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2011 Nissan Xterra

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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 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."

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."

11 people out of 19 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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