2008 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Nissan Xterra SUV

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Nissan Xterra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 261 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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Review of the 2008 Nissan Xterra

  • The 2008 Nissan Xterra is perfect for budget-minded SUV buyers who want a high degree of off-road ability but not at the expense of daily driver usability and comfort.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent off-road capabilities, powerful V6, thoughtful cargo-area features.

  • Cons

    Low-quality interior plastics, soft brake pedal.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Nissan Xterra gets only a few trim upgrades this year. Mechanically, the truck remains unchanged. X models now get standard power features, remote keyless entry and cruise control. There's also a new Technology Package featuring Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio pre-wiring (automatic-transmission models only), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system.

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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Off road ready, but still

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Xterra SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Bought certified 2 years ago, Our Xterra has seen dirt, water, and 110 on it's speedometer. We had no problems driving it on light offroad courses, and it's big enough to seat 4 in the back (please dont do it though!) The MPG's aren't too good, but it's good enough for what it is. Surprised at it's speed, though, since it outsprints most family sedans to 60, and the 21+ gallon tank will last you 350-ish miles. Biggest problem are the rear seats. The front ones are soft, and big, but the rear bench feels just like that. a park bench. don't spend more than 4 hours in the back of it, or your back will hurt.




2 yrs and still running

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Xterra SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Fun SUV to drive... hugs the road like a champ with smooth acceleration and strong brakes. Mine is a 4x4... haven't taken it off road yet but looking forward to it. Got mine a yr old at a steal and even if I didn't, it's still worth the money. It's expensive to maintain though...tires cost 200+ a piece and maintenance at the Nissan dealership which I recommend, is still expensive. But all in all, haven't had mechanical issues yet @ 66000 miles. This is my second Nissan after my 2004 Maxima SL and Nissan hasn't failed me yet.




Nissan is #1

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Xterra SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

This is 2nd X-terra - my first was not a four wheel drive - but she traveled extremely well - the one i own now is a four wheel drive and i love her even more - i can not imagine owning another vehicle but if i do somewhere down the line - i promise it will be a Nissan - i will never go back to any other vehicle - Nissan is the best made auto!!!




Paint problems

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Xterra SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Other than the problems with the hood paint we love the xterra. The hood has factory damage which appears as light swirls under the clear coat but on top of the paint. There is also environmental damage which appears as a bubble in the paint on the hood, which I am told will come off and leave exposed metal. I feel that the damage came from the dealer as the car sat on their lot for quite awhile before I purchased it. I have spoken to dealer and Nissan and they only offer to repaint. I don't want a repainted vehicle... I would take another hood off of another vehicle or a trade up with paying some of the difference if there was any. Not satisfied brand new and suggesting repaint. UGGGHHHH!




Happy customer

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Xterra SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

My previous vehicle was a Chevy S-10 with the Vortec V-6. This Nissan blows my old truck out of the water. It has plenty of giddy up, lots of room inside, and handles remarkably well for a large vehicle. The gas mileage I get is a lot better than advertised on the sticker. I usually get about 18 miles per gallon city. I also enjoy how quite it is inside the cabin. This vehicle is very well built.




I have owned 5

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Xterra SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

This makes my 5th Xterra, I love the auto and have owned one starting with a 2000. Have never had a major problem with any of the previous (4) I have driven. My wife uses it most and she feels safe and enjoys having the 4wd on demand during our NE winters, Use it every weekend to drive from Boston to our place in NH. Ride is smooth and comfortable enough to put the dog to sleep on the way up.



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Full 2008 Nissan Xterra Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Nissan Xterra gets only a few trim upgrades this year. Mechanically, the truck remains unchanged. X models now get standard power features, remote keyless entry and cruise control. There's also a new Technology Package featuring Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio pre-wiring (automatic-transmission models only), an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system.

Introduction

The 2008 Nissan Xterra is an SUV that's made to go off-road. That may seem like an obvious statement, but today's SUV shopper faces an ever-expanding mix of traditional truck-based models and car-based crossover versions. The Xterra is all truck, and that makes it very capable when the pavement ends. In short, the Xterra is an SUV for buyers who like the crunch of gravel under their tires.

On four-wheel-drive models, the Xterra's off-road prowess comes thanks to 9.5 inches of ground clearance and underbody components that are neatly tucked above the frame. There's also a rear differential that locks at the push of a button and, as with any true off-roader, ultralow gearing. Electronic Hill Descent control can keep the Xterra's speed in check when moving down those steep hills, and Hill Start Assist keeps you from rolling backward if you come to a stop going up a steep hill.

