I recently purchased my Xterra, so I do not know much about "true" reliability yet. My experience so far has not had anything to suggest that reliability will be poor, so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt in that area. The Xterra has done exactly what I have asked it to do so far. I have put 1600 miles on the vehicle in a short time. In that time I have been impressed by the ground clearance as well as overall 4X4 capability. The Xterra was able to go places that other vehicles couldn't (or wouldn't). I was able to pull a full size truck out of the mud with no trouble at all (the truck was stuck in a stretch of mud that the Xterra just went through). Has full size power, midsize thirst!
Performance of 4.0L V6 and five speed automatic transmission, Ride height, audio system, solid build quality, driving layout, rugged plastic interior (not afraid to get it wet), storage area including overhead gear box, vehicle dynamic control (traction control) operation, towing capacity.
No sunroof option. I like the gear box, but would prefer a sunroof.