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Nissan XTerra SUV

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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    to a Jeep Liberty or Ford Escape, smaller or larger???...I eventually want to own a 4WD vehicle for those times when I need 4WD, spending 95% of its time in 2WD...all the new Grand Cherokees apparently have the equivalent of AWD, except the V6 which is the only model that allows the driver to choose the driving mode, and a V6 in a JGC just isn't enough to move it, so JGC is no longer a choice for me...how does the X compare to the Liberty and Escape in size, as it seems to have much more guts under the hood, and you can choose whn you want 2 or 4WD...
  • Simply my opinion, but the Xterra beats both of them in all categories and you have so much more vehicle plus the power. It is bigger, better, faster, and more reliable with more standard amenities than either of the others. Good luck...
  • Has anyone else put the Xterra in HDC mode and heard the horrendous noise it makes? It might be effective, but using it makes you think your tranny is about to fall out. Since it uses the brakes, wonder how long before they over-heat and cause a serious situation. At this point, I think I'd rather do my own HDCing! Comments from actual users???
  • coolcomcoolcom Posts: 2
    Hey 4rider, the lack of headroom surprised me as well. I've been extrememly comfortable driving my 2002 Super Charged for the last three years, and couldn't figure out why I banged my head getting into the 2005 on the test ride... so I put them side by side and got in and out of both a few times.

    They raised the seat level!! Yupper... no idea why, but that's where the lack of entry room came from.
  • coolcomcoolcom Posts: 2
    I've loved driving my 2002 Xterra SC for the last three years (and had another before that). Sure it eats a little gas, but all round performance and versatility is top grade. (lacking in power? Try the SC five speed... that'll change your mind)

    So I was pretty excited about upgrading this year to the 2005 and went for a couple of test rides. Now I'm really bummed.

    PROS: Nice power plant, though I have no complaints with the old one. This one claims better mileage. Still a great unique body style... a little more squared this year. Back to a preferred emergency brake lever on the middle console (not under dash)

    CONS: No six speed manual in the SE (I was "converted" to a manual three years ago and I love it... you drive, not ride). No sunroof anymore. All plastic door panels (no more fabric inserts to add warmth). The stereo is now above the climate control so the sun totally obscures the dark brown on tan display (also due to the awkward mounting angle). The Rockford Fosgate stereo can't hold a candle to the past BOSE system, sub-woofer or not... it's very middy and harsh, and the sub is annoying under the driver seat. (I'll get my thrills other ways tks :-) The BOSE also has a fabulous system that prevents clipping distortion... I question the Fosgate power claims. They replaced the fabulous and easy to operate steering column mounted stereo and cruise control "meaty" buttons with horrible little "mini" multi-switches on the steering wheel face you struggle to identify. All the carpeting is gone from the rear... if I wanted a pick-up, I'd buy one. Now nothing stays put in the back, and it looks cheap. And as posted previously, the seat is higher making entry a head banger.

    NISSAN, what the heck did you do to my favorite SUV? You went cheap on the inside is what you did... I am so disappointed. I find it difficult to believe these are claimed "improvements" suggested by Xterra lovers. So now I wait for 2006 and continue to enjoy my 2002. (and still an incredible ride w/o a single rattle or squeak)
  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    I think Nissan wanted to separate the Xterra a little more from the Pathfinder. Sounds like you fell on the Pathfinder side of the divide, except for no 6-speed at all on the Pathfinder.

