2013 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Nissan Xterra SUV

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What Others are Paying: Pro-4X 4dr SUV with no optional equipment

Pricing & Edmunds True Market ValueŽ

  • $28,720*
  • Dealer
  • Invoice

  • $30,300
  • Sticker Price
  • (MSRP)
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The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is our exclusive method for calculating what others are paying for a 2013 Nissan Xterra SUV in Seattle, WA (based on actual sales data from your region).

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 Yes
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2013 Nissan Xterra

  • Even though the 2013 Nissan Xterra doesn't have the funky styling or legendary brand name of its off-road-ready SUV competitors, it's still plenty capable in the dirt and a lot easier to live with in everyday driving.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Serious off-road prowess; innovative cargo features; most livable truck in its class.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive interior design and materials; poor fuel economy relative to similarly priced crossovers.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Nissan Xterra gets a few updates, including a new audio system with auxiliary audio/USB inputs and satellite radio for S models.…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)

A great car for anyone

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Xterra

I bought a 2012 xterra pro-4x with about 9k miles on it about 4 months ago. So far the car is extremely reliable, fun to drive and looks good. The only thing I do not like about the car is the cheap interior but even then it is made up for with comfortable leather seats and a great stereo. I also take it off roading and it is extremely good. Other jeeps can barely keep up with it. If you don't have fun in this car then you haven't been off-roading in it.

I should of kept my

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Xterra

i wanted a four wheel drive to get around iowa's back roads during the winter with all the room of an suv could offer more then my 08 edge. i like my exterra except the fact that when im on the roads on windy days i seem to blow as much as semis do cause of the height of the truck. i was thought i could get over not being able to get powered seats, navigation in the dash, or tvs in the head rests but i cant. for the final price of all the options i could get added i wish they would of allowed or gave the choice of those three other options. im suprised nissan wouldnt give you that unless you want a murano, just really bummed over limited options

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Xterra

If I had the need I would buy this truck again and have two of them. That means I like the truck and I am happy I can get a tuck with all its functional capability in this particular size. I feel like I can go anywhere in any condition living in MN. All the professional reviews seem accurate so use those but what they don't say that I don't like is: I think the breaks are touchy and lacking feel. I also think the accelerator is jumpy meaning when you step on the gas get ready to jump and go go go! I find this annoying when trying to get out of a parallel parking spot gracefully without hitting the car in from of me. Especially downtown Seattle on a hill. Yikes!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

In love

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Xterra

I have had my xterra for about 2 weeks (1000 miles now) and so far it has been a great vehicle. I sold my 2012 camaro because I wanted something simple and less extravagant. Plus, the camaro was giving me a headache of problems and I wanted to make the switch back to import. The gas mileage of the xterra is just ok, being able to take it on recreational trips will make up for this in the long run. Also, it feels solid and very secure to the road which I like, while being able to sit up high and in a comfortable position. I love how it rides like a truck, but does not knock you around too much.

I am very pleased with

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Xterra

I have only had my Pro 4X Xterra for a few days but so far so good. I bought it for $5300 off list over Labor Day at Bommarito Nissan in Hazelwood, MO. Nissan had some great incentives then. The Xterra drives great, smooth on the highway and solid when I go off road. Fit and finish seem to be good. I like the leather seats. The upgraded sound system is wonderful, much better than the one found on the S and X models. Too early to tell about gas mileage. It will probably be comparable to my 98 GMC Jimmy at around 18 overall. I considered going to a car based CUV for better mileage but none of those seemed to be up to the capabilities of the Xterra. I will write updates regularly.

9 of 19 people found this review helpful

Does it all for me

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Nissan Xterra

I've had alot of vehicles in my driving life. Mustang GT, Maxima, alot of Nissan trucks, and this is my second Xterra. One vehicle can't do everything, but this does everything I need right now. I need 4WD for winter commutes, getting to the back of the woods, and job sites. The back cargo area is for the dog, the rear seats for gear or occasional passengers. The 6-speed manual and 260hp is for me. I have the PRO 4X and and Bilstein shocks make a BIG difference in handling and ride. Love 'em. With my 07 auto Xterra I never could get better than 19 mpg, and it was rare. With the manual I'm getting 20.5 mpg.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
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Customer Bonus Cash is available towards retail purchases. Must finance through Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Nissan Xterra Suv in WA is:

$196 per month*
* Explanation

Full 2013 Nissan Xterra Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Nissan Xterra gets a few updates, including a new audio system with auxiliary audio/USB inputs and satellite radio for S models. The top Pro-4X trim level gets automatic headlights, fancier upholstery, an outside temperature display and a navigation system with rearview camera.


