File:Xterra left.jpg

The Nissan Xterra is a compact SUV based on the Nissan F-Alpha platform, and shares many similarities with the Nissan Frontier pickup. The Xterra is slotted below the Pathfinder in Nissan's lineup.

All Xterras are currently built in Smyrna, Tennessee and São José dos Pinhais, Brazil. The Xterra is Nissan's smallest SUV in the North America other than the X-Trail sold in Canada and Mexico. It is called the Nissan Roniz in Iran, where it is also built, under licence by Pars Khodro. 

The Xterra was named after the XTERRA series of off-road triathlon races. Nissan has since become the race series' primary sponsor.

The Xterra was originally introduced in North America in the 2000 model year and was marketed as a simple, but capable SUV with the slogan Everything you need, nothing you don't. Although accepted by a wide range of ages, incomes, lifestyles and genders, Nissan marketed the Xterra primarily to the adventurous and outdoor consumer. Many commercials feature one driving the vehicle though mud, unloading mountain bikes out of the back, or packing up surfing equipment.

See Autopedia's comprehensive Nissan Xterra Review.

Recent ChangesEdit

Very little has changed in the 2006 Xterra when compared with the 2005 model. One difference, however, is the addition of the Xterra X trim level, which is set below the Xterra S and offers basic features.

Styles and Major OptionsEdit

The 2006 Xterra comes in four major trim levels: the X, S, Off Road, and SE editions. All are powered by the same 4.0-L 265-hp V6 engine, and all offer the choice of either two or four wheel drive. Beginning with the X, each successive trim level is an upgrade from the last, with major options as follows:

Xterra XEdit

Xterra SEdit

  • All X Features
  • 16" Aluminum Alloy Wheels
  • Power Locks, Windows, Mirrors
File:Rocks face left.jpg

Xterra Off RoadEdit

  • All S Features
  • Bilstein Performance Shocks
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Fog Lights
  • First Aid Kit
  • 16" Offroad Rims and Tires

Xterra SEEdit

  • All S Features
  • 17" Aluminum Alloy Wheels
  • Fog Lights
  • Rockford-Fosgate Stereo System with MP3 CD Capability
  • First-Aid Kit


Today's actual prices for the Nissan Xterra can be found at CarsDirect.

Xterra Trim Levels

X 4x2

X 4x4

S 4x2

S 4x4

Off Road 4x2

Off Road 4x4

SE 4x2

SE 4x4



















Gas MileageEdit

As seen on the website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:


4x2 models
manual transmission

4x2 models
automatic transmission

4x4 models
manual transmission

4x4 models
automatic transmission







Although no reliability ratings are yet available for the latest Xterra model, previous models have exhibited minimal problems in all major areas of concern, including transmission, brakes, climate controls, and accessories, according to Automotive Information Systems.


The Nissan Xterra has consistently received high marks from the NHTSA, scoring 4/5 stars in frontal impact tests and 5/5 stars in side impact tests over the past several years. The Xterra's rollover rating, while not impressive, has improved from 2/5 stars in recent years to 3/5 for the 2006 and 2007 models.

As for safety features, all Xterra models come standard with the following equipment:

  • Advanced airbag system with occupancy sensors
  • Active head restraints
  • LATCH system for child seats
  • Front and rear crumple zones
  • Steel side-door guard beams

In addition, front seat side-impact airbags and roof mounted supplemental curtain airbags are also available with the Xterra's Side and Curtain Air Bags Package.



The availability of colors for the Xterra may depend on trim level:


  • Avalanche Clearcoat
  • Granite Clearcoat
  • Midnight Blue Clearcoat
  • Night Armor Clearcoat
  • Red Brawn Clearcoat
  • Silver Lightning Clearcoat
  • Solar Yellow Clearcoat
  • Super Black Clearcoat


  • Blue/Graphite
  • Charcoal
  • Desert/Graphite
  • Graphite
  • Steel/Graphite

Main CompetitorsEdit

Hybrid ModelsEdit

There are currently no hybrid models of the Xterra.