    Personally, I think the Xterra rocks in almost every way except looks. I like the steering wheel controls, the carpetless back, and I'm only 5'9", so I have no headroom problems. Add to that the locker, the ground clearance, the clutch interlock defeat, the VDC, the ABLS...nothing can touch it for all around capability on and off road for any price. At least until the Toyota FJ hits the market in another 18 months.
  • After reading messages by coolcom and scott, I just want to add another two cents to the discussion. For those of us who want the Xterra for pure off road use, we find the interior to our liking...easy to clean with no frills. In the fine dust of Utah, that's a blessing. Being 6'3" I find the seats great for looking over the hood, especially off road. For all around capability, as Scott say, I agree nothing can touch it. However, ABS is not a good thing for off road; you want those tires to dig in pushing dirt and rocks (and snow) ahead to make a stop. Rockcrawler has a good explanation of this in one of their articles. Plus, I do not like the Hill Descent Control or the VDC. I prefer to do all my own braking and vehicle control based on my ability to drive a car in all situations. The Hill Descent Control can certainly overheat brakes in bad situations (I want control in bad situations) and the VDC is a false sense of security and made for people who don't know how to drive (soccer moms). These things drive the cost of the vehicle up and in my opinion, are not something I even want on my car. Too bad you cannot order the Xterra without ABS, VDC, and HDC. That's why many people still prefer Jeeps; they give up the comfort for the driving ability and lack of technology under the premise of "leave the driving to us"!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,154
    Slanted more towards sedans but you might like this read:

    Stability Control: Either Save My Life or Stay Out of the Way (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    Well said. iconoclast. I can never understand the need for hill decent and accent controls, particularly with a auto trans. I went to a Jeep 101 once, over there I drove up and down very steep dirt pile and never had any sort of control problem at all. 1st gear and low range are all you need.
    Stability control is another gimmick that I dont need. Slow down is the only sure bet in bad road condition. Being a longtime software engineer myself, I know first hand that you dont want to push your luck with the stablilty control.
  • Thanks, Steve...interesting article. Having driven the ice and snow all my life in the Colorado mountains, I still do not want a car that takes the driving out of my hands. I think it far more important to teach people HOW to drive than to make vehicles that think for us. Anything technological in a vehicle is subject to error as are humans...I would rather it be my error than something mechanical, electrical, or computerized. As long as these things can be turned off at the driver's discretion, I have no problem. When it becomes mandatory and we have no choice, I become concerned. It's too bad our driver education courses in schools are nothing more than an avenue to get a license. I was trained to be an driving educator by the Texas Highway Patrol and what we went through I have never seen in any school program...it was tough an demanding putting the driver in all kinds of emergency situations. Too bad that kind of teaching doesn't exist in schools today.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,154
    I like the idea myself (not many of us have had any kind of demanding driver's ed in the States). If nothing else, maybe it'll keep someone else from crossing into my lane and tagging me.

    4rider has the right idea, but no one slows down either.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • edf100edf100 Posts: 4
    just picked up my new black 05 xterra today.got an s 4x4 model with auto and some other options.power is amazing and entire truck seems to be well built.cabin is pretty quiet and the only major complaint is that the stereo is horrible.got a great deal since my friend runs the dealership.even if i had to pay sticker of $25,980.00 the truck would have still been a good deal.
  • Does anyone know where I can get a grill guard for an 05 xterra? Any companies making them?
    Mine should arrive mid April.
    Won't know if it will have VDC until it gets here. Nissan says it will give me a credit if it doesn't. Anyone gotten a credit for this?

    Thanks
  • We all know the Jeeps are available with the Dana 44's and 30's and they are tough. Anyone know how tough the components are for the Xterra? Differentials and transfer cases?
  • txgregtxgreg Posts: 1
    I purchased the 2005 Xterra so I admit to having a bias. But, I absolutely love the new 265 HP V-6. It is powerful and has tremendous passing ability. I test drove several other vehicles, but for the money, nothing compared to the feel, look, and performance of the Nisaan.

    I appreciate your view of the 2005 shortcomings, but I found the vehicle to offer so much more than comparable vehicles. Very few vehicles in its class have the hardware, performance, or luxury and styling of the new Xterra. Good luck to everyone.
  • cmamacmama Posts: 1
    Was wondering if anyone has had probs with the a/c in their xterra. The year I bought mine (2002) I had the evaporator core and expansion valve replaced; this year I had to replace the line between the condensor and compressor due to a slow leak. Is this a common problem? I have not been able to find anyone else complain about this. Surely I can't be the only one!
  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    The rear diff on the 2005 *IS* a Dana 44. Some people think the old factory diff is better.

