After test driving the Ford Escape,
Mazda Tribute, and sitting in a myriad
of its competitors, I chose the Xterra
for its durability, funtional
interior, REAL 4X4, and masculine good
looks. This is a truck and can be
used like one, yet the ride is
suprisingly smooth and comfortable.
Something to note, the Tribute and
Escape may seem to have "smoother, car-
like rides", but in a world of
Midwestern pot-holed streets, the
Tribute and Escape's short wheelbase
and compromised suspension leave the
driver bouncing up and down
constantly, in a choppy fashion. The
Xterra soaks up bumps, distributing
them through the solid truck frame.
High 4X4 stance and good looks, roof
rack, versatile interior, smooth
operating interior pieces, large cargo
area, durable seat fabric
side airbags and head curtain airbags
should be more available on the XE
model instead of only on the top-of-
the-line SE model (which requires
premium fuel... not good with high
fuel prices these days). Also, the
XE's V6 engine, although not guttless,
could use some more juice.
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