2001 Nissan Xterra Review

Pros & Cons

  • Rugged looks and capability to match, excellent brakes, lots of room inside, standard ABS, first-aid kit.
  • Uncomfortable front seats, cheap interior plastics and fabrics, useless sunroof on SE models, weak V6.
List Price Range
$2,995 - $6,500

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A truck-based compact ute for those who actually plan to use it like it's featured in Nissan's TV commercials.

Vehicle overview

A so-called mini-SUV doesn't have to be a hybrid compromise, and for proof, look no further than the 2001 Xterra (terra for the land it crosses and X for the generation it intends to target). Although it sits squarely on the large side of the mini-SUV scale, don't be alarmed by the truck's physical size; the price is tiny by comparison. It competes in a hotly contested market, against the likes of the newly introduced Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute twins, along with the already established mini-ute crowd (Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Jeep Cherokee and Suzuki Grand Vitara). In this increasingly crowded segment, the Xterra must rely less upon its unique niche appeal and more on its value and rugged good looks.

Designed at Nissan Design International (NDI), the Xterra's styling is what sells it. It looks tough, muscular and modern. Taillights form modular, geometric shapes, much like the bulging wheelwells and tailgate first-aid kit storage panel. The cool powdercoated tubular roof rack comes with adjustable rails for carrying cargo of all shapes and sizes. For smaller items, there's even a plastic cargo tray up front that will hold 30 pounds of odds and ends, but on SE models it blocks the standard glass pop-up sunroof. We only wish stylists would lose the featureless front end for something a little less, uh, featureless.

Unlike many of its small SUV competitors, the Xterra is based on a real truck: Nissan's Frontier compact pickup. Despite its relatively sophisticated double-wishbone front suspension, Xterra makes do with dual leaf-spring rear underpinnings, front disc/rear drum brakes, and slow, numb recirculating-ball steering.

The result is a truck that actually drives like a truck -- a rarity in this class and something consumers might not like after the novelty has worn off (it'll take about 500 miles, we'd guess). Big, knobby tires are great for off-roading, but if you spend most of your time on pavement, you'll notice that they grip poorly and squeal plenty.

Offered in two trim levels, the Xterra can be purchased as a base XE or sporty SE model with two- or four-wheel drive, a four-cylinder or V6 engine, and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is engaged using a floor-mounted lever.

The Xterra's standard motivation comes from a 2.4-liter inline four that makes 143 horsepower and 154 foot-pounds of torque. An optional 170-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 generates 200 accessible foot-pounds of torque and moves the Xterra from 0 to 60 in 10.8 seconds. Outdoor enthusiasts can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the V6 and an automatic transmission, and antilock brakes are standard on all models.

The Xterra is being marketed as a bare-bones mini-SUV to avoid treading on the toes of its bigger and more upscale brother, the Pathfinder, but how well it does that is questionable. The Xterra is nearly as long as the Pathfinder and offers an inch more legroom for rear passengers. But the well-equipped 250-horsepower Pathfinder, marketed to a wealthier clientele that wants prodigious power and luxury amenities, serves to make the Xterra the better bargain for those looking for basic transportation. We deem their mission to be a success, even if the definition of a "mini-SUV" gets murkier all the time.

2001 Highlights

SE models come with titanium interior accents as well as a premium audio system boasting 100 watts of peak power and a six-disc in-dash CD changer. New steering wheel-mounted audio controls can be used to operate this system. The rumored 3.3-liter supercharged V6 is, at this point, MIA, but console yourself with a new color called Gold Rush and restyled 16-inch alloy wheels.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Nissan Xterra.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A Note on Safety
Best vehicle my wife and I ever bought. Extremely versatile for trips, vacations, camping, light towing but still practical enough for everyday use. I even hauled lumber on the roof- rack with no probelms. UNFORTUNATELY my wife was rear-ended in our last week! She left the highway sideways, went airborne and flipped three times...completely crushing the front and rear, but the seating areas both front and back were not harmed and she walked away without...well, one tiny scuff on her leg from the steering wheel. It kept her safe and we are now looking for a replacement. We love the X-terra
Great Vehicle
John R.,06/05/2016
XE-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)
Bought it with 28000 miles in 2003... 378,000 today! It’s been a great vehicle and still has a great interior ( I added leather seats) and paint. Not a speck of rust and the bottom looks like new! ( Florida Car). Sadly she’s probably on her last legs, my rebuilt transmission( replaced at 225k) is slipping and suspension parts are failing! Engine still runs great, but leaks oil and it’s probably time to move on! Update:Nothing new since last update except I’ve added a few (2k) miles. I guess I’ll keep her since she has no trade-in value😂 I keep her because I can’t bring myself to give her away and she still does everything I need! Great in the rain, hauling landscaping supplies etc.
Love this car!
I have a 2001 SE 4x4. Bought it in 2005 with 64,000 miles. 5 years later and now over 175,000 miles on it, we've had no engine or transmission issues with it. I did have to replace an electrical component in the a/c this summer for about $250 but otherwise it's just been routine maintenance. It's a fun truck to drive and very reliable. Not the best backseat for carseats but it is manageable. We're in the process of selling it only because our 3rd child is on the way and we can't fit the family in this car anymore. But that is the only reason we're selling! It's been a great car.
Great truck but not without reliability glitches
I bought it used on a private sale from craigslist replacing my 1985 Toyota 4runner that I ran up 550,000km (340,000miles to you guys south of the 49th). However last year (2011) the in-tank electric turbine fuel pump unexpectedly quit (at 220,000km odometer reading) leaving me stranded on the side of highway. It wound up costing me well over $1000 in towing charges, parts and labor plus an overnight motel stay and a one day travel delay. Now that I know how to replace it I carry a spare fuel pump and screwdriver along with the spare tire....

Features & Specs

See all Used 2001 Nissan Xterra features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover2 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2001 Nissan Xterra

Used 2001 Nissan Xterra Overview

The Used 2001 Nissan Xterra is offered in the following submodels: Xterra SUV. Available styles include SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A), SE 2WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A), XE-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A), XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A), SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M), SE 2WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M), XE-V6 2WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M), XE 2WD 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Nissan Xterra?

Price comparisons for Used 2001 Nissan Xterra trim styles:

  • The Used 2001 Nissan Xterra SE is priced between $2,995 and$2,995 with odometer readings between 200236 and200236 miles.
  • The Used 2001 Nissan Xterra XE is priced between $6,500 and$6,500 with odometer readings between 59700 and59700 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2001 Nissan Xterras are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2001 Nissan Xterra for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2001 Xterras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,995 and mileage as low as 59700 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2001 Nissan Xterra.

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Find a used Nissan Xterra for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,718.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $11,061.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Xterra for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $7,778.

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Nissan Xterra?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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