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2014 Nissan Xterra

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2014 Nissan Xterra Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

As one of the last body-on-frame SUVs, the 2014 Nissan Xterra is both a rarity and a blessing. Unlike so many modern car-based crossover SUVs, the Xterra's truck-like design makes it tough as nails, allowing it to traverse all sorts of off-road obstacles without ripping its suspension or getting buried up to both axles. Often compared to the venerable Jeep Wrangler, the Xterra is every bit as rugged, although its roof and doors are not removable and it doesn't offer an advanced off-road package like the Rubicon. Still, if you're looking for a weekend warrior that is also easy to live with during the 9-to-5 grind, the Xterra makes a worthy ally.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for something as capable as an old Jeep CJ, but far safer and more reliable, the 2014 Nissan Xterra makes a good choice. A true off-road champ, the fixed roof and comfortable interior also make this a great suburban family hauler.

You May Not Like This Car If...

When it comes to epic off-road adventuring, true enthusiasts will always pick the better-equipped Jeep Wrangler Rubicon over the Xterra. Those seeking a more comfortable ride with modest off-road potential might be happier in a Subaru Forester or Outback.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Nissan Xterra receives a few new features including a much needed heated seat on the PRO-4X trim. X and S grades gain Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls, while the X trim gets an audio upgrade. An improved NissanConnect with Apps and new 16-inch alloy wheels round out the changes.

Driving the Xterra

Driving Impressions When a vehicle has as much ground clearance, ride height and tire sidewall as the 2014 Nissan Xterra, one might expect the handling to be reminiscent of a 1950s' panel...

van. Thankfully Nissan engineers have worked some magic on the Xterra, giving it a firm but livable ride, good feedback from the steering wheel and moderate lean when taking sharp turns. In short, the Xterra rides and drives very much like the Frontier pickup truck. The 4.0-liter V6 is a bit of a gas hog, but in return it delivers gobs of power so desirable when merging on freeways or powering up a dirt embankment. Off-road, the Xterra proved its worth by easily tackling the wide variety of terrain we tossed its way including muddy ruts, a deep stream and a boulder-strewn wash. The Xterra always proved capable and, most important, never left us worrying about getting stuck.

NISSAN CONNECT
The 2014 Xterra adds app capability to its already versatile NissanConnect entertainment suite. The apps function can be paired with any iPhone or Android smartphone allowing access to popular apps such as iHeart Radio, Stitcher and Facebook.

VERSATILE INTERIOR
The Xterra's interior is designed to be rugged and versatile, able to accommodate everything from bikes to snowboards to your furriest friend (meaning your dog, not your roommate). Accessories such as a hatch tent and pet divider enhance features like the PRO-4X's fold-flat front seat and 10 cargo hooks.

2014 Nissan Xterra Details
Interior

In addition to its ability to secure a lot of gear, the 2014 Xterra's roomy cabin easily accommodates people. The tall roof and theater-style raised rear seats provide good headroom and an impressive view out. The Xterra's seats are comfortable and supportive. Buttons and knobs are easy to use, but the dash 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
2014 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 2000, giving this SUV practicality and a visual punch. Also still present is the asymmetrical rear window. A skidplate protects the Xterra's lower radiator from bruises, and PRO-4X models have additional skidplate 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 2014 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, Bluetooth and power windows and door locks, but lack power mirrors. 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 (4WD), locking differential, Rockford Fosgate sound system, heated seats and a navigation/infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity.

Optional Equipment

The main package option on the 2014 Xterra features 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 2014 Nissan Xterras use a 4.0-liter V6 engine that makes 261 horsepower and a robust 281 lb-ft of torque that help with pulling and off-the-line acceleration. Xterra X and S trims are rear-wheel drive (2WD), with 4WD available as an option. PRO-4X models come standard with 4WD. Transmission choices are a 5-speed automatic (the only choice on X trim and optional on S and PRO-4 X models) or 6-speed manual on 4WD S and PRO-4X models. Towing capacity for the 2014 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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2014 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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