2004 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Nissan Xterra SUV

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Nissan Xterra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2004 Nissan Xterra

  • A truck-based compact sport-ute for those who actually plan to go off-roading. Those seeking a refined urban runabout should look elsewhere.

  • Safety
  • Pros

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

  • Cons

    Sloppy on-road ride and steering, four-cylinder and standard V6 lack power, spartan cabin design.

  • What's New for 2004

    For 2004, 17-inch alloy wheels are now standard on non-supercharged SE models, and 16-inch, four-spoke alloys are standard on the XE-V6.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (28 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Xterra!

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

This is my primary car. I have owned the car only for a couple months. I really enjoy how the SUV is a manual, which makes it really fun to drive! The gas mileage is not too horrible, but could be improved. The car seems a bit basic, but I LOVE the 4x4. This car has been the best car I have ever had.




Excellent suv

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I've been very happy with this SUV since I bought it new in 2005. It has never given me a single problem and has performed amazingly in both snow and sand. This thing practically has claws for tires.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very dependable

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

Bought mine new and have had no problems at all. It has 106,000 miles on it now. Besides regular maintenance no one problem at all! Good truck very reliable.




Disappointment

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I was pretty disappointed with my Xterra. If all you need is something to look cute driving around town, you'll enjoy the Xterra's rugged looks and relatively easy handling. Try and get it dirty however and you'll be disappointed. It slips easily in ice and snow (turning, even with 4WD is precarious), the mud factor wasn't great either, even in 4WD low. The interior is hard to keep clean, and the outside dents easily. Passing people on the highway is nearly impossible, even with the bigger engine option. And of course, fuel economy is horrendous with gas as much as it is now.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Solid 4x4

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I bought my Xterra after carefully researching the vehicle, and scrutinizing the condition of the car itself. For the most part, I agree with most of the reviews. The ride is a bit stiff, which is good for a true SUV. The steering can be a bit squirrely, especially at lower speeds, but it is fine once you adjust to it. One point I wholly agree with is the underpowered engine. A truck like this should have a 4.0 as base, not an upgrade. The interior is comfortable, if a little sparse, save for the power windows and locks. I'd also like more up front storage. So despite it's few shortcomings, it's a great truck. I really, really like it. After all, Dogs love trucks!




Happy driver

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I'm handicapped so i need a car thats reliable so i can make it to my doctor every month and he's 5 hours away. I also need a smooth ride. I have the grille gaurd and the bars on my headlights.This makes me feel safe. Just recently i was smushed between 2 cars.Everyone else's car was bent horribly. They were amazed that my car was barely scratched. Thank you for making my life a little easier.God bless!



Full 2004 Nissan Xterra Review

What's New for 2004

For 2004, 17-inch alloy wheels are now standard on non-supercharged SE models, and 16-inch, four-spoke alloys are standard on the XE-V6.

Introduction

Ever since the mid-'90s, compact SUVs have become a huge market. Most manufacturers offer one, and with so many available, it is often hard choosing which one is right for you. The majority of compact SUVs for sale in 2003 are so-called "crossover" SUVs, meaning that they are car-based rather than truck-based. The advantages to having a small crossover SUV are that they are comfortable to drive and possess secure handling characteristics. Nissan's Xterra, now in its fourth model year, is somewhat of a rarity. It is based on a real truck; namely, the Frontier compact pickup. Its wheelbase is shared with the Frontier, and so is the independent front suspension and leaf-spring and solid axle setup at the rear. As such, the Xterra (terra for the land it crosses and X for the generation it intends to target) is tailored to the outdoor enthusiast. Its spartan interior, bucking-bronco ride and utilitarian design are not focused on providing comfort for wide bottoms, though we still see it driven by middle-aged folks to Pottery Barn parking lots. The Xterra is extremely capable off-road; jam it into 4-Lo via the floor-mounted lever, and it bounds over rocks and gullies with abandon. But when compared to other SUVs like the Honda CR-V or Ford Escape, the Xterra's on-pavement performance seems sloppy and numb. It's also more expensive, especially with the higher trim levels. If you truly plan to get your future compact SUV dirty, though, the Xterra should be seriously considered. It has the right styling, the right attitude and the right hardware. It also has good build quality and a strong reputation for reliability, giving you peace of mind as you head out on your favorite trail.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Xterra is Nissan's compact SUV. There are four trim levels -- XE, XE-V6, SE-V6 and SE-Supercharged (S/C). Four-wheel drive is available with all of these, except the base XE. The base XE doesn't come with many standard features other than air conditioning and a CD player. The XE-V6 adds 16-inch alloy wheels, an extra pair of speakers (for a total of six) and a tilt steering wheel. Amenities like power windows and locks, remote keyless entry and cruise control are optional on both XE models. The SE and SE-S/C models add 17-inch wheels, tubular step bars and a 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with an in-dash CD changer. Options on both SE models include leather upholstery and a flip-up sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

Base XEs come with a 2.4-liter inline four that makes 143 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. As this truck weighs almost 3,600 pounds, acceleration is modest, at best. A five-speed manual transmission is standard with this engine. The larger 3.3-liter V6 makes 180 hp and 202 lb-ft of torque. SE-S/C models have an Eaton supercharger bolted on that boost horsepower to 210 and torque to 246. You can get a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic on the XE-V6, but all SEs and SE-S/Cs come with the automatic only. Four-wheel-drive Xterras have a part-time 4WD system with shift-on-the-fly capability. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds (with V6 and the automatic transmission), considerably more than that of most crossover SUVs.

Safety

All Xterras have antilock brakes (front discs and rear drums) with EBD. In the backseat, the center position has a lap belt only. Side curtain airbags, an unusual feature for this class of vehicle, are optional. So is VDC, Nissan's stability control system, and it's offered on all V6 models. In NHTSA side-impact testing, the Xterra received four stars (out of a possible five) for front-occupant safety and five stars for the rear. Front-impact safety is rated at four stars. The IIHS rated the Xterra "Acceptable" (the second highest) after performing its frontal offset crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Young, active folks won't have any trouble hopping up or down from the Xterra's high seats, nor will they object to the thin cushions they find there, but others will likely wish for cushier chairs and easier access. The dash is comprised of quality materials and the quasi-industrial look of the switchgear fits the vehicle-as-tool theme. Maximum capacity is 65.6 cubic feet, an average figure for a compact SUV.

Driving Impressions

The Xterra looks sort of cool and is a blast off-road. But the soft and sloppy suspension is certainly no joy on the pavement, allowing excessive body roll. The steering is also heavily boosted and gives little feedback to the driver. As you would expect, Xterras with the supercharged V6 offer the best acceleration. The supercharger whine sounds exhilarating, and there is plenty of thrust in first gear; although, much like the standard V6, the supercharged engine runs out of steam at freeway speeds.

Talk About The 2004 Xterra

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs