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2013 Nissan Xterra

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2013 Nissan Xterra Review

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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 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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