Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
Go

2009 Nissan Xterra

Overview
Share this page
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?

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)

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?

2009 Nissan Xterra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 443 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

I LOVE this truck!!!

By on Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,600

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, comfortable, looks beautiful!"

Cons: "Not real good on gas"

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

"Other than normal maintenance, I have had no trouble with this truck! I love it so much. It is so comfortable and fun to drive as well as being very handy for hauling my stuff. As for the winter... multiple significant snowfalls, including one that buried me hub deep. Not once has this truck gotten stuck! Throw it in 4WD and off I go, no sweat!!!"

Perfect for an active lifestyle!

By on Friday, November 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great for tall people, good looks, solid as a rock"

Cons: "No defroster in outside mirrors"

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

"Recently purchased a 2015 Xterra Pro-4X at the beginning of October 2014 here in northeast Ohio. I've always driven Nissan vehicles (since 1992) and never have had problems with them, other than routine maintenance. For example, my current car (which I kept when I purchased the new Xterra) is a 2004 Infiniti G35 Coupe (made by Nissan in Japan). It now is over 10 years old with over 130,000 miles and runs great. The only issue it has had so far is the electric radiator fan motor died around 70,000 miles. It cost around $750 to replace as the car was out of warranty by then. A month later I received a letter from Nissan stating that they have experienced a higher failure rate than expected for these motors, and to send them the bill for reimbursement. Nissan sent a check in the mail to cover the entire cost, when they didn't have to at all. Anyway, the G35 Coupe is not the best for driving in the snow as it is a rear wheel drive sports coupe. For bad weather and occasional off-road use, hauling my bicycle around, hauling other stuff as needed, and going on weekend camping trips, I purchased the new Xterra. Since I have been a Nissan fan over the years, I purposely spent a lot of time looking at the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeeps. None of them had the best combination of off-road capability and on-road driving comfort and utility, and features for the price compared to the Xterra. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a very cool vehicle, but I did not like the suicide doors (to open the second door requires opening the driver or passenger door first), and the back door opens like a refrigerator instead of being a liftgate. The driving visibility in the FJ Cruiser is far worse than the Xterra. I am tall (6'-3") and do not have to duck my head down to see overhead traffic signals like I had to in the FJ Cruiser. The 4Runner was too long in length and too pricey (great vehicle to be sure). I do not need removable doors or removable roofs and the interior design of the Jeeps did not appeal to me. Jeeps are great vehicles but are overpriced for comparable equipment than the Xterra Pro-4X. I am averaging around 19 miles per gallon city/highway with the Xterra so far, which is a little better than I expected. No issues so far during the first 2,000 miles with the Xterra. This vehicle is solid as a rock with a true body on frame construction. Likes: Looks and doesn't look out of date to me even though this design is 10 years old (metallic blue is the best color), excellent stereo system, navigation, bluetooth, SiriusXM radio with weather and traffic, all buttons are lighted including steering wheel controls, heated seats, wheels look great, good quality BF Goodrich tires, very good fit and finish, everything is easy to use, temp display and compass on auto-dimming rearview mirror, reverse camera, strong heater and A/C, Bilstein shocks, handles amazingly well and steering has perfect feel, comfortable seats, excellent head room for a tall guy like me, good leg room, plenty of cargo capacity, seats fold flat, fits in my garage, shifts on the fly to 4WD without even a clunk (drove in snow the other day), best vehicle for the money hands down! Dislikes: plastics scratch easily, outside mirrors do not have defrosters, overhead vanity mirrors are not lighted, window on rear liftgate can not open- THAT'S IT FOR DISLIKES! This vehicle is perfect for single guys like me who live an active lifestyle. It's not really a family vehicle even though it certainly could do that. If you have little kids, they probably wouldn't even be able to reach the high rear door handles, LOL! Nissan has consistently sold around 1,100 Xterras a month for the last several years, with zero advertising or incentives, for a reason!"

16 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Basic and problem prone

By on Thursday, October 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
4/10

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

"The transmission went out due to a coolant leak into the transmission system. No recall for this issue, but known problem. They did extend the warranty to 80,000, but most fail after that. There was a class action law suit, but only relief was high deductible repairs. No relief over 100,000 miles. Please be aware. It is a basic vehicle with a rough ride. It also started rusting in several locations."

1 person out of 8 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

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: "Great vehicle for the price!"

Cons: "None."

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

"Handles well. Good power. Still looks new and performs well. I'll buy another when they bring back my color - yellow! Always see it in a parking lot!"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best SUV out there

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"There is nothing else that come close to the Xterra except maybe an overpriced Forerunner or Wrangler. It is the best looking, safest, and most reliable SUV you can buy, period. It is quite a value as well with gas prices going lower. My 2007 still turns heads with the streets full of Minivan-looking pretender "SUVs" in an overly politically correct world. Nissan has been trying to retire Xterra for years. Its too good to go down without a fight."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Treasure

By on Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "only vehicle I have ever named-says it all."

Cons: "no lock on glove box"

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

"This is the vehicle that I will never sell. I went up from a 2003 to an 05. Engine delivers better. I searched for a manual tranny and found one two states away. It was worth the drive. I get 17-18 mpg city, 21-22 HWY. It is easy to switch in and out of 4WD (I'm in the mountains). I actually towed a friend's 4WD Tahoe out of a foot or two of wet snow with this vehicle, and did so easily. I am a little unhappy that the glove compartment does not have a lock. But that isn't much to complain about. I've owned this Xterra for over 2 years- only needing to do typical maintenance. Yep. I am very pleased with this SUV."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?