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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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 6.7
  • 6.9
  • 6.5
  • 6.9
  • 6.1
  • 7.8
How It Ranks

#38

out of 38

Fuel Economy

#4

out of 38

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Nissan Xterra Low/wide front photo 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
2013 Nissan Xterra Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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
2013 Nissan Xterra Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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
2013 Nissan Xterra photo

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
2013 Nissan Xterra Engine photo

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)

Pricing Notes

All 2013 Nissan Xterra models have dropped in price from the previous year. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a base X model with 2-wheel drive starts at $23,785. Xterra S models start at $25,695, while PRO-4X models have a starting MSRP of $30,285 and top out around $2,000 more with leather seating and an automatic transmission. At its starting price, the Xterra is over $4,000 less than a base 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser and about $3,000 less than a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Nissan Xterra. The Xterra's resale value has traditionally been far below that of the Wrangler and FJ Cruiser, which are the best in their segments in the Kelley Blue Book 2013 Best Resale Value Awards.

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2013 Nissan Xterra Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 422 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

I bought two!

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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: "Value in functionality you need and iconic styling"

Cons: "More MPG but not at expense of functionality"

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

"I bought a 2012 xTerra that I used for my hunting dogs and traveling cross country from MN to WA every other month or so. I have a love/hate relationship with the MPG. I wish for more MPG but at the same time I don't want the xTerra to lose it's iconic styling and functionality so I deal with it. I pretty much get around 18 MPG in ideal conditions cross country. Everything else I love so much that I just bought a 2014 model because I am afraid Nissan might stop making the xTerra. My wife also loves the xTerra so I said fine, I'll get my own. I also like the xTerra because i feel like I am paying for value in functionality I actually need rather than junk I don't need. Example: I don't want or need a car that parks for me, stops for me, checks my blind spot or any other goofy safety computer junk. I like to drive and don't need help. I don't even care about the navigation or other computer and audio stuff. I would rather buy aftermarket and install professional sound. At the same time the stock navigation and audio are very good in the xTerra as long as you can deal with a subwoofer under your seat. I had to change that. Now power, braking, handling, off road capability, and iconic styling? I'll pay for that. My 2012 has 70,000 miles and my 2014 has 5000. Neither has had any issues and am happy to have both of them. It gives us peace of mind that we can handle nearly any road or off road condition in MN and driving across country. Dogs are comfortable too in back with the seats folded down."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever owned.

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Perfect for hauling dogs, dirt, and gear. Mileage (worst 16.5, best 24(!had to check twice!) on a road trip, flat across CO/NE/IA/MN, with a tailwind. Usually around 18.5 in mixed driving. Have the Pro-4X because of the options. Great truck. I'm a "25000 and trade it" guy, have 50,000 on this one and will be keeping it for a long time."

Handles like a champ in all terrains and weather.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well in all weather conditions."

Cons: "Needs some work done at about 60k miles"

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

"This is our second Xterra, and we have been very happy with both of them. We take it over the mountain pass several times per year, and never hesitate to tackle the toughest weather conditions. It handles well off-road as well. The 4-wheel drive function works extremely well while driving. I would recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a good SUV 4-wheel drive. It has plenty of room in back, and the seats also fold down. Only issue we have seen is that you have to have some work done at about 60k miles."

Handles like a champ in all terrains and weather.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well in all weather conditions."

Cons: "Needs some work done at about 60k miles"

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

"This is our second Xterra, and we have been very happy with both of them. We take it over the mountain pass several times per year, and never hesitate to tackle the toughest weather conditions. It handles well off-road as well. The 4-wheel drive function works extremely well while driving. I would recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a good SUV 4-wheel drive. It has plenty of room in back, and the seats also fold down. Only issue we have seen is that you have to have some work done at about 60k miles."

Handles like a champ in all terrains and weather.

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles well in all weather conditions."

Cons: "Needs some work done at about 60k miles"

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

"This is our second Xterra, and we have been very happy with both of them. We take it over the mountain pass several times per year, and never hesitate to tackle the toughest weather conditions. It handles well off-road as well. The 4-wheel drive function works extremely well while driving. I would recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a good SUV 4-wheel drive. It has plenty of room in back, and the seats also fold down. Only issue we have seen is that you have to have some work done at about 60k miles."

My favorite SUV of all I've owned

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,550

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Size, handling, feels very solid, looks"

Cons: "Only 18 mpg, key fob alarm too sensitive"

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

"Bought new in Dec 2009 and have put a lot of miles on it. Currently has 114,500 and I have yet to put brakes on it - which is unbelievable. Get regular maintenance done every 5,000 and I'm coming to the end of my second set of tires. Plan to get 200,000 on it before I trade it in for another one. I really like it."

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