2010 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 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 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 261 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2010 Nissan Xterra

  • The 2010 Nissan Xterra may lack the funky styling and unique features of its off-road competitors, but it's the easiest to live with on those days when you're not rock crawling and mud splashing.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Serious off-road prowess, powerful V6, innovative cargo features, most livable truck in its class.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive interior materials, mushy brake pedal.

  • What's New for 2010

    Most of the Nissan Xterra's previously optional features are now standard equipment for 2010.

Full 2010 Nissan Xterra Review

What's New for 2010

Most of the Nissan Xterra's previously optional features are now standard equipment for 2010.

Introduction

Buying an SUV that can travel off-road always comes with compromises. The ride can be rough, the handling ponderous and the fuel economy an enemy to your wallet. The 2010 Nissan Xterra falls into each of these pits, but compared to its rivals, it's still the easiest and most practical to live with on those days you aren't creeping over rocks or blasting through sand dunes.

The Xterra is a traditional body-on-frame SUV -- just the sort of vehicle that SUVs started off as in the first place before being transformed into the modern-day crossover. The Xterra's sturdy construction, burly V6, tall ground clearance and available 4x4 system all contribute to the vehicle's capable performance off the beaten path. Yet it is surprisingly friendly on the beaten path, too, thanks to a tolerable ride quality and decent day-to-day practicality.

For proof, look no further than the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Xterra's main competitor. The FJ offers more interesting styling inside and out than the Xterra, but its rear access-style doors make getting in and out of the rear seat more difficult and that retro styling results in poor outward visibility. The Xterra, meanwhile, is easy to see out of and has four conventional doors. It's also got a strong V6 and respectable on-road handling -- two things that the Jeep Wrangler can't match.

While an SUV like the 2010 Nissan Xterra is best suited for someone who actually goes off-roading, it at least makes more sense as a daily driver than its few rough-and-ready competitors. The Xterra may still feel uncivilized compared to tamed crossovers like the GMC Terrain, Mazda CX-7 and Subaru Forester, but if you need something a bit wild, the Xterra could be your best bet.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is a five-passenger, four-door SUV available with rear- and four-wheel drive. Available trim levels are X, S and SE, with an Off-Road trim available on 4x4 models. Standard equipment on the Xterra X includes 16-inch steel wheels, rear tinted glass, roof rails, cruise control, keyless entry, power windows and locks, a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player.

The Xterra S adds 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded tires, foglamps, step rails, roof rail crossbars, roof gear basket, power mirrors, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, rubber-floor cargo area and a dead pedal.

The Xterra Off-Road adds to the S different 16-inch wheels, Bilstein gas-filled shocks, skid plates, an electronic locking rear differential, hill start assist and hill descent control (with automatic transmission), upgraded off-road tires, roof-mounted off-road lights, two-tone cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirror, compass, Bluetooth, a portable Garmin navigation system and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo with auxiliary audio jack, six-CD changer and satellite radio.

The Xterra SE adds to the S 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirror, compass, Bluetooth, Garmin navigation and the Rockford Fosgate stereo. Options on the SE and Off-Road include an iPod interface and a dockable rear entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all but the SE, while a five-speed automatic is standard on that model and optional on all others. Rear-wheel drive is standard on every Xterra except the Off-Road trim, which comes with the other trims' optional four-wheel-drive system. This includes a multimode transfer case with low-range gearing.

In performance testing a 4x4 Xterra with the automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 15/20/17 with the automatic.

Safety

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Xterra Off-Road models also come with hill descent control and hill start assist. In Edmunds brake testing, the Xterra Off-Road came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet, which is decent performance for a traditional midsize SUV.

In government testing, the Xterra achieved four out of five stars in the frontal crash test and five stars for side protection. Its three-star rollover rating is a bit low, but similar to most off-road-capable SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Xterra its highest rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 Nissan Xterra's interior controls are easy to use and reach. The overall impression is marred somewhat by the use of hard plastics, but they really aren't much worse than its off-roading competitors.

The cargo area offers 35 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 66 cubes with the seats folded. All Xterras (except for the base X model) feature cargo areas that have an easy-to-clean floor, as well as sturdy utility hooks mounted to the sides of the floor and ceiling. An innovative, adjustable channel system for securing bike racks and gear is also built into the floor. There are also built-in spaces for an optional first aid kit and a 1-gallon water jug.