    I think it will be awhile before we know how tough the running gear is on the '05. It is all brand new.
  • scottlscottl Posts: 109
    The VDC can be turned off on the X, but ALB and traction control cannot.

    I have personally experienced the very bad characteristics of ALB. I live on a dirt road with a 20% grade on a switchback. On snowy days, I've had my WRX go over 150 feet with the brake pedal down and the ALB buzzing like mad. The car PICKS UP speed when this happens. I always end up aiming for a snowbank. My cars without ALB will stop by pushing up a berm of snow. We actually got rid of a Mazda minivan we had because the ALB were so dangerous on our road. If you look in your owner's manual, there should be a disclaimer about ALB being for control only, and that stopping distances will increase in some situations. It sucks. Manufacturers are afraid of lawsuits I'm sure, so there is no defeat switch, but usually one can be pretty easily wired in. I recognize that ALB is good in 99% of situations, but when you are picking up speed down a one lane road with absolutely no stopping power, that means nothing.

    Newer cars have a cutoff speed below which ALB doesn't work. I think I read on the X that it is 3 mph. Of course, once you are going 4 mph, all bets are off.
  • I agree with Scott 100% about the ALB systems. Having lived at 9000 feet in the Rockies and 32 miles from town (with 8 miles of gravel road descending 2000 feet), ALB almost cost our lives. Never had a problem with pickups, etc. that did not have the ALB because of the build up of snow in front of the tires; ALB prevents this and there were many close calls going off a 1000 ft. drop...put many a front end into the snow bank on the opposite side of the road. Jeeps are berated for not having ALB and yet they know the advantages in off road situations. Looks like the X and most all other bigger SUVs have given into the soccer mom driving schools. Glad to hear the rear end is a Dana 44 since it has a locking rear differential..it should be plenty strong under severe situations. Thanks for the info...
  • Can a locker be put in the front diff on an 05???

    I am interested in getting an 05 Off Road Xterra and wonder if a locker can be installed in the front differential??
  • miata007miata007 Posts: 129
    Last week, finally was able to check out the new Xterra. Because this is a hardcore SUV/truck I don't care much about the amount of plastics in the vehicle. Couple things that keep me from buying is the rear passenger doors and the interior room. The doors are very small and is difficult to get in/out without getting muds and dirts on my clothes. The second thing is the rear interior space. The sit angle is almost 90 degree and would ache my back for a long ride. I am using my old 92 Pathfinder for comparison. The old Path is great but it's got too much mileage and I am looking forward to replace it. For a lot of room, I probably consider the Pilot/MDX, or Titan extra cab(low price). I also checked out the new Path, it's cheap inside compare to a Pilot and the second row seat is not good at all in terms of space.
    It's too bad the Xterra doesn't work for me. I do like the rugged styling, high ground clearance, pwrful engine, 6 spd manual, and low low price. I am not sure how much budget I will have but if it's low I may get the base model Titan extra cab. In front, there are space for 3 and in the rear, it's surprisingly roomy. The Titan were on the ad for around $19000 before tax. That's a hard to beat value.

