My husband I were in the market for an SUV. We have one dog and know that we want to have a least one more plus a child or two in the near future. The Nissan Xterra was visually appealing to us, because, to us, too many SUV's today almost look like upgraded vans. The Xterra had the rugged look we liked and included 4WD. The Xterra drives very similarly to a truck, and the back seats fold down for maximum cargo capacity. The roof rack is sturdy and enables us to have a full load indoors and out. Nissan is an exceptionally great car maker, and we know our Xterra will last us years and will be able to take on whatever adventure heads our way, from babies to mountains.
Overall stable. Gas mileage not so good but overall an off road minded vehicle. A little light weight so real snow causes problems. Stable Japanese product, I would give it 3.5 stars but not able. In grade terms somewhere between C-C+. No auxiliary jack in the S model I have but CD/stereo. Not bad transport for regular sized folks, toddler/child seat causes problems with space, a little cramped.
Why I got an Xterra: I manned up and sold my motorcycle because I knew my wife was scared to death that I rode a Ninja.� She was sweet enough to let me purchase my dream vehicle as a consolation prize: a Jeep Wrangler.� After test drives, I actually didn�t like them, so I went with the next best thing: Nissan Xterra.� I originally fell in love with the look, but I was afraid it would just be a wannabe SUV.� Our other vehicle is a Toyota Sequoia, and she loves it.� It has a ton of power, large ground clearance, and warehouse-sized cargo space.� However, it drove like a boat.� The Xterra drove like a REAL SUV, and I fell in love. � Primary uses for my Xterra: I use this with my daily commute on Dallas highways, backpacking in Colorado and Wyoming Rockies, camping, mountain biking, and road trips to see family in Cheyenne. � My review in a nutshell: I love my Xterra for three huge reasons. �It looks frikkin� sweet, it drives like a real truck, and it is a perfect solution for the outdoors (not to mention the endless accessories you can buy).� The only things I wish I could change on my 2004 Xterra: better gas mileage and engine power (fixed in the 2005+ models), create a keyhole on the passenger side door, and find a way to make the 50/50 back seats fold down flat without taking out the bottom seat cushion. � The details: I love that the Xterra has a truck-like suspension that does not sway or feel loose.� It has enough ground clearance that allows me to be confident enough to actually use it. �The fact that it has skid plates underneath the engine and fuel tank assured me that it was definitely designed with an adventure in mind. �I haven�t towed anything yet, but it is supposed to tow 5,000 lbs. if you have automatic transmission.� I am hoping that the lack of power in my V6 is because it is geared lower for more competent towing ability, but I know the 2005 Xterra V6 models have at least 50 more horsepower and get way better than my 16 mpg.� I just didn�t have the budget for a 2005 model (even though I really wanted that rear bumper step). � If you get an Xterra, get one with the premium sound system, or you won�t have a tape deck to use a tape adapter for an iPod on road trips.� I think CarToys quoted me $150 or so to have a �high speed plug� installed so you can charge an iPhone/iPod and play the music through the stereo.� It�s almost the same price as buying an aftermarket CD player, but I don�t want my car busted into so I�m keeping the OEM radio. � I like that there is a spot for a road safety pouch or first aid kit in the bumped-out spot of the rear lift gate.� There are also a couple pockets on each side of the inside cargo area for bungee cords, road flares, GPS, etc.� There�s also a map pocket built into the left side of the front passenger seat so it is easy access for the driver. � It is important to know that the 4WD is NOT to be used on pavement.� If you are wanting secure tire traction, go with the factory Dynamic Control Package, which offers a Traction Control System (TCS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). � I also love the gear basket in the front of the roof rack (it�s a must-have to get the gear net that keeps everything in place�they�re about $20-30).� It�s a perfect place to throw muddy hiking boots after a hike or nasty clothes from mountain biking.� You can use it to throw a tent, pillow, and sleeping bag on your way to a quick camping getaway.� You�ll be able to save the room in the back cargo area for your camping stove and kitchen gear.� Just make sure you don�t park under an acorn tree�those little boogers get caught under the plastic honeycomb design of the gear basket and roll around until you go crazy.� You have to use the hand screws to remove the gear basket�it�s not hard, but it�s annoying. � The rear cargo area has metal tie-down hooks, which is great if I need to haul something that I don�t want to slide around or bust a window (especially since the rear window doesn�t roll down like my Toyota Sequoia). � Bottom line: If you could use a vehicle that helps you love the outdoors, this is the vehicle for you.� It�s not a hippie, hybrid luxury car, and it doesn�t drive like one.� This is for the rugged people that wouldn�t mind shelling out some extra cash for a gas guzzling.� It has a bumpy ride, but if you�re looking at buying an Xterra, you�re looking for a bumpy road.� If you buy a Nissan Xterra, do it a favor.� Take it off the pavement every once in a while.� It will be fine in the city, but it shines in the true outdoors.