Driving Impressions

Thanks to the 2010 Nissan Xterra's powerful V6, performance is sure to satisfy. On the road, the Xterra maneuvers confidently with precise steering, while also keeping body roll in check. With its truck-derived underpinnings, the Xterra offers impressive off-road performance due to its long suspension travel and high ground clearance. The engine further enhances off-road prowess with its prodigious low-end power, though its ultimate in-the-dirt capabilities fall short of the Wrangler's. The compromises of handling and ride quality in the city are minor, considering the Xterra's versatility.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Solid versatile truck for a

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Bought new 4yrs / 42k miles ago and I'm more impressed than ever. Rock solid performance and reliability so far. I'd say it provides more capability and livability for the price than just about any other 4x4 SUV. I paid $23,800 after rebates and I think the only area of the Xterra that reflects the bargain price is some of the interior parts (seat material, hard plastics, cargo area plastic not as tough as I'd like). We've made many family trips and commutes with this SUV in all conditions and the only thing I would do differently is go for the nicer PRO4X model.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great value on and off

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra Off-Road 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I went from a Frontier to upgrading to the Xterra Off Road and WOW. This vehicle is an incredible performer on and off road. It's filled with everything you need like hill-descent assist, locking diffs, 4X4, lots of space and cargo hold, and nothing you don't. The seats fold completely flat, the roof rack has plenty of room for the kayaks, and the awesome 4.0 V6 has more than enough power to tow my 26 ft sailboat. I can't say enough about how smooth this truck rides and how well it conquers terrain off road. Surprisingly, I have been averaging 20mpg. I thought I would have done much worse, but it just makes this rig that much sweeter. Nissan's 4.0L is indestructible. Highly recommend!




Avoid nissan!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

i'm a older woman with a disability, yet they sold me this lemon without disclosing it has a major defect. the cooling line from the transmission into the radiator ruptures and fills the trans with water. did not happen yet, but nissan acted incredulous when asked to remedy the defect. the last straw was when the dealer went to fix a flat on the xterra, and let me drive it for several days with 70 pounds of air in the tire. the dealer and nissan have not only caused a financial hardship for me, now they've risked life and limb as they continue to ignore my complaint.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good buy

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I purchased the Xterra because I wanted the, up-high road view, safety and comfort of an SUV, but didn't want to spend over $30K. Also, the style of the X has always turned my head; I got the gun metal gray - great looking vehicle. So, I got exactly what I wanted. Nothing fancy about the X, but I have what I need, but no toys. Toys are nice. I miss them, but don't need them. I commute 104 miles per day and find the X to be a comfortable ride - not rough as so many have said. I'm getting 21 MPG on a stop-and-go highway ride - much better than I expected. With gas prices on the rise, I will most likely go back to a small, gas efficient vehicle next purchase, but I am enjoying the X.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Solid suv...worth a look

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra Off-Road 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

The Xterra is a true off-road capable SUV. We have about 6k miles on ours and it's been great so far. We bought the Xterra because we wanted a true 4wd that could eventually take the place of my aging Toyota Tacoma. We drove a lot of vehicles before deciding on the Xterra. No regrets. Pros- It's fun to drive and well appointed. The V6 is very powerful. Good size, not too big or too small. Cons- It's not fuel efficient. My guess is that 20 mpg is the best you can expect on the hwy, 15 in the city. Interior plastics scratch easily which is a little annoying.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Very happy with my xterra

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Wanted an SUV that's powerful, sturdy with reasonable off road capacities. Picked X due to its fair pricing, powerful engine(VQ), solid BoF construction, great outward visibility & the cute look. Have put 5K miles on it so far, incl. a 2500 mile trip in 1 week. Really impressed with the acceleration. Great handling. Tight turn radius. Perfect size for a single guy. I prefer firm seats and find X's very comfortable. Like the high seating position, feel confident. High ground clearance, no need for ramps when changing oil. I felt far less tired driving the X for a full day, than diving a civic (my previous car). Manual is not clear about gas octane, so I use #89 since the engine is VQ.



Talk About The 2010 Xterra

2010 Nissan Xterra Discussions See all Started By

sweethome123
sweethome123
08-16-2010
This is Nissan Xterra 2010 SE 2WD...


1highplains
1highplains
02-05-2012
Parked, my xterra 2010 standard transmission won't shift into any gear. It appears to shift into reverse (I'm trying to back out of my driveway), but as soon as torque is applied to clutch the gears ...


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...



Read more about the 2010 Nissan Xterra

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
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