I bought my xTerra new in Aug 2006 so I've owned it almost 9 years. This is the longest I've ever owned a car! Typically would trade cars after 3 to 5 years because they'd start giving me problems but this Nissan has been great. I honestly love it. It looks great and runs great.
I love the powerful engine. Accelerating in traffic is easy. I sit high so I can so over and around cars. The inside is low maintenance and easy to clean. I have a base model with no electronics so that's why the low rating on electronics. I only get about 16 miles per gallon....occasionally 15 for some reason and I can't understand that. Half of my driving is freeway. I don't drive fast, brake hard etc. My boss drives a big Yukon and we get the same mileage! Another friend has a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup and gets the same mileage. Ford Expedition gets 16 mph and is twice the size. Still, I've done the math for what I would save in a year at 16 mpg and 20 mpg. The savings would only be $300 a year ($25 a month) so I'd rather have the Xterra.
For the most part, I've only done regular maintenance. Oil changes, tire rotations, alignments. I've had one tuneup. I replaced the tires at 60k and again recently at 100k. I do think I should get more miles from the tires but I only drive about 12k a year so I'm changing out tires every 4 to 5 years, which is reasonable. I replaced brakes twice too. Non-routine maintenance includes:
1. The driver's side window motor had to be replaced. I rolled it down one morning and it wouldn't go back up.
2. The fuel sensor went out after 3 years so I never had any idea how much gas was in the tank. I managed by the number of miles I was getting per tank! I didn't replace it because I figured it would be recalled due to the number of failures. And after a couple of years, it was recalled. Nissan replaced it for no charge and I only ran out of gas once in the 2-3 years I drove without it. I'm not sure the sensor fully works even now because it's supposed to have a 21 gallon tank but I have to fill up at 16-17 gallons. I don't sweat this since it's registering Empty earlier than it really would be.
3. The AC fan 2nd speed went out and had to be replaced. Speeds 1, 3 and 4 still worked so this was just an inconvenience more than a real repair I needed.
4. One of the engine igition coils went out around 100k miles.
That's all I can recall having repaired. Four visits to the repair shop in 9 years is reasonable to me and better than any other car I've owned. Current issues I've noticed are:
1. There is a squeaking sound sometimes that can drive me crazy. For a while I thought it was the seats so I sprayed WD40 on everything that looked like it could use it. I did some reading and it seems like it could be the hood. That makes sense because when I close the doors, I hear the squeak outside the truck. This is intermittent - I don't hear it everytime I'm driving. But when I do, it's pretty loud and squeaks the whole drive. Hoping to find out if replacing the hood stops would fix that.
2. The back hatch shocks no longer hold the back up so I need to replace them. I found some youtube videos that show me how I can do that myself so I will be doing that shortly.
This year truck is notorious for cracking the radiator so I'm thinking of trading it before that happens. It would suck to have this near perfect vehicle be completely useless and worth nothing because I drove it one day too long! But I can't say enough good things about it. Mine has been a joy to own and to drive. If I do trade it, I promise that I'll miss it!
Bought my 2006 Xterra new... LOVED IT. The design was awesome. It was a bit rough (its a truck after all) but comfortable overall. Powerful engine, though hard on gas. All sweet for first 3 yrs/ 65K miles. After that things started to all apart.
Fuel sensor crapped out so I couldn't tell how much gas is left based on the fuel gauge. The driver windows stopped working. U-joints went. By the time I passed 100K, the transmission fluid leaked into the radiator and vice versa. Spent $1500 to replace the radiator and flushed the trans. only to have them tell me that I need a new transmission - $4-$5K (at 110K I wasn't able to go in reverse). Couldn't afford it so traded it at a loss.
Looks, Power, all the bungee hooks in the cargo area.
Pros; My 2006 Nissan Xterra Just had a few updates at 112,000 miles, new brakes, rotors, tires Generals, Synthetic oil change, and filter, transmission flush, added external transmission cooler, eliminated radiator transmission cooler.
Cons; timing chain guide problems, very expensive $ 1800., Mine did not have this probem,
Radiator fails leaks coolant in to transmission ruining transmission, $ 3800 repair. Mine did not have this problem. I added external transmission cooler, and eliminated the possible problem.
Power, 4 X 4, easy ingress and egress, transmission very smooth shifting,
go to 6 speed auto transmission, remove radiator transmission cooler, improve durability of timing chain and all hardware of timing chains, improve strength of oil dip stick
2006 Nissan Xterra Off-Road 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
If you need 4 or 5 seatbelts and want to fit on 4X4 trails, Xterra is hard to beat. More comfortable (I'm 6'4" and hit my head on Rubicon roll bar) and reliable than Jeep, more usable back seat and better visibility than FJ. A fraction of the cost of a Land Cruiser. Everything you need and nothing you don't. Seriously capable off road, especially with the right tires, lockers, and aftermarket mods. Great dimensions and clearance angles, especially when lifted.
Stick shift, torque.
Learn from most common aftermarket improvements and just build them that way from the beginning. Imagine if the Pro-4X model came already lifted with beefed up front (PRG Titan swap?) and rear ends, offroad bumpers (Shrock?), rear tire carrier, wider stance, etc. Oh, and just for fun, put the 5.6 V8 in there too! Then serve it up on 120 PSI bicycle tires so you can claim good mileage - buyers will go straight from the dealership to get their own favorite 35" MTs anyway!
There's a very good reason why this truck has been rated as one of the worst used cars to buy. We bought our 2006 new. Mechanically things were fine for about 40k miles, and after that the truck simply fell apart even with constant maintenance.
After warranty expired I replaced: Windshield. Both window lift assemblies and controls. The bearings and control arms on all 4 wheels. The rear differential. Rear lift arms. Alternator. Spark plugs and wires. Catalytic converters. But worst of all was the radiator/transmission cooler failure. That allowed the coolant to mix with the tranny fluid killing the transmission. It is a known problem - so avoid this truck and the heartache it brings.
Looks great. Based on a truck platform, but note the Nissan Frontier also has the same issues with strawberry milkshake of death (SMOD - look it up) that ruins the transmission.
Nissan was sued in a class action suit and settled, but the settlement was great for the lawyers and poor for Nissan owners. Because of its refusal to stand behind their products, I cannot recommend this truck and would recommend the Toyota 4Runner or Honda CRV (AWD) instead.