2002 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2002 Nissan Xterra SUV


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Nissan Xterra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 143 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2002 Nissan Xterra

  • A truck-based compact 'ute for those who actually plan to use it like it's featured in Nissan's TV commercials.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Rugged looks and the off-road capability to match, lots of room inside.

  • Cons

    Uncomfortable front seats, poor on-road ride and steering, four-cylinder and normally aspirated V6 lack power.

  • What's New for 2002

    Nissan's popular Xterra SUV receives a variety of updates for the 2002 model year. Front-end styling is updated, and the bulged hood…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (137 total reviews)

Tough rig!

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Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Xterra SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

We bought our 2002 Xterra SE (4x4) new in 2002. So far we have logged 150k on it and outside of normal maintenance, the only thing we have had to replace was a O2 sensor. This little rig has been an absolute joy to own/drive. To say it was "Over Built" is absolutely correct. Built with the same transmission used in European 3/4 ton trucks as well as the rigid frame under it makes it as tough as you'll need. I will not hesitate to drive this vehicle on to the 200K mark. Well done Nissan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my 2002 xterra!

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Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

I love my xterra! I would fully recommend this suv to anyone. I bought mine used in 2012 with 140k miles on it (highway miles). I have put over 10,000 on it since and we're still going strong. When I purchased the vehicle I had it tuned up and old hoses replaced, but only because I was unsure of how long how it had been since it was serviced, since it was pre-owned. The only thing I could complain about is the poor gas mileage that comes with driving any SUV; however, it gets better gas mileage than most other SUV's i've driven. Over all I am happy with my xterra's performance and would fully recommend it to anyone!

11 years old and still

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Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Xterra SE 2WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

Just bought this car Feb. with 105K miles on it. Had to change the timming belt and water pump as the previous owner had not changed these items. I could not ask for a better small SUV. It is a live axle 2wd truck, so the ride is rough but not a single piece of plastic in the vehicle makes noise. The cost to purchase these is fairly low due to most people not wanting to change the timming belt. Don't be affraid if you can do minor car repairs, this one is a breeze. Great car i would buy another in a heart beat. Uses a little more gas then expected for a V6 but it is still not bad

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Was a great vehicle until

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Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 5M)

I really loved driving my SE S/C 4WD 2002, and it was mostly problem-free except for last couple of years. One owner vehicle. Problems accelerated dramatically after 100K miles.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Looks good... rides bad

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Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 5M)

I bought the xterra with high hopes. I fell in love with its looks and was hooked. I knew going into it that it would get bad mpg and require premium gas but even then was surprised. I had heard 18-21 mpg or so... i was lucky if I got 15 average (and I drive 80% highway and very conservatively). However I was even willing to look past this fact were it not for the absolutely terrible reliability. In the six months I owned the car it cost me over $4000 in repairs! Twice it died on me on the road (once was camping in the woods 3 hrs from home). Bottom line is, only get one if you have a lot of extra money for gas and high priced, frequent repairs.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Still going strong after 8.5

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Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I'm very happy with the Xterra 138k miles and 8.5 years later. All I've done is regular maintenance (including replacing the timing belt at 105k miles.) Occasionally during the last couple of years I've had an itch for something new(er) or different but it's hard to rationalize giving up the X when it performs without complaints, still looks good and feels just as tight as it did at 65k miles. I do need to get an upholstery shop to fix the headliner, but the seats don't show signs of wear after being a daily driver. This is a followup from my review on 05/18/2007 (same user name).

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2002 Nissan Xterra Review

What's New for 2002

Nissan's popular Xterra SUV receives a variety of updates for the 2002 model year. Front-end styling is updated, and the bulged hood hides a newly optional supercharged V6. Inside, there are revised gauges, seat fabrics, climate controls, two additional power points and a bigger glovebox. Also standard are dual-stage front airbags, rear child-seat anchors, variable intermittent front windshield wipers, a rear window wiper and a foot-operated parking brake. In terms of options, a new in-dash six-disc CD changer is available on XE Xterras and standard on SE models. Nissan has also made the sunroof optional instead of standard. Finally, as a tribute to dedicated Xterra owners, an Enthusiast Package is available only on XE V6 four-wheel-drive models. It includes ceiling tie clamps, a first aid kit, a tilt steering wheel, foglights, front tow hooks, map lights, a limited-slip differential, manually locking hubs and rubber floor mats.

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