On the pavement, the 2008 Nissan Xterra is not as refined as the latest crossover SUVs. But its ride is decent enough that using it every day won't try your patience. Even long road trips are feasible and comfortable. The Xterra's rack-and-pinion steering is precise, and its 4.0-liter V6 provides a satisfying amount of power. A soft brake pedal feel is the vehicle's only significant driving weakness.

This isn't to say it's an ideal choice for everybody. If your idea of roughing it is staying at a hotel without room service, the Xterra might not be for you. You'd probably be better off with a car-based crossover SUV like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. And competitors like the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited offer their own set of advantages. But if you crave adventure and need an affordable vehicle that does well on and off the blacktop, the Nissan Xterra is an excellent choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Buyers of the midsize, five-passenger 2008 Nissan Xterra SUV have a choice of four trim levels -- X, S, SE and Off-Road. The first three are offered in both two- and four-wheel drive, while the Off-Road is offered in four-wheel drive only. The base X comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, remote keyless entry and a CD player. The S adds alloy wheels, step rails, a multiadjustable driver seat and an easy-to-clean cargo area with enhanced tie-down points.

The Xterra Off-Road model includes high-performance gas shock absorbers, off-road tires on special wheels, skid plates, a locking rear differential and a fold-flat front passenger seat. The SE loses the Off-Road's hard-core equipment but adds 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded interior trim, Bluetooth, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a nine-speaker 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system (with MP3 capability, an auxiliary jack and steering-wheel-mounted controls). Most of the SE's extra equipment can be added to the Off-Road trim as part of the Technology Package.

Powertrains and Performance

All Nissan Xterra models feature a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, generous figures for this class. On all models except the SE, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. For the SE, the automatic is standard and the manual is optional. In testing, we've found that a 4WD Xterra can do zero to 60 in a quick 7.6 seconds.

Four-wheel-drive versions use a multimode transfer case that offers 2WD and automatic 4WD modes, in addition to low-range gearing, for maximum flexibility in varying conditions. Fuel economy for a 4WD 2008 Xterra stands at 16 mpg city, 20 highway. The city mileage estimate drops to 14 mpg when it's equipped with an automatic transmission.

Safety

All Xterras come equipped with stability control and antilock disc brakes. Side-impact airbags (for front occupants) and full-length side curtain airbags are optional. Four-wheel-drive Xterras also have Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist.

In government crash testing, the 2008 Nissan Xterra earned four out of five stars for its protection of front occupants in head-on impacts. Side-impact tests resulted in a five-star rating for both front and rear outboard occupants. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Xterra earned a "Good" rating -- the highest possible for frontal offset crash protection. In side impact crash tests the Xterra earned a "Good" rating as well; however, that goes down to "Marginal" without the optional side airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although there's more hard plastic than we'd like, the interior stays true to its function-over-form mission, and the ergonomics are solid. The cargo area is highlighted (on all but the X trim) by an easy-to-clean floor and a total of 10 utility hooks -- six on the floor/sides and four on the ceiling and sides. (Floor hooks can carry up to 110 pounds.) An adjustable channel system in the cargo floor, similar in design to the system offered on the Titan and Frontier pickups, makes it easier to secure bike racks and other gear. There's also an available built-in first aid kit and space to securely carry jugs up to 1 gallon in size.

Driving Impressions

With 261 hp under the hood, the 2008 Nissan Xterra offers brisk performance on the street. Solid steering feel and a lack of excessive body roll make for a confident feel on pavement. Yes, its truck chassis doesn't deliver the sharp handling or refined ride that a car-based crossover SUV would, but it's an acceptable trade-off given the Xterra's above-average ability off-road. The Xterra's rugged enthusiasm for conquering trails is due mainly to the engine's low-end grunt, the generous ground clearance and the ample wheel articulation.

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Talk About The 2008 Xterra

2008 Nissan Xterra Discussions See all Started By

dustidusti
dustidusti
05-12-2011
I am now on my 3rd cluth for my nissan off road xterra 2008. The last clutch went out under 4,000 miles. In my 25 years of driving a stick, I have only had one clutch go out on my after 187,000 mile...


toynis
toynis
12-05-2013
1. Notice of proposed settlement -Lawsuits were filed regarding the 2005-2010 model year Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Xterra, and Nissan Frontier vehicles... lawsuits alleged that these vehicles contain ...


ricardo_33172
ricardo_33172
02-04-2013
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2006 AND MODEL YEAR 2008 FRONTIER, XTERRA AND PATHFINDER VEHICLES. THE MOLDED FUEL TANK SHELLS CAN DEFORM, CAUSING THE FUEL SENDER FLOAT ARM TO CONTACT AN EMBOSS...



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