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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 454 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 vehicle I have owned

By on Saturday, May 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Lack of some more modern safety features"

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

"Very easy to drive. Have had no mechanical problems, however mileage is low. Very powerful for a truck this heavy. Gas mileage a little disappointing. Very capable off road vehicle."

Love the Xterra

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Rugged yet Refined"

Cons: "???"

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

"After one year of ownership, the Xterra has performed great, especially during the 2014 - 2015 Winter. I could not be happier with the purchase. As a manual only driver, I am thrilled to find the PRO 4X version has many bells/whistles not available with any other "sticks". This manual even has PEP! I deliberated too long between this and a slightly smaller/ more "refined" manual transmission and can say I'm glad I chose the real SUV. As a coach, and sportsman the Xterra has more than ample room for all my gear. I've always loved the design and only wished I had purchased an Xterra sooner."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love the spunk and reliability of this vehicle

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,486

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Brand. Fun to drive. Right size."

Cons: "Too small for larger families."

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

"This is a wonderful vehicle for one person or as a second car for a small family. I really like the "get up and go" this vehicle provides. I am an older person and I need my runner to access the Xterra, but do not find this too inconvenient. Love, love, love it! I purchased this in 2009 as a used vehicle and it has served me well!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Utility. Tons of utility. Great value/durability.

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Utility, Customization, Size, 4x4"

Cons: "MPG"

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

"After 8 years, I've had normal maintenance and only a few minor repairs. The Nissan Xterra is a great vehicle. PROS: -So much utility. The inside is easy to wipe down. Fold down the bench and haul almost anything. Inside cargo area plus the top rack are great for wet things, tools, tow rope, etc. -Customization. I added fog lights, hitch, cargo rack, and inside netting. -Size. It's not too big but not compact. It's a great size for a family of four or a single guy and his buddies + gear. -4x4. The 4WD has performed excellent in Indiana winters. It pulls through the snow. -Sits high. Easy to see forwards and outside all side windows. It's minor but an advantage over several other SUVs. CONS: -Trunk Shocks. They'll fail eventually in the cold. Replace them with a higher rating or be prepared to hold the trunk open with your head. -Rear side doors have a narrow opening. It's sometimes a problem with kids and often a problem with adults. -MPG. What started as 20-21 highway turned into 18. Average is 16.5 total."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Perfect 4x4 for my needs

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good off-road capability, smooth drive on pavement"

Cons: "MPG could be a tad better, 4WD High might hang"

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

"Back in 2010, I decided it was time to purchase a 4x4 to do some moderate (not hard core) off-roading here in Colorado. After some research, I decided a used Xterra was the vehicle I wanted because it looked like a vehicle capable of handing off-road terrain while also providing a decent ride on paved surfaces. I went shopping and liked it so much I ended up buying a new 2010 Off-Road version. After about five years of owning this vehicle, I absolutely love the thing! We've been up just about every "moderate" trail in the state as well as several "hard" trails, shying away only from those trails where vehicle damage would be pretty certain. The locking differential has been invaluable on steep two/three wheel crawls. Even after owning it all this time, I am still impressed by how comfortable it is to drive for hours on paved roads, then go off road and beat the thing up over tens of thousands of rocks, and then jump back on a highway and have it drive just as smooth as ever. I've used it to tow several trailers carrying loads of 2,000 to 4,000 lbs (moving daughter twice and mother once), hauled a ton of rocks, taken trips to the East and West coasts and Canada, and am planning a trip up to Alaska to check out the wilderness there. I have had zero issues to date (knock on wood), and it remains a pleasure to drive. Yes it's a truck, but with the wheel and tire size on the Off-Road, there's a nice amount of air cushion and it's very comfortable. We recently made a 1,900 mile round trip to Arizona and came back though one of the largest snow storms we've seen in the past decade, and it handled the trip nicely as always. I've had only one minor annoyance... that being that it sometimes takes a little longer to come back out of 4-wheel drive (high) than I'd prefer. Winter driving often means ice or snow-covered roads, then maybe a well-cleared road, and I like to get out of 4-wheel drive whenever it's not needed. Sometimes it doesn't want to pop back into 2-wheel drive right away. It's not a big deal, but I will likely look into addressing this annoyance when the weather gets warm again. Bottom line: I believe there is no better vehicle to give you both off-road capability and a smooth on-road drive. I find myself driving it even when taking the car would net better gas mileage because it just feels good to drive it!"

15 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

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 price, fun to drive"

Cons: "none"

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

"This is a great midsize suv that is fun to drive. It has plenty of power. The S model has everything you need with a great sound system. The X model does not have all the extras but is still a great vehicle if you do not want the extras. This is the first vehicle that I have ever gotten in and just loved right away. I find myself finding excuses to drive it!"

6 people out of 13 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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