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2011 Nissan Xterra

Overview
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2011 Nissan Xterra Review

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While many SUVs have morphed into cushy crossover family haulers or simply disappeared altogether, the 2011 Nissan Xterra remains true to the first vehicle ever to wear the Xterra name. Like the Jeep Wrangler, the Xterra has a loyal following – mostly weekend warriors and outdoor devotees, who love the vehicle for its rugged body-on-frame design, powerful standard V6 engine and desire to take on all things considered uncivilized. While its handsome exterior and comfortable ride make it perfectly acceptable as a daily driver, features like the built-in first-aid kit, adjustable cargo-hold track system and a roof-mounted drying rack appeal to those with active lifestyles.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a removable hardtop is not a feature you covet, the next best thing to owning a Jeep Wrangler is owning the 2011 Nissan Xterra. The Xterra's interior is more civilized than the Jeep's, not to mention quieter.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your off-road exploits are limited to unpaved trails and occasional deep snow, you might find something like the Subaru Outback or Toyota RAV4 offers a more comfortable ride and much better fuel economy.

What's New for 2011

A simplified model line marks the biggest change for 2011. There are now three Xterras from which to choose: X, S and PRO-4X.

Driving the Xterra

Driving Impressions With its large tires, significant ground clearance and tall ride height, one might expect the 2011 Nissan Xterra to be a handful on the road. But, we found the Xterra...

is quite confident in all driving situations; it tracks straight, is fairly comfortable on smooth roads and, even taking turns at higher speeds, feels as planted and predictable as a standard sedan. Using a modified version of the V6 engine found in the 370Z, the Xterra has no problem delivering power when requested, even on high-altitude mountain passes. In our off-road test, we pushed the Xterra through soggy trail ruts, over fallen logs and even forded a creek that, in retrospect, we probably should not have attempted with life vests, but survived without incident.

Versatile Cargo Area
In addition to no-carpet and Easy Clean surfaces, the 2011 Nissan 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 (4X4 models only).

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.


2011 Nissan Xterra Details
Interior

The 2011 Nissan Xterra's tall roof creates an open and accommodating cabin, while theatre-style rear seating allows backseat occupants a clear view of the road ahead. Rear 60/40-split seats combine with a fold-flat front passenger's seat to create enough room for lengthy outdoor gear (or tall floor lamps). The cargo area is covered in a durable and easy-to-clean vinyl covering and includes tie-down latches for anchoring equipment and luggage. From the driver's seat, the Xterra's controls are easy to view and operate, with large knobs and switches backlit in orange light. The Xterra's clean and purposeful interior comes with dual-stacked glove compartments, multiple 12-volt outlets and a versatile cargo area.

Exterior

Looking like a modern version of the old Land Rovers so commonly seen traversing African plains, the 2011 Nissan Xterra is clearly a vehicle that prefers roughing it. Adding to its rugged good looks is a large, tubular roof rack and a stepped roof. A 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; PRO-4X models are equipped with roof-mounted off-road lamps integrated into the roof-rack air damn. Thanks in part to its short overhangs and wide prominent stance, the Xterra never feels top heavy when rounding corners or crawling over uneven surfaces.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Features on the base Xterra X include a 4.0-liter V6, five-speed automatic, 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, and cruise control. The S trim adds an Easy Clean cargo area surface with multiple heavy-duty hooks and Utili-track Cargo Channel System, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with BFGoodrich Long Trail tires, driver's-seat lumbar support, step rails, roof rack crossbars (4x4 only), gear basket (4x4 only) and a first aid kit. 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

4x4 versions of the S and PRO-4X come standard with a six-speed manual transmission but can be upgraded to a five-speed automatic. The PRO-4X brings Roof-Mounted Off-Road Lights in the air dam, silver headlight inner color, black bodyside molding, fold-down front passenger's seat with backboard, leather-wrapped steering wheel, P265/75R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A off-road tires, rugged 16-inch wheels, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist (automatic transmission only), electronic locking rear differential, switch operated two-speed transfer case, high performance Bilstein gas-filled shocks and oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates. All PRO-4X models also include standard Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, eight speakers and subwoofer, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and XM Satellite Radio capability. A Leather Package can be added to the PRO-4X. Additional equipment for the 2011 Nissan Xterra varies by trim and includes a cargo cover, iPod interface, floor mats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Nissan 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 for it at the pump.

4.0-liter V6
261 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD, automatic), 16/20 (4WD, manual), 15/20 (4WD, automatic)

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2011 Nissan Xterra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 434 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

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."

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."

8 people out of 13 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."

16 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Great little SUV

By on Thursday, May 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This is by far the best vehicle I have ever driven on snow/ice covered roads. The Xterra is a beast on mountain passes in any weather!"

3 people out of 4 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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