"I spend more time off road than most SUV owners, and I've found the Xterra to be almost unstoppable. I have the Offroad model, and it's incredible. The factory upgrades on this model add valuable ability when in the really rough stuff. They are: Bilstien shocks, electronic-locking rear differential, and underbody skid plates, and hill descent control if you have the automatic transmission. My Xterra has the 6-sp manual, which has also been spectacular.
On paved roads, the towing capacity of 5,000lbs seems conservative to me. I've towed a little over 4,000 several times, and the Xterra seems like it could do way more than an extra 1,000lbs. The engine is exceptionally strong for a V6-- power has never been an issue.
One thing that has been a bit under my expectations has been the gas mileage. I have a small lift (3 in,) and mud terrain tires, and those things certainly work against efficiency. I get about 14 or 15 mpg, highway or surface streets. Before I made those changes, I was regularly hitting 20mpg, so make sure you work that into the cost of the upgrades if you're considering modifications. Well worth it, IMO, but not a low-impact change.
The interior has been great. Really easy to clean, super versatile with the flat-folding front passenger seat, flat folding rear seat and sliding tie-down system in the trunk area.
Another thing that has been below expectations is the stock rear spring setup. It's clearly set up for on-road comfort, rather than hauling capacity or stiffness. When I packed the thing with camping gear for two people and a 90lb dog, the rear suspension regularly rested on the rubber suspension stops. That made the vehicle's stability less than ideal on the highway and the trail. I found a pretty simple fix for that with an after-market leaf spring system available easily online for about $300. I installed it myself in one day, and I'm not a mechanic. It has completely fixed the issue and not negatively impacted the ride in any discernable way.
Overall, I couldn't be happier with my Xterra. All of the sacrifices made to drive an extremely able off-road vehicle are totally worth it, and nothing currently available in the US is in the same class as far as every-day functionality, comfort, and capabilites. It's everything an SUV should be."
"I bought the Xterra because I wanted an SUV that was good off-road as well as towing my camper and it does both great. I towed my camper in the mountains of NC and it had plenty of power and plenty of brakes. The only thing I wish I could change is MPG but I knew this before I bought so I am ok with that. It gets 18.6 hwy and 15 city. Overall I love it and glad I bought it!"
Pros: "Good at what it was made for, true truck frame"
Cons: "scratchy interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Only disappointment I had with this vehicle is the timing chain tensioners I had to replace out of warranty. Job cost $1K. Other than that I've been very impressed with the ride quality with well over 100K miles. No rattles or creaks whatsoever and I haven't babied this thing. I routinely take it hunting and use it offroad for work purposes. Solid vehicle."
Pros: "Comfortable on trips, good power, handles well"
Cons: "Gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car used. I love the way it handles. Comfortable on a long trip and has enough power to handle traveling thru the mountains. I would be happier if it got better gas mileage, but I knew the facts on that before I bought it. Even without 4 wheel drive this car does great on dirt, muddy roads. Have never worried about getting stuck."
"I have a 2007 X-terra S with a manual transmission, 4x4 and power locks, etc. I LOVE this car. I have not had one mechanical issue - we have put new tires and one set of brakes on it.
I was involved in a head-on collision and this car saved my life. The guy at the body shop asked "how's the driver?" when I went to get my stuff out of it. when I said I was the driver he couldn't believe I had walked away with just some bumps and bruises.
I love the simple guages and buttons, everything is easy to find and reach - no need to look away from the road.
The rear room in the rear is my only complaint. It's generally just me and 2 little ones, but adults are cramped.
We're only getting rid of it because we are upgrading the the Armada. Looked at the Pathfinder, but it really wasn't any bigger.
Take a look at the X-Terra - you won't be dissappointed."
Cons: "I wish it came with samurai swords and a big dog."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This ninja on wheels is one of the best SUV's I have ever owned. Bang for the buck! Got everything I need and enough power to back it up. No major issues. never broke down on the road. Handles great and plenty of room. This is my second one and probably not my last. I only speak for the SUV and not the places that services them. :)
I love the Toyota 4 runner but I just can't see myself spending 6 to 8 thousand more for a toyota. They don't differ too much in size or power during this year so why not save a few bucks."
"Rides great, fuel mileage is as advertised. Fantastic in snow on back roads or good roads. Radio is so-so, but a model S, so does not have the top line. Only problem I have had was with the AC early on, but that seems to be fixed."
"Owned for 2 years and no problems. I like sitting up high to get a better view of the road; with the option to go off-road whenever I want. However, don't think about buying an Xterra if you are concerned about gas mileage."
Pros: "great for snow :) perfect for ALL baby gear."
