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.
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.
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
My primary issue is not so much with my xterra (even though at around 150k miles I have experienced a number of mechanical issues), rather with Nissan's apparent unwillingness to stand behind their vehicles.
I purchased my 2005 xterra from the same dealer I service it at. I have, from the outset, had repeated problems with the fuel sensor gauge,. Because the issue, until now, has never caused a signal in their system check, they have refused to replace the required part. Their attitude when I complained -essentially -too bad -we have no responsibility to fix what our system check does not designate.
At around 105,000 miles, I heard of an issue, through a lawyer, to do with the radiator. Despite the dealer knowing about this issue for some time, I was not advised to have the radiator replaced -until I fell out of warranty. Same response as with the fuel sensor.
In summary, while I am somewhat disappoint ted in the frequency of repairs I am now experiencing, the car itself has been what I expected -a useful, solid vehicle for both highway and off road travel. However, I will not buy another Nissan because of the company's indifferent attitude to its customers
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. 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 available. Toyota probably more reliable in hind site, but Xterra cheaper to buy, so more $$ available for occasional repairs.