Even as most consumers move away from old-school truck-based SUVs, there's still a place for rugged go-anywhere models like the 2013 Nissan Xterra. While it's true that the midsize Xterra isn't the most refined vehicle on the road, there's no denying its suitability for its intended purpose.

With its solid body-on-frame design, available four-wheel-drive system, stout suspension and room for four passengers and their gear, the Xterra is ideal for people who use their vehicles for a lot of outdoor recreation. Whether it's rock climbing, skiing or fishing at the lake, the Xterra will almost certainly get you and your equipment there without breaking a sweat.

There are downsides, of course. For purely urban use, the Xterra's somewhat truckish ride and handling are liabilities. So is its interior, which is pretty underwhelming even with the minor updates this year. Then there's the Xterra's fuel economy, which will likely be in the mid-teens for most people.

That said, the Xterra's two main competitors aren't exactly stellar in these areas either. The 2013 Jeep Wrangler is ultimately more capable off-road than the Xterra and enjoys greater support for aftermarket performance parts, but it's even less comfortable. The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser has distinctive looks on its side, but its small, reverse-opening rear doors reduce practicality.

Meanwhile, buyers simply looking for greater peace of mind in bad weather would be wise to consider any of the latest generation of all-wheel-drive, car-based SUVs. Something like the 2013 Subaru Forester can still handle light-duty trails while also providing better driving manners. That said, if serious off-road capability is high on your list of must-haves, the 2013 Nissan Xterra deserves a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Nissan Xterra is a four-door, five-passenger SUV that's offered in three trim levels. Entry-level X and midrange S models are both available with a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive, while the off-road-oriented Pro-4X is four-wheel drive only.

The X comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, roof rack side rails, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel and a six-speaker CD stereo.

Stepping up to the S gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, off-road tires, a driver seat with adjustable height and lumbar, a first aid kit, a cargo organization system and an upgraded sound system with auxiliary audio input/USB jacks and satellite radio. Four-wheel-drive S models also get a roof rack with crossbars and a gear basket.

The Pro-4X adds a number of off-road-ready features including an electronic locking rear differential, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, Bilstein shock absorbers, skid plates and unique 16-inch alloy wheels with upgraded off-road tires. It also has automatic headlights, foglights and roof-mounted off-road driving lights. Inside upgrades include distinctive cloth upholstery, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, white-face gauges, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (with built-in compass), outside temperature display, a navigation system with rearview camera, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio (automatic transmission models only). The Pro-4X Leather package adds leather upholstery and a passenger seatback map pocket, but deletes the flat-folding front passenger seat.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Nissan Xterra is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. Two-wheel-drive X and S models can only be had with a five-speed automatic transmission, while the four-wheel-drive S and Pro-4X have a choice between the automatic and a six-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive is standard (except on the Pro-4X), and a four-wheel-drive system with a multimode low-range transfer case is available as an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, an Xterra 4x4 with an automatic transmission went from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds. The rear-wheel-drive Xterra returns an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. Adding four-wheel drive lowers those numbers to 15/20/17.


The 2013 Nissan Xterra is equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Pro-4X models also come with hill-descent control and hill-start assist. In Edmunds brake testing, an Xterra Pro-4X came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet -- an average result for an off-road-oriented SUV.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Xterra its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side impact tests and a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like the rest of the vehicle, the interior of the 2013 Nissan Xterra has a rough-n-ready vibe. There are lots of hard plastic surfaces which, in a vehicle like this, are actually something of a positive, as it makes everything easier to clean after a long day on the trail. Everything else shows a similarly practical bent, with straightforward gauges and controls. While everything is perfectly serviceable here, keep in mind that most car-based crossover SUVs will offer nicer accommodations along with a more extensive list of creature comforts.

When it comes to hauling gear instead of people, the Xterra shines with a cargo hold boasting nice touches like built-in storage spots for items like a first aid kit and multiple tie-down points for securing your load. Behind the rear seats there are 35 cubic feet of cargo space, which can be expanded to 66 cubic feet with those seatbacks folded down. The standard fold-flat front passenger seat on Pro-4X models makes it possible to squeeze in long items with the rear liftgate closed, and oversize or muddy gear can be toted up on top with the beefy roof rack and gear basket.

Driving Impressions

With 261 hp on tap, the 4.0-liter V6 under the hood of the 2013 Nissan Xterra gives it plenty of pick-up in everyday use. The engine also develops plenty of torque, which is an asset when tackling slow-speed off-road obstacles.

The combination of rugged body-on-frame design, generous ground clearance, a long-travel suspension and a low-range transfer case only add to the Xterra's sure-footedness when the pavement ends. On the road, the ride and handling are rather trucklike, especially in Pro-4X models. But we suspect buyers looking for this level of off-road capability will find it more tolerable than the average SUV shopper.

Talk About The 2013 Xterra


† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.