Aimed at younger, active buyers, the Nissan Xterra is a midsize SUV with enhanced off-road ability. Thanks to its stout body-on-frame construction and available four-wheel drive, the Xterra is a steady seller among those who use their SUV for outdoor recreation -- or those who simply wish to look the part. Its on-road manners might lack the comfort or refinement of its car-based crossover competitors, but we'd recommend the Xterra as one of the better new or used sport-utilities on the market if off-roading figures into your regular routine. It's a vehicle that consistently inspires confidence as you head off into the wilderness of the urban -- or more distant -- jungle.
Current Nissan Xterra
The Nissan Xterra is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 generating 261 horsepower, paired with either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual. It's available in three trim levels: X, S and Pro-4X. The first two are offered in either rear- or four-wheel-drive versions, while the Pro-4X is offered in 4WD only.
The entry-level X comes with full power accessories, air-conditioning, keyless entry and a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. The S adds alloy wheels, step rails, a multi-adjustable driver seat, an upgraded audio interface with USB connectivity and an easy-to-clean cargo area with enhanced tie-down points, while the Pro-4X model offers off-road tires and shocks, a locking rear differential and additional comfort and convenience features like a navigation system, a rearview camera and Rockford Fosgate sound.
In reviews, our editors have praised the Xterra's powerful V6 engine and above-average off-road capability. The Xterra doesn't deliver the sharp handling a crossover SUV might, so if you never plan to leave the street, there are better compact or midsize SUV choices. But if trail-busting (or looking like a trail-buster) is your thing, you can't do much better than the Xterra at this price point.
Read the most recent 2014 Nissan Xterra review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan Xterra page.