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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 474 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
    8.9/10

The Unapologetically Utilitarian SUV

By on Thursday, January 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "ENGINE (power), rugged, simple, reliable, utility"

Cons: "ENGINE (economy), int. plastic scratches easily"

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

2015 Pro-4X with 6-spd manual. One of my all-time favorite vehicles owned.

"No, it isn't a Chrysler Wrangler; trust me, that's a good thing. No, it isn't a Rogue, either. Or an Outlander. Or anything else that uses electronic proxies to replicate actual 4WD capabilities so soccer moms can gum up the left lane when it snows. Look, it's hard (tough), angular (distinct), unyielding (solid), and even dated (proven). The engine sucks down fuel like a riding lawn mower, but it also shoves all 4,300 lbs down the pavement faster than some "sporty" cars manage (to 60 in 7 seconds), hauls 5,000 lbs, and sounds pretty sweet under acceleration. And it's available (like mine) in a 6-spd manual. Did you hear that? AN SUV WITH A MANUAL TRANSMISSION. Gotta love that. We've taken it on vacation with lots of highway miles, and while comfortable enough, it never lets you forget it's a body-on-frame SUV. I have the 2015 Pro-4X so it has JUST enough creature comforts to keep me happy, but it's honestly what I call "my analog SUV in a digital world." And that's why I like it so much. Instead of trying to please the lowest common denominator of focus groups, the Xterra is meant for a narrow audience that DOES things, GOES places, and NEEDS a more rugged vehicle than most. My dog vomited in the back of mine Week 1, and I drug a hose into the back seat and sprayed out the cargo area. Done and done. I like the Ford Explorer just fine, but I'd have been looking at a $75 detailing to clean that same mess up. So if you want a REAL SUV--and all that means--definitely look at the Xterra. If you want a road-focused crossover with a traction-control dial, this ain't it."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

2015 Pro-4X with 6-spd manual. One of my all-time favorite vehicles owned.

Poor quality engine/transmission

By on Tuesday, December 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Cheap vehicle body has held up well."

Cons: "Cheap vehicle - drive train parts don't last."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The vehicle is a decent value except for the engine ( I had to replace the timing chain and tensioners and lower pulley at 88,000 miles. The transmission needed replacing at 134,000 miles). This was despite good maintenance history and mostly highway and in-town miles."

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Driving for 50+ years ....the best I've owned

By on Sunday, December 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

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: "I hunt 50 days/yr. It goes anywhere."

Cons: "Dome light over back seat. Why?"

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

"Six yrs old...114K miles on my 2010 Xterra. I have a 6 speed tranny (manual) and am totally satisfied. I wait for no one....it's fast. Mileage normally is 18 city - 22 Hwy. I have 2 (of 8) of my kids wanting this vehicle when I get a new one. Only drawback is that the dome light is over the back seat. It should be AT LEAST over the back of the front seat. Zoom-Zoom."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great overall vehicle. Off road machine.

By on Friday, December 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

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
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun and capable suv that inspires excitement."

Cons: "2015 was the last year of this suv."

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

"Too bad Nissan is dropping the X. I bought one of the very last production number 4x4 Xterras. It was the only one for sale within 400 miles of my home. It has been a very good choice. It has excellent off road manners. Will climb and go over obstacles with factory tires in 2wd that other vehicles in 4wd with mud tires will not. Suspension articulates well and 4wd system is impeccable. Street handling feels safe and confident as well. Corners well for a 4x4. Fuel mileage is ok. I avg 20mpg with mixed driving on 87 octane. I can run 93 octane and have gotten 23.5mpg with mixed driving. It has lots of power, enough that a spirited takeoff on pavement will trip the traction control. Interior is slightly utilitarian, but that's how I like it. Braking is superb for a moderately heavy SUV. Interior is quiet at all speeds, wind noise is only really noticeable above 60mph. Factory stereo is ok. Automatic shifts smoothly under normal load and driving, shifts firm up under hard acceleration just as it is supposed to. Seating is very comfortable for 4 adults. 5 is too tight. Legroom in rear seats is adequate. Drivers seating is a could be considered a little tight if your height is over 6'. Overall an excellent suv. I love my Xterra!"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

A very good, safe, efficient vehicle.

By on Tuesday, December 01, 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
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Rear seats have limited room for adults."

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

Brand new!

"I bought this car new in 2010 and have been very pleased and happy with it every day since. It has plenty of power, smooth acceleration and being a tall vehicle, makes it easy to maneuver. The brakes are superb, smooth and quick stopping. The fold down rear seats make a very large carrying capacity. The one drawback is that the rear seats are too close to the front seats, making the back seats difficult for adults to be comfortable. I get an average of seventeen MPG, never below 16.5 and up to 19.5 on the highway at high speed, 70+ MPH. The AC and heater are excellent."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Brand new!

owned since new 2005

By on Monday, November 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

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
8/10
Comfort
Not Rated

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

"Vehicle has not cost any major repairs . At 78000 miles cats & radiator were replaced at dealers expense (radiator had external leak, not internal damaging the trans ) . Truly love this vehicle , stood the test of time . Paint job and styling are awesome . Had to replace driver side window regulator & front u joints along with serpentine belt other than that great vehicle"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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