My Xterra has 94,000 miles on it. I've kept up with all required/suggested maintenance and inspections. The only thing I had to replace were the tires at 40,000 miles and they are due to be replaced again. No problems whatsoever.
Sturdy and Reliable:
I've run over a few boulders, hit a few pigeons and side swiped a trash can or two (on accident of course); she takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
The gas bill is a huge bummer, $5,000/year and gas prices are only going up.
... I finally decided on the Xterra after looking at just about everything that had 4 doors and a hatch. I have 2 kids, one in a car seat, but hated the thought of giving up my truck for an SUV. The Xterra has great road presence (sits high, feels strong) and has well thought out interior features. I always choose power over mileage when faced with one or the other, and while the mileage isn't that bad (22 highway according to the sticker), the power is wonderful. I am also very pleased with the ride and the suspension. It's built very, very well (Titan's frame, etc.) It also has a youthful appearance, which never hurts a guy my age.
6-Speed: It's the reason I bought it. Most manufacturers don't offer their most powerful engine with a manual; Nissan does. At 78 mph, the tach reads about 2250 in 6th gear. There is enough torque on tap to hit 6th gear at 45 mph, and still accelerate.
Nissan didn't offer a bright red paint. I love the dark blue that I bought, but I would have liked a red choice as well (their red is a "brick" color). I'm also not a fan of the instrument lighting, which is amber in color at night. In any event, I think the vehicle is awesome as is.