The Xterra is a true off-road capable SUV. We have about 6k miles on ours and it's been great so far. We bought the Xterra because we wanted a true 4wd that could eventually take the place of my aging Toyota Tacoma. We drove a lot of vehicles before deciding on the Xterra. No regrets. Pros- It's fun to drive and well appointed. The V6 is very powerful. Good size, not too big or too small. Cons- It's not fuel efficient. My guess is that 20 mpg is the best you can expect on the hwy, 15 in the city. Interior plastics scratch easily which is a little annoying.
I purchased the Xterra because I wanted the, up-high road view, safety and comfort of an SUV, but didn't want to spend over $30K. Also, the style of the X has always turned my head; I got the gun metal gray - great looking vehicle. So, I got exactly what I wanted. Nothing fancy about the X, but I have what I need, but no toys. Toys are nice. I miss them, but don't need them. I commute 104 miles per day and find the X to be a comfortable ride - not rough as so many have said. I'm getting 21 MPG on a stop-and-go highway ride - much better than I expected. With gas prices on the rise, I will most likely go back to a small, gas efficient vehicle next purchase, but I am enjoying the X.
Owned for over 4 years and 52000 miles before trading in last year. Rock solid performance and reliability... I wish I had kept it. I'd say it provides more capability and livability for the price than just about any other 4x4 SUV. I paid $23,800 after rebates and I think the only area of the Xterra that reflects the bargain price is some of the interior parts (seat material, hard plastics, cargo area plastic not as tough as I'd like). We made many family trips and commutes with this SUV in all conditions and the only thing I would have done differently is go for the nicer PRO4X model.
Wanted an SUV that's powerful, sturdy with reasonable off road capacities. Picked X due to its fair pricing, powerful engine(VQ), solid BoF construction, great outward visibility & the cute look. Have put 5K miles on it so far, incl. a 2500 mile trip in 1 week. Really impressed with the acceleration. Great handling. Tight turn radius. Perfect size for a single guy. I prefer firm seats and find X's very comfortable. Like the high seating position, feel confident. High ground clearance, no need for ramps when changing oil. I felt far less tired driving the X for a full day, than diving a civic (my previous car). Manual is not clear about gas octane, so I use #89 since the engine is VQ.
I went from a Frontier to upgrading to the Xterra Off Road and WOW. This vehicle is an incredible performer on and off road. It's filled with everything you need like hill-descent assist, locking diffs, 4X4, lots of space and cargo hold, and nothing you don't. The seats fold completely flat, the roof rack has plenty of room for the kayaks, and the awesome 4.0 V6 has more than enough power to tow my 26 ft sailboat. I can't say enough about how smooth this truck rides and how well it conquers terrain off road. Surprisingly, I have been averaging 20mpg. I thought I would have done much worse, but it just makes this rig that much sweeter. Nissan's 4.0L is indestructible. Highly recommend!