    007
  • Your probably right in your assessment...the X is not for you. That's why manufacturers offer so many choices; they try to fit all the niches of the various drivers. Jeep offers the Wrangler for true off-roading, the Liberty for town driving and occasional dirt roads, and the Grand for luxury and a little of both worlds. The X is made for those who do a lot of adventuring that requires the ability to go off road and carry tons of stuff. The very reasons you don't like the X are the reasons some of us do. In my case, the back seat would never see the butt of a human and would be in the fold down position 99% of the time. At least your wise enough to know it now and not be making payments for 5 years on something you dread driving daily. Good luck in your choices...it's so darned hard to find that vehicle that gives us everything in one package.
  • bcookbcook Posts: 4
    I WANT A 2005! Man, I have enjoyed watching the evolution of the Xterra over the past five years but this is the first time that I've just really wanted to change out! I've been driving a 2000 since 2000 and I love it but I also really dig the changes on the 2005. To the fellow above who bought a 2005 and said the stereo sounds terrible - is that the standard factory stereo or the Rockford/Fosgate? I know someone else went off on the Rockford before you but they also liked the Bose and I've never heard any Bose products that I thought sounded "good" compared to similarly priced systems. Then again most of my Bose experience has been with home systems and not car systems.

    brad cook
  • I'm not a Bose fan at all, home or vehicle, but it sure beats the sound system in the new X, factory or Rockford/Fosgate (my opinion). The sound is mushy, not crisp and clear. Luckily, I don't listen much when I'm off roading and have a great sound system in my Tahoe. Wouldn't let the stereo keep me from all the other great features of the '05, though.
  • bcookbcook Posts: 4
    Oh I wouldn't but I was just wanting to get more opinions on the Fosgate.

    brad cook
  • edf100edf100 Posts: 4
    the factory stereo is real junky,all the cars on the lot with the rockford system where much more expensive,so i guess i will have to put in my own system.as for the rest of the truck,it really kicks [non-permissible content removed]!and this is coming from someone who has owned over 65 different cars(about 25 suv's so far).ride is a bit bouncy at times,but it is really one of the best trucks i have owned for performance,quality,and price.
  • beach2ndbeach2nd Posts: 1
    Hi everyone I'm new to the forums and a new Xterra owner. I got a 2002 Xterra SE, but one thing I noticed is that in the manual it specifically states that playing a cd-r in the six disc changer is bad for the player and shouldn't be done. Will it really cause damage to the player if I play a cd-r? Thanks for the help.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    My wife and I saw the new Xterra and loved it. We love the basic interior. I have a pickup now and am torn between a pickup and an SUV. To us, an SUV with a simple wipe down interior seems like a good compromise. We also liked the Element for the same reason (both the Xterra and Element strike us as great dog cars, with the edge going to the Element because of the lower step in height) but I cannot do the Element because in my work I need a real 4wd. In any case, if I miss having a pickup, I can always buy a $500 utility trailer.

    I am 6' and could stand to lose a few pounds, but I thought seating front and back was roomy and comfortable. Even though the Xterra does not have the most cargo capacity in its class on paper, just like in my wife's Forester, I think a squared off box shape gives you more real world space and utility as compared to some of the swoopier designs that have more cubic feet but less utility.

    In my mind, the only competition in this size and price class is the Liberty and Sorento. While I like the Liberty (especially with the diesel in these days of high gas prices), there are issues with the cargo compartment. And my wife nixed buying a Kia, which I agree with as I am trying to break my habit of buying cars with high depreciation. In my mind, the Xterra is the last of the "real" SUVs, which is why I like it. Now if it only had a diesel...
  • mtlxmtlx Posts: 1
    I've owned my 2001 X since August of last year and I'm thinking about adding a S/C to the truck. Aside from bolting on the S/C what else would have to be done? reprogram the computor, larger injectors, higher flow gas pump? any info would be great
  • centflxcentflx Posts: 3
    Hey my XTerra brothers and sisters!! My wife has the 2001 Solar Yellow XE and I just purchased a 2004 Thermal Red XE. We absolutely love them, BUT what is with the Bumpers, grill, mudguards etc fading? I suppose this is more of a problem here in Florida due to the blazing sun, but I was wondering what, if anything can be done to protect my new one and restore my wifes 2001. I asked the dealer when I purchased mine, but all he could tell me was not to use armor-all, as it attracts the UV rays, not protect from them.
    Anybody have any answers out there?
    Thanks!! Rich :shades:
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