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 Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 261 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (69 total reviews)


Toyota guy loves this truck!

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Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Xterra

I'm Toyota. I think the Tacoma is the best gasoline truck ever built. With that being said, the 05-10 Tacoma and 4-runners are too darn expensive. The 07' Nissan Xterra SE was a great compromise. I'm 6'3" and have plenty of room in the front. The transmission could use the extra gear though. It likes fuel but I'm pedal to the metal man. My VDC light comes on and stays on from time to time but when I test it, it seems to work properly. I'm at 104k. No other issues. Rides smooth. Fairly quiet. Tons of cargo space/hidden compartments. Love how it looks. And it was half the price of a Toyota truck with similar age and miles. I wish it was the off road package but the SE is not a bad trim level.




Xterra 4x4

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Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Xterra

Great truck to drive on and off road. Very easy to maintain. Works very well off road, I've never been stuck or left stranded. Great vehicle in the snow, mud, rain, sand, and anything else you can throw at it



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

2007 xterra issues

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Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Xterra

I have owned my 2007 xterra for 15 months now, and it's a love/hate relationship. I purchased mine used, with 58k and purchased the (unusually expensive) extended warranty with it. Shortly after purchasing the car, the radiator began leaking and was replaced. Then the rear differential seal began leaking and was replaced. Soon after that the entire rear end basically gave out, and the transfer case, rear differential, and rear axel were all replaced. Now the rear hatch quit locking, and the water outlet on the engine block is leaking coolant.. I love this car but with 74k and already $5400 of maintenance (luckily mostly covered) in 15 months it may not be in my garage much longer.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Update report from october, 2010

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Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Xterra

42,500 Miles. Still under factory warranty - timing chain is being replaced. Gas mileage started dropping, so am having fuel service, including cleaning of fuel injectors and de-carbon valves. Rear shocks will be replaced with Bilstein shocks. Have received two notices from Nissan extending warranties on fuel sensor assembly to 60,000 miles and the radiator assembly to 72,000. Feeling concerned about the mechanical reliability of this vehicle. Thought the Xterra would have held up better than this. Bought new and have owned the Xterra for three and a half years.




Great reliable car

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Xterra

I've had my Xterra since it was brand new and its had a hard life thats for sure. Right off the bat the day I picked it up with 36miles on the OD I drove it for 15 hours straight some 900mi or so. A few months later I hauled an 18ft trailer loaded with an entire apartment for 2100 miles. I also move around that trailer with a 6000lbs truck on top of it. Granted It wouldn't be able to do any of it without a brake controller and I wouldn't feel that good towing with an automatic but it pulls it off. Its gone through all this and I havent even changed the air filter. Just a new battery a few weeks ago but trouble free aside from that. Like stated prior: Suspension could use some help




Love my xterra

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Xterra

Got my '07 Xterra used in April 2010 and has 38K miles on it as of now, if it's possible to actually be in love with a vehicle - I am! Love it, fun to drive, feels solid and so far has been very reliable. I live in Arizona, so we have pretty extreme weather here, from broiling heat to freezin cold. Only thing done has been battery replaced (that's normal for AZ as batteries do not last more than a couple years here) and the front sway bar gaskets replaced. Otherwise, this truck is just awesome. I've owned many vehicles and this is the first one that make me feel like I can drive it for the rest of my life.



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.

Talk About The 2008 Xterra

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs