I purchased the Xterra in hopes to replace the combination of vehicles that I was using. My intention was to consolidate without loosing the functionality of my previous vehicles. I run a dog training business and needed a vehicle that could both hold dogs and get decent gas mileage. My previous combination of vehicles included a PT Cruiser (terrible) and a Durango. The PT Cruiser was used to haul a small amount of dogs and get decent mileage and the Durango was used to hold many dogs, although was terrible on gas. The Xterra is a great, reliable vehicle, that fits all of my dogs and supplies and gets the gas mileage that I was looking for. Overall, I'm satisfied with my purchase!
Let's start by saying that this was my very first new car purchase off the lot. And I did some serious research beforehand as I required a daily driver capable of 25k+ miles per year with decent gas mileage, plus an off-road toy capable of keeping up with my needs as a very active Boy Scout leader. All it took was a test drive and I was sold. The seats grabbed me like seats should - and I'm not a small guy. Everything I needed to touch was in reach - perfectly. Armrest height, window opening height, knobs, radio, etc - everything was in reach easily. I mention this as it's very important to me that the ergonomics of the car appear intelligent. I've seen cup holders that were almost behind you and radio controls that you had to lean forward to get to. This is one of the most functional layouts I've seen in my 40 years and 10 cars... As for performance - I've got 57k miles (as of today) since purchasing it in June 2006. I actually had them track down the specific Off-Road model and bring it to town since I *needed* the additional capabilities on that model. Gas mileage is good, not great, but I've also got a roof-top cargo basket on there. I average about 19.2 mpg. I think that is great for this size/type of vehicle. And the V6 has got great acceleration! I must say that this being my first 6-speed gearbox it had me worried the first couple of times it wound out the RPMs as I was seriously accelerating, but it's perfectly normal and it runs beautifully. I have not returned to the Dealer for even one thing, nor have I got any strange noise, rattles, bumps, hiccups, hesitations, etc. This thing is SOLID. Every door still closes like it was brand new; every rubber gasket is in perfect condition. The tailgate struts have given up a little bit and I'll replace them in a few months. I must say though, that I use the tailgate almost every day, at least twice. For all of you off-roaders - this is what you want. The OR model comes with armor underneath, better struts/shocks, vehicle descent control and locking rear differential. I've used it all in the last 10 months and I really like it. I've mode some modifications (sliders and rear diff armor) to conform to my abuse level but they don't seem to affect performance at all. I'm on my second set of tires (OEM Rugged Trail BFGs) and except for their ability to shed the mud, they are great tires and grip all surfaces very well. This is also my first true 4x4 vehicle and I'm utterly amazed at the traction/stability/control that it has when you're on the rough roads (non-asphalt). I've probably got 5k miles on dirt logged, and this truck is a champ. It says it will tow 5000 pounds - done that - it handles it with ease. The rear leaf springs are a bit soft - for ride comfort of course. I had to add some 'bump stops' above the leaf springs to cure a bottoming out problem which only occurs when you're loaded up and going over the rough stuff - so it was sort of required by my usage pattern. Interior space is good too. Plenty of cargo space for the toys. Adults are a little cramped in the back seat, but I don't drive form the back seat... All in all, I love this truck. I will never get rid of it, and my 16 year old daughter is starting to drool since I mentioned it might get passed down to her in a few years so I can by a newer model. Pros: Comfort, ergonomics, MPG, styling, 4x4 features, interior/cargo space, durability, manufacturing quality Cons: Rear seat adult room, tailgate struts, soft rear-end. Purchase price was 30k and change (out the door), all inclusive including 100k miles extended warranty and ding protection.
I really love this vechile. I previously owned a 2003. I have to say that there is more space up front, rides smoother and has a lot more power to it, especially when you're trying to merge into traffic from the onramp. The only thing that still needs to be addressed is the leg room in the back seat. There is no space for you're feet. Then again, I don't plan on sitting in the back seat of my own car, so I really don't mind all that much. Handles great and definately roomier than the '03. I'm going for more comfort than performance in this review. I'm a tall person and not small, but not fat either. The seats in the '03 were hard and small. It was uncomfortable for long distance drives. The new seats are wider and softer. Definately makes that long drive more bearable. I would absolutely recommed this to anyone else.