote area under these conditions late at night was scary, buy my Xterra got me out of this bind for which I'll be forever grateful. There are lots of useful gadgets on the S model that help with hauling, tying down, getting in, reorganizing, etc. Highly recommend Yokihama Geolander ATS tires for this car for all season/all terrain use. Items I've noticed that need improvement: 1) The seats, as usual like in 99% of cars, are very uncomfortable on both seat and back. The only car seats I've ever thought were comfortable in both front and back seats were my 1998 Aurora and 2005 Cadillac. I don't understand why manufacturers cheat on the comfort of seats and backs considering they are used 100% of the time. We are now looking for replacement seats by another manufacturer to improve comfort after using seat cushions and lumbar inserts for eight years. 2) While the Xterra has great traction, control, and clearance, when descending steep grades and using 1 Low to reduce speed and use of brakes, the Xterra still wants to speed up to about 20mph-too fast on steep grades and curves. The engine should slow the car down to 12mph max so the driver can control the Xterra without brakes."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Fun to drive but few options available

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Reliability, power, 4WD system, fun to drive."

Cons: "Few options, liftgate doesn't split"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Pretty much a bare bones car. Has good power and excellent 4WD. But luxury options are few. No sunroof available for example. Very reliable though. Nissans are known to last. The fact that the liftgate doesn't split can be annoying. There are plenty of cubby holes for storage. 6 cup holders in all is very helpful. 2 glove boxes also comes in handy. Not the best mileage however."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great get up and go power for all terrains!

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, great handling on all terrains."

Cons: "More durable upholstery."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great handling SUV but not friendly at the gas pump when driving the hills and mountains of VA. It has a recall for radiator to transmission mixing r/i transmission failure. We had that problem fixed. Nissan needs to put more durable upholstery in this SUV as the seats wear too quickly. Overall a good car."

Dependable and Reliable

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Large cargo space, durable, low maintenance"

Cons: "Gas mileage is not economical"

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

"I have had my Xterra for 3 years now and it is one of the most reliable and dependable vehicles I have ever owned. Suprisingly, this car will move fast on the highway if you have to punch it for boost speed. I have had one repair in 3 years which was the replacement of a fuel indicator switch. I have also put new tires on the vehicle. As one other person stated, it is like an old friend. There is a squeak here and there but nothing I would complain about. I have hauled enough rocks to hardscape a medium size back yard, enough lumber to build a sizable deck, towed other vehicles, pulled a 25' boat, etc. To say it is a workhorse is an understatement. It has been garage kept so the paint job looks new. Overall, I strongly recommend this vehicle if you are looking for an all purpose SUV. The biggest down side is fuel economy of which there is none. However, this vehicle has long been paid for so, for me, it is a small price to pay for the amount of value I have received from owning the vehicle during the past few years."

Powerful, Fun, and Capable Off-Road Vehicle

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Gas mileage, high mileage

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Power, off-road capability, 6-speed manual"

Cons: "Gas mileage, rear seat access, cost to repair"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I had a blast with this car for 4 years before selling it to get a newer vehicle. It's surprisingly fast, but you'll pay for it at the pump, and otherwise its a rough and rugged go-anywhere SUV that isn't quite like anything else. I sold it because I put a lot of miles on my vehicles, so I wanted something a little better on gas, plus it was just getting up there in mileage. It ran and looked great when I sold it with about 150k miles, and I (well, "we," including my fiance and friends) still miss it. I took it from GA to Manhattan to Denver, and lots of places in between. I've slept in it, crossed rivers, crawled over boulders, got up over 115 mph on the highway, and hauled groceries and mulch. The only time it didn't start for me was when I had a dead battery, and all we did was push it far enough to pop the clutch, and that got us to the auto parts store for a new one. I ended up putting a good bit into proactive repairs, but it probably could have gone without some of it. I'm an engineer, and like my vehicles running smoothly. Two expensive maintenance costs to look out for: 1. Clutch (manuals only). The factory one is undersized, and will often go out before 100k miles. Dealers want around $2k to replace it due to the excessive labor required. Highly recommend replacing factory clutch with a Jim Wolf Technologies part, which should be a wash in cost. 2. Raditator/Tranny Leak (automatics only): Major issue with certain models/years. Wasn't a problem for me, but could cost you thousands if you have an automatic."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

THE MOST AMAZING CAR ON THE PLANET EARTH!!!!!!!!!!

By on Saturday, May 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

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: "Everything. Plain and simple"

Cons: "NOTHING at All."

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

"This car has been through it all, and it still runs like the day I got it. :) This is not just a car, it is my best friend. I'm not gonna sell this work of art any time soon. I'm s grateful for this amazing car, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested!!!!! Trust me, it will be worth it."

18 people out of 26 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

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