I purchased my Xterra brand new and so far I have not really been disappointed. After doing some in depth research I have come to the same conclusion as everyone else, if you want to go off road buy a Jeep. I was previously a Jeep driver and I loved its off road capability but I hated its cargo space. I decided to sell my old jeep and get an xterra. The xterra rides a lot better than the jeep ever did. I took it on a 12 hour ski trip with 3 other guys tons of gear and beer and although it was a little tight it was never uncomfortable. I was shocked at how much stuff we were able to put it in and when we got into the mounts I was impressed with its handling in snow/ice. The interior is fairly plain and the tie downs in the back are pretty awesome. There are only three downsides so far. It gets terrible gas mileage, I am getting around 14-15mpg city 17/18 highway with a 5spd. The roof rack is pretty high up, I am 6�2� and have yet to easily get my mtn bike secured without falling over. The last downside is driving it off-road. Despite the fact that I splurged for the off-road model, it just doesn�t perform how I want it to. I find myself unable to just let the clutch out in 1st gear and have the xterra crawl over rocky sections of trail the way my jeep used to. It always wanted to stall so I would have to give it too much gas for the situation or I would have to play with the clutch. I also noticed that when going down rocky sections there isn�t enough engine braking to go sufficiently slow. If I could change those last two downsides it would be the perfect vehicle.
This is a great all around 4WD vehicle. I have had trucks and jeeps (TJ's) and this is the best of both worlds. You have your 4wd and towing capabilities without having to have an overly large truck. It fits the kids in the back perfectly and has the ability to add cargo space when needed by folding down the rear seats. It gets what you would expect for gas mileage. Does it have all of the bells and whistles? Nope but it has everything that I need. My only modification is replacing the factory stereo and speakers with a DVD/Nav unit.
Handles like a sports car! Very fast and agile....Stops on a dime and pulls my 22' boat with ease.....Turns on a dime and easy to park in small places....I recently took it camping and slept in the back like a tent.....good ground clearance for these bumpy flood prone Houston streets!