Cons: "Gas isn't the best but ok."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We bought this car when we got into snowboarding. We traded in our Frontier, non-4X4, for the Xterra, with 4X4. I loved my Frontier but with the constant trips we were making to the snow and the fact that my frontier didn't have a lot of leg room for our backseat passengers it caused us to head over to the nearest Nissan Dealership. When I first got into it I was in love. It seemed so big and perfect for what we needed it for. After our snow season ended, I wanted my frontier back, but I still liked my xterra I just wanted my "truck" back. We bought it in March of 2007 but in May of 2007 we decided to go on a road trip to AZ from CA. My grandma sat in the back seat and she hated it. She didn't like that she was sitting on the rear tires and that it was super bumpy. She also didn't like getting in and out from the backseat. I didn't fully understand till we drove back from AZ and I sat in the backseat. Boy was she right. The rear tire takes 1/2 the back door which creates a problem getting in for an "old" lady. Since you are pretty much sitting the rear tire it is a bit bumpy. Once snow season started again I was I was still happy. My husband and I just learned we can't have grandma sit in the back even if she says she doesn't mind. December of 2008 I got pregnant. Which made my husband and I very happy that we no longer had the "truck" because a truck is NOT practical for a child. With the stroller and all his riding toys and bed for grandmas the xterra was perfect. Getting the baby in and out of the xterra is a big deal only b/c again, the rear wheel takes 1/2 the door. Of course I have traveled far and long with my xterra. We bought it with 10,000 miles and I have put over 120,000 miles on it on my own. The only thing I have done is replaced the tires and the oil. I still haven't done the 100,000 mile service but I know it needs to get done if I'm going to get another 120,000 miles out of it. Even tho I want a new car I really want to see how long I can keep this car running ;)"
"After a year and a half I'm really happy with the xterra. New england snow storms were a breeze for this SUV. Bluetooth is great, and leather is a plus. I have the SE package. Great value and I shopped around. Smooth ride for a SUV."
"When looking for a 4X4 SUV, I came down to 2 vehicles, the Toyota 4 Runner & the Nissan X-Terra. The 2 vehicles, when looking at the spec sheets, are almost identical. The style is different, but a big difference in price! I saved over $5,000 by choosing the X-Terra. I am happy with my choice. I feel the fit & finish may be a bit better in the 4 Runner, but not $5,000 better. The X-Terra has lots of cool little features that the Toyota does not. The roof rack is actually really useful on the X-Terra, also the storage compartment under the rear cargo area is great for tow straps, jumper cables, & I even store a small 2 person tent & a few towels ( to throw on floor & seats when I get muddy ). I would & have recommended to friends."
"I could not have survived the snow storms this winter without it. The truck is a workhorse, and allowed me to slalom around other cars that were stuck all over the road. It may not be luxurious, but it takes care of business. I'd recommend the Xterra to anyone looking for a reliable ride."
"I bought our 2009 X 4x4 new and I have nothing but complements for this vehicle. It is s true SUV, NOT a plushy mall crawler that was never designed for off road use. People who downplay it's ride and lack of features have obviously purchased the wrong vehicle. As far as gas mileage goes we are pleasantly surprised to get about 17 MPG in town and 23 MPG on the highway fully loaded with about 500 Lbs of travel gear. We do have the manual transmission which greatly improves gas mileage. We also work at avoiding jack rabbit starts. There is also a significant aftermarket following for this vehicle which we have tapped for a better rear bumper and improved skid plates.
In summary if you want a true mud and dirt SUV that will tackle anything this is the truck for you. If you want something for a snow covered mall parking lot look elsewhere."
"These are really great vehicles. I come from a car background, literally owned most brands of cars at one point or another. I have had hot-rods, and built Jeeps, etc. This thing just does everything well, and ALWAYS works. It's great off-road stock (except stock tires are junk), really nice on-road, and handles and goes as well as lot's of supposed sporty cars out there. 255bhp, lots of torque and 20mpg on the highway!!! The only cons are soft rear suspension for towing or hauling lots of weight, and a bad accessory belt tensioner. This vehicle let me start my business which involves hauling up to 10 dogs at times. Ridiculous as it seemed, I actually did fit 10 dogs in it, lol. They have everything you need and nothing you don't. Buy one and be happy!!"
"Pros-Great four wheel traction and clearance in deep snow and good ride off road. Strong engine note at full throttle with plenty of power for a heavy off road truck. Bilstein shocks have good road manners. Good interior room with quality materials and styling. Remember, this is a truck so it will ride like one but the performance off road is unmatched for the price. Could not get it stuck in the Oregon snow.:) I love it!!!
Cons-Mine didn't come with an outside temp gauge standard.:( My 2004 model had one!"
"Great vehicle! Nice ride on the pavement and a great ride off. I love my xterra and My only complaints would be the gas milage...took a year to get up to 15mpg in town, the seat material stains very easily, and switching from 2wd to 4wd. I have to stop and back up to get it back out of 4 wheel high. (started acting up after 6 months)"
"Love my 07 Xterra X. Eats through snow, plenty of power, and just enough room for camping and roadtrips. I also like the simple, basic, no thrills interior. Xterra isn't built with luxury in mind. It is easy to keep clean which is a major plus when it comes to camping/roadtrips. Average around 18/19 mpg with normal everyday driving. I did get 22 mpg on a roadtrip to Montana last year. Biggest problem I had was with the seats up front. Not very comfortable on long trips. Even through I have the base model, it would have been nice to be able to plug my mp3 player directly into the stereo."
"I just purchased the 2009 Xterra S about 2 months ago and overall I am satisfied with this vehicle. The interior is solid, though made with plastic materials so it scratches easily. The overall driving feel of the truck is solid though the front seats become a little uncomfortable on long trips. The backseat has adequate space but can be cramped for bigger or taller people. Love the cargo area, perfect for my dirty sports equipment. The styling is great and the truck has a rugged yet appealing look to it. Roof racks and side railings make the SUV even more attractive. Overall, it is a great SUV for the price and is a Nissan so it should prove to be a pretty reliable ride."