Unique AttributesEdit

Intergrated side rear bumper steps allows one to easily load the roof rack.

Resale ValuesEdit












  • Ride is stiff and jerky over rougher surfaces
  • No lock on roof gear box
  • No 4-cylinder or diesel engine offered
  • Interior elements look and feel cheap

Current Generation: (2004–present)Edit


In 2004, the Xterra was redesigned on a new platform shared by the Nissan Titan and Nissan Frontier. Although appearing smaller than the first generation, the new model is larger in all dimensions. Utilizing Nissan's 4.0L VQ40DE engine, it produces 265 hp. The new engine is an improvement upon Xterra's previous powerplant, more refined and incorporating variable valve timing. Available with a rear differential locker on the off-road model, the Xterra competes with other SUVs of its size.

Previous GenerationsEdit

Second generation (2001-2003)Edit


The Xterra's look was freshened up for 2002. The interior received a redesigned dash and center console, while the biggest changes were to the top-of-the-line powerplant and the front end. In 2001 Nissan restyled the front end of the Frontier aggressively and added overhead clearance in the engine bay. In 2002 Nissan brought similar changes to the Xterra, including Nissan's new 210HP 3.3L Roots Type Supercharger V6.

Color was also revised in 2002. Aztec Red and Khaki were dropped, while Shock Blue, Sedona, and Molten Lava were introduced. Atomic Orange was later added, but proved to be short lived. In addition, the audio systems were upgraded. The premium audio system, a 6-disc AM/FM/CD with 6 speaker setup, was replaced with a 300W Rockford Fosgate AM/FM/CD system with 8 speakers and a large subwoofer that took up a portion of the rear storage area.

First Generation/Origins (1999-2000)Edit


During its first two years, there were three Xterra models. Base XEs came with the 4 cylinder, were manual transmission only, sported steel wheels, and lacked accessories such as the step rails and roof rack.

XE Xterras were the main seller for Nissan. XEs could be configured with serveral option packages, which added features such as the roof rack, side step-rails, or the 3.3L V6. The XE proved to be the most popular of the trim levels, with more flexibility on equipment options. A fully loaded XE had almost all the features of the top-of-the-line SE model (minus the flip-up sunroof), while costing an average of $2,000 less.

The SE was the premium trim level for the Xterra. Everything which was an option on the XE came standard on the SE. Nissan, to set apart a fully-optioned XE and the SE added a flip-up sunroof and special badging to the back of the truck ("Xterra SE" rather than just "Xterra"). Items such as mudflaps, carpeted floormats, cargo liners, and ventilation microfilters could be added for an additional charge.


Design quirks and odditiesEdit

Two design cues have remained constant through the vehicle's life, its raised rear roofline and the 'Hump' on the back lift gate. The raised roof allows for stadium seating and the hump allowed the inclusion of a first aid kit in the liftgate. Originally, it was added for functional reasons.


  • 2000 - The Xterra won the North American Truck of the Year by Autoweek magazine.
  • 2000 - Named Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year.
  • 2000 - Named a Consumer Guide - Recommended Buy.
  • 2001 - Named a Top Car by AAA New Car and Truck Buying Guide.
  • 2001 - Named a Consumer Guide - Recommended Buy.
  • 2005 - Named on the Automobile magazine's 50 Great New Cars list.
  • 2006 - Won Motor Trend's - Sport/Utility of the Year for the second time.
  • 2006 - The Xterra won the 4x4 of the Year award from Peterson's 4-Wheel and Off-Road magazine.
  • 2006 - named the Xterra an Editors' Most Wanted Vehicle.
  • 2006 - Named a Consumer Guide - Recommended Buy.

See AlsoEdit

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Current (Elsewhere): Platina · Serena · Rasheen · Livina · Sunny

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Racing: GT500 GT-R · R89C · R90C · GT-R FIA-GT1 · MOTUL Autech GT-R

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External linksEdit

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