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2013 Nissan Xterra

Overview
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2013 Nissan Xterra Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.7

The 2013 Nissan Xterra is a survivor among a dying breed: The body-on-frame SUV. With their rugged foundations, such SUVs excel in off-road situations, usually at the expense of on-road comfort. While it may not have the following of Jeep's venerable Wrangler, the Xterra is a respectable off-roader with an attraction all its own. If you want an SUV that serves as a comfortable commuter or has the latest safety and tech features, look instead to a road-oriented crossover like the Honda CRV, Ford Escape or Kia Sorento. But if you're among the hardy types who desire a rugged, few-frills SUV that's happy in the rough, the Nissan Xterra is an appealing option with a starting price that undercuts the 5-passenger Wrangler Unlimited and Toyota's FJ Cruiser.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a tough off-roader with the spirit of the old Jeep CJ but that is far more reliable, the 2013 Nissan Xterra is a good partner. The Xterra's sturdy frame and 4-wheel-drive system (4WD) will please weekend warriors, while its versatile interior and adept suspension make it a livable daily driver.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your idea of off-roading is driving up snow-covered pavement to the local ski resort, a more fuel-efficient and comfortable crossover, such as the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 or Mitsubishi Outlander, should suit you just fine.

What's New for 2013

While most Xterra models see little change for 2013, prices on all have dropped, with Xterra S trims decreasing by over $2,600. Top-line PRO-4X models gain a hands-free infotainment system with navigation and rear-view monitor, while S models get an updated audio system.

Driving the Xterra

Driving Impressions With its generous ground clearance, commanding ride height and big tires, you might think this off-roader would be a handful on the highway and in the city. To our pleasant...

surprise, the Xterra holds its own in the civilized world. Its freeway ride is reasonable and on par with most mid-size pickups. The Xterra's 4.0-liter V6 engine is strong and provides the power needed to pass slower vehicles or claw up dirt trails. The Xterra is no wannabe when the pavement ends; it easily tamed whatever terrain we threw at it, from muddy ruts and fallen logs to streams and creek beds. The Xterra always proved capable and, most importantly, never left us worrying about getting stuck in the muck.

NISSAN CONNECT
The 2013 Xterra gains some much-needed technology with this 5.8-inch color touchscreen system that includes a navigation system, streaming audio, backup camera and real-time information, such as traffic and weather conditions.

VERSATILE INTERIOR
The Xterra is good at hauling stuff, from surfboards and bikes to man's best friend. With 10 cargo hooks, a fold-flat front passenger seat, Utili-track cargo system and available accessories that include a pet divider and hatch tent, versatility is the name of game.

2013 Nissan Xterra Details
Interior

In addition to its ability to secure a wide range of gear, the 2013 Xterra's roomy cabin easily accommodates people. The tall roof and theater-style raised rear seats provide good headroom and an impressive view of the great outdoors. The Xterra's seats are comfortable and supportive. Buttons and knobs are easy to use, but the dash itself is rather plain and utilitarian. The steering wheel tilts but does not telescope, which can make it difficult for drivers to find a perfect fit. The 3-passenger second row folds flat in a 60/40 split, and PRO-4X models benefit from a fold-flat front passenger seat that makes it easy to carry long items like surfboards.

Exterior

With its boxy shape, swollen fender flares and roof rails that could double for industrial piping, the Xterra is the image of rough and tough. Those roof rails and built-in storage box have defined the Xterra ever since it debuted in the year 2000, giving this SUV practicality and a visual punch. Also still present is the asymmetrical rear window. A skid plate protects the Xterra's lower radiator from bruises, and PRO-4X models have additional skid-plate protection around the oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case. Those top-trim models also have fog lights and roof-mounted off-road lights. Standard wheels across the board are 16 inches in size.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Nissan Xterra comes in three trims: X, S, and PRO-4X. Xterra X models are the least expensive and most basic. They have a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, cruise control and power windows and door locks, but lack power mirrors and a USB audio input. Stepping up to the Xterra S trim brings much more, including the rear cargo-management system, driver's-seat lumbar support, and upgraded audio system with 4.3-inch color display and auxiliary inputs for USB devices like an iPod. Top-line PRO-4X models have 4-wheel-drive, locking differential, Rockford Fosgate sound system and a navigation/infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity.

Optional Equipment

The main package option on the 2013 Xterra includes leather seating for the PRO-4X model. Accessories include a tent that blooms from the rear of the Xterra, a tow hitch and a pet divider for carrying Fido in the rear compartment.

Under the Hood

All 2013 Nissan Xterras use a 4.0-liter V6 engine that makes 261 horsepower and a robust 281 lb-ft of torque that helps with pulling and off-the-line acceleration. Xterra X and S trims are rear-wheel drive, with 4-wheel drive available as an option. PRO-4X models come standard with 4-wheel drive. Transmission choices are a 5-speed automatic (the only choice on X trim, and optional on S and PRO-4X models) or 6-speed manual on 4-wheel drive S and PRO-4X models. Towing capacity for the 2013 Xterra is rated at a respectable 5,000 pounds. The Xterra runs on regular gasoline, but fuel economy is not a strong point.

4.0-liter V6
261 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg (2WD, automatic), 16/20 mpg (4WD, manual), 15/20 mpg (4WD, automatic)

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2013 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!!!"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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!"

19 people out of 22 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 11 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!"

5 people out of 10 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

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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

Buying this car?