2010 Nissan Xterra Review

Pros & Cons

  • Serious off-road prowess, powerful V6, innovative cargo features, most livable truck in its class.
  • Unimpressive interior materials, mushy brake pedal.
List Price Range
$8,995 - $10,941

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Nissan Xterra may lack the funky styling and unique features of its off-road competitors, but it's the easiest to live with on those days when you're not rock crawling and mud splashing.

Vehicle overview

Buying an SUV that can travel off-road always comes with compromises. The ride can be rough, the handling ponderous and the fuel economy an enemy to your wallet. The 2010 Nissan Xterra falls into each of these pits, but compared to its rivals, it's still the easiest and most practical to live with on those days you aren't creeping over rocks or blasting through sand dunes.

The Xterra is a traditional body-on-frame SUV -- just the sort of vehicle that SUVs started off as in the first place before being transformed into the modern-day crossover. The Xterra's sturdy construction, burly V6, tall ground clearance and available 4x4 system all contribute to the vehicle's capable performance off the beaten path. Yet it is surprisingly friendly on the beaten path, too, thanks to a tolerable ride quality and decent day-to-day practicality.

For proof, look no further than the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Xterra's main competitor. The FJ offers more interesting styling inside and out than the Xterra, but its rear access-style doors make getting in and out of the rear seat more difficult and that retro styling results in poor outward visibility. The Xterra, meanwhile, is easy to see out of and has four conventional doors. It's also got a strong V6 and respectable on-road handling -- two things that the Jeep Wrangler can't match.

While an SUV like the 2010 Nissan Xterra is best suited for someone who actually goes off-roading, it at least makes more sense as a daily driver than its few rough-and-ready competitors. The Xterra may still feel uncivilized compared to tamed crossovers like the GMC Terrain, Mazda CX-7 and Subaru Forester, but if you need something a bit wild, the Xterra could be your best bet.

2010 Nissan Xterra models

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is a five-passenger, four-door SUV available with rear- and four-wheel drive. Available trim levels are X, S and SE, with an Off-Road trim available on 4x4 models. Standard equipment on the Xterra X includes 16-inch steel wheels, rear tinted glass, roof rails, cruise control, keyless entry, power windows and locks, a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player.

The Xterra S adds 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded tires, foglamps, step rails, roof rail crossbars, roof gear basket, power mirrors, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat, rubber-floor cargo area and a dead pedal.

The Xterra Off-Road adds to the S different 16-inch wheels, Bilstein gas-filled shocks, skid plates, an electronic locking rear differential, hill start assist and hill descent control (with automatic transmission), upgraded off-road tires, roof-mounted off-road lights, two-tone cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirror, compass, Bluetooth, a portable Garmin navigation system and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo with auxiliary audio jack, six-CD changer and satellite radio.

The Xterra SE adds to the S 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirror, compass, Bluetooth, Garmin navigation and the Rockford Fosgate stereo. Options on the SE and Off-Road include an iPod interface and a dockable rear entertainment system.

2010 Highlights

Most of the Nissan Xterra's previously optional features are now standard equipment for 2010.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all but the SE, while a five-speed automatic is standard on that model and optional on all others. Rear-wheel drive is standard on every Xterra except the Off-Road trim, which comes with the other trims' optional four-wheel-drive system. This includes a multimode transfer case with low-range gearing.

In performance testing a 4x4 Xterra with the automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined with the manual transmission and 15/20/17 with the automatic.

Safety

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Xterra Off-Road models also come with hill descent control and hill start assist. In Edmunds brake testing, the Xterra Off-Road came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet, which is decent performance for a traditional midsize SUV.

In government testing, the Xterra achieved four out of five stars in the frontal crash test and five stars for side protection. Its three-star rollover rating is a bit low, but similar to most off-road-capable SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Xterra its highest rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side crash tests.

Driving

Thanks to the 2010 Nissan Xterra's powerful V6, performance is sure to satisfy. On the road, the Xterra maneuvers confidently with precise steering, while also keeping body roll in check. With its truck-derived underpinnings, the Xterra offers impressive off-road performance due to its long suspension travel and high ground clearance. The engine further enhances off-road prowess with its prodigious low-end power, though its ultimate in-the-dirt capabilities fall short of the Wrangler's. The compromises of handling and ride quality in the city are minor, considering the Xterra's versatility.

Interior

The 2010 Nissan Xterra's interior controls are easy to use and reach. The overall impression is marred somewhat by the use of hard plastics, but they really aren't much worse than its off-roading competitors.

The cargo area offers 35 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 66 cubes with the seats folded. All Xterras (except for the base X model) feature cargo areas that have an easy-to-clean floor, as well as sturdy utility hooks mounted to the sides of the floor and ceiling. An innovative, adjustable channel system for securing bike racks and gear is also built into the floor. There are also built-in spaces for an optional first aid kit and a 1-gallon water jug.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Nissan Xterra.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Solid SUV...worth a look
Anonymous,12/08/2010
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.
Solid Versatile Truck for a Good Price
dallas70,10/01/2014
S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
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.
Very Happy with My Xterra
xterras,11/09/2010
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.
Good Buy
ficklest,09/25/2011
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.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2010 Nissan Xterra features & specs

Safety

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
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Acceptable
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Nissan Xterra

Used 2010 Nissan Xterra Overview

The Used 2010 Nissan Xterra is offered in the following submodels: Xterra SUV. Available styles include S 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Off-Road 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SE 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), X 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Off-Road 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SE 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), X 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), X 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 6M), and X 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Nissan Xterra?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Nissan Xterra trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Nissan Xterra Off-Road is priced between $8,995 and$8,995 with odometer readings between 124669 and124669 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Nissan Xterra SE is priced between $10,941 and$10,941 with odometer readings between 103666 and103666 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 2010 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) 2010 Nissan Xterra for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2010 Xterras listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,995 and mileage as low as 103666 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 2010 Nissan Xterra.

Can't find a used 2010 Nissan Xterras you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Xterra for sale - 2 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $12,320.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 6 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $14,746.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Xterra for sale - 2 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $16,082.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 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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