Used 2005 Nissan Xterra Consumer Reviews

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$3,615 - $6,186

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radiator/transmission

cindy0710, 07/13/2011
42 of 43 people found this review helpful

I, too, have experienced the faulty radiator leaking into the transmission and ruining it...I have 109000 miles so it is beyond the 80000 mile warranty and nissan wants thousands to fix it....acknowledging that the faulty radiator caused the problem, not wear, tear, etc.....so now they want me to pay the hefty bill for a new radiator and transmission for a defect in the automobile....Shame on Nissan for not recalling and fixing this problem

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Still an excellent, versatile backcountry SUV!

michael sanders, 04/08/2016
S 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
24 of 24 people found this review helpful

Purchased used in 2009, 48K miles, now 104.5K miles. replaced clutch (premature failure, undersized original clutch, design defect, Nissan would not acknowledge or repair) at about 55K with non-Nissan appropriately-robust clutch parts from Jim Wolf Technology, San Diego, no further clutch issues to date. Original BFG tires replaced at 63K. Replaced radiator at about 75k (early I think, assume due to substandard quality components). Fuel sensor replaced under warranty at about 80K. No other significant issues. Interior fabric holding up very well, plastic in cargo area getting beat up, but as expected given how I use the X. Original sound system crappy, replaced with better set up. For my needs (emphasized), excellent off-road and backcountry vehicle. Very functional multi-use, versatile SUV. For my needs, pluses are: 1) best in class fuel economy for truck-based SUV based on my research, especially with 6-speed standard tranny (typically avg. 23 mpg if kept to 70 mph on highway, 2K rpm in 6th gear). 2) short wheel base, tight turning ratio, fits in my garage and very maneuverable on tight back country trails. Only about 6" longer then our 2004 Honda Civic. 3) Easy to remove back seat bottom cushions (that's called attention to detail!), makes 6.5 foot long flat deck with home-built platform extension. Comfortable for extended camping trip sleeping platform for two people. roof rack compartment handy for solar shower bag! 4) very good 4WD offroad performance in challenging, very rough terrain (SEVERELY tested in Canyonlands NP Maze District and other western locals, and was impressive). 5) Initial research via Consumer Reports indicated very good repair record, similar to Toyota 4 Runner, but comparable Toyota vehicle $5-$6K more expensive, and no standard transmission available. Toyota probably more reliable in hindsite, but Xterra cheaper to buy, so more $$ available for occasional repairs. October 2018 update: X now has 131K+ miles. No other significant mechanical issues since the premature clutch failure other than mostly routine stuff. Replacement clutch with non-Nissan Jim Wolf Technology components has been trouble-free so far. I'm still vy impressed with the overall versatility and attention to detail of this vehicle given my specific needs, and plan to drive it until the "doors fall off". And it still consistently gets an average of about 23 mpg (ranges from 22 to 24+) with the standard tranny, which again is excellent for this type of truck-based 4wd rock crawler type vehicle. Bummer that Nissan stopped making Xterras in 2016, but not enough demand apparently. Maybe the next version will be a hybrid??

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trans has design flaw

hs21, 04/26/2015
SE 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
50 of 52 people found this review helpful

I have a 2005 Xterra and this a known problem that the radiator leaks into the trans causing both to fail. Nissan was sued over this problem and lost, so they extended the warranty to cover fixing. This problem also exists on the Frontier and Pathfinder. Nissan doesn't tell you this and I found out the hard way.

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Love it, Hate it.. It's a good vehicle!

Brian Schott, 04/27/2018
S 4WD 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
40 of 42 people found this review helpful

Purchased mine very much used @ 143K miles recently.. This is a very well built vehicle, with a strong engine. Ok, so the interior isn't fantastic, but it's functional, and mind you I've been happy with my European vehicles (BMW), exclusively, for many years now. Steering is a bit heavy, but I can forgive that. The "S" model doesn't have a rear locker, but who needs that anyhow. Driver's fabric seat has a rip in it, but I don't care, because I'm happy driving it. I wanted a vehicle I can take off road that's reliable, and this is it. But be well aware that there is a fatal flaw a few mention here in the reviews. If your planning on buying one, you'll want to research "SMOD", or "Strawberry milkshake of death". Essentially the trans fluid passes through a small radiator/heat exchanger in the bottom of the vehicles radiator that has a weak point -- the unions, and as such will fail causing the coolant to mix with the trans fluid. Nissan issued a TSB at some point in the past, creative owners bypassed this weakness during that time as a simple DIY, some supplemented this DIY with an auxiliary transmission cooler. I added one as a preventative, not that the vehicle was suffering with any problems. Doing your homework on this will save you gobs of money. Luckily the owner of my vehicle (or Nissan) performed this bypass before a SMOD event occurred. I've performed a full fluid change on this vehicle (including all diff's, transfer cases, engine, and transmission oil) just to cover myself. Other, somewhat minor, area of concern is the acessory belt tensioner as it's essentially weak, thus causing a squealing as the belt slips on the pulleys. Gates makes a kit and supplies you with the tensioner and belt for a reasonable 38 bucks through Amazon. Other minor area of concern is that the hood tends to pull and make noise as wind comes underneath it in heavy frontal winds. Take a 12mm socket and simply loosen the three hood latch bolts, and push the hood latch down, and retighten.. Done, and one. Great vehicle, just do your research. There's reports of people achieving over 360K on the stock vehicle with basic maintenance.. No reason you can achieve the same with a little TLC.

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Shame on Nissan!!

torrdcs, 05/30/2013
39 of 42 people found this review helpful

Purchased at 64000 miles, drove it, loved it, no problems at all other than the tire pressure light after so many miles of consistent driving. Then, at 121,000 miles, boom... transmission failure. Upon further research, it is a NISSAN DEFECT in the radiator that Nissan refuses to address more than a little warranty increase, and even THAT took a lawsuit. I spent $3000+ over a period of 8 months to fix it and it still wasn't fixed. I had to purchase another vehicle to drive while it was down. I ran out of money, so I was forced to trade the XTerra with $3500 of negative equity, totaling near $7000 that I lost on this vehicle, due to Nissan and its ways. NEVER. AGAIN.

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