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Nissan XTerra SUV



  • I live in a sunshine state where I never see snow/ice. My wife and I enjoy our X-Terra 4x2 in this area, but we are thinking of skiing trip to Colorado. I was wondering if anyone of expertise could advise on how well the 4x2 (rear wheel drive) handles on roads where ice/snow may be present. Would anyone recommend taking this vehicle on a winter trip?
  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    so can a 4x2 X... you would just drive more securely in a 4x4. Add a little weight in the rear (sand bags etc) to gain extra traction, watch you foot on the gas and you should be fine. Maybe think about getting a set of chains.

    I only hit the 4WD in deep storms, or to help with ice, otherwise I can spend most of the winter in 2WD.. (but I do have proper winter tires)
  • I have driven a car all of my life while my friends drove trucks/suv's. I was so jealous since my interests mainly pertained to outdoor activities. After being a toyota salesman and swearing that I would only buy a 4Runner, I ran across a beautiful 02 Xterra SE 4X4 with the brush guards, hitch, .... fell in love with it and compulsively bought it. It is a heck of a deal- you get more than the 4Runner offers for about $5,000.00 less, the same warranty, and I believe that the quality is just as good or maybe even better. Upon buying the vehicle on 8/03/02, I haven't seen another like it- another thing I like given that 4Runners are everywhere, one exactly like the other beside it.

    I have been surprised with the little "extras" that I have found upon exploring the vehicle. The styling is awesome. The off-road capability is superb. It DOES turn heads. Unlike the competitors, this is truely a no-bs sport ute that is truely a capable truck and not a sissy car.

    I don't really have any complaints with the vehichle at all, but do with the service dept at the dealership which I purchased it from. It wasn't PDI'd. My AC didn't work sufficiently (bad compressor- had to replace it a week after the purchase), the alignment seems to be off, and there is some road noise (I believe this is the right term) through the audio system when it is turned on (a "whistle" upon accleration). I was wondering if anyone else had encountered similar problems. The gas mileage could be a little better, but is still decent for a heavy four wheel drive SUV. The low-end torque is great, but you do sacrifice power going up hill at interstate speeds.

    The only addition that I have made so far was a set of heavy duty deep rubber mats to replace the carpet floor mats- strongly reccomend them. I am wanting to get a basket for the top and was wondering if anyone had any resources or reccomendations concerning any other accessories. Sorry to tire your ear with my babbling, but I had to run my mouth about this thing!
  • Glad to hear you like your X! I love mine too (2001 SE Silver Ice 4x4) and have had no problems. The only upgrade that I think is a "must have" is the tires. Nissan puts crappy tires on their SUVs (general grabbers, BFG long trails, BFG rugged trails) and if you leave the pavement you will soon find that they are useless. My general grabbers were downright dangerous on wet pavement too. So after about 5K miles I ditched them and got a set of Yokohama Geolandar AT+II tires. What a difference. Another popular tire is the Pirelli Scorpion AT. Both are all-around true All Terrain tires, but manage to keep road noise to a minimum. BFG AT's are a great choice too. All of these tires greatly improve the X both on and off road. I guess to keep the cost down Nissan chose to use a cheap all pupose tire instead of a true AT tire.

    Once I got the tires squared away I've gone places that I would never have tried in my Cherokees or Chevys. The X is a great all purpose SUV that strikes the perfect balance between a
    9-5 commuter ride and a capable off-roader for the weekends. Of all the 4x4s I have had, this one does the best. The Cherokee flexed better (solid front axle), but was very unreliable and was like riding on an amusement park ride.
  • I have a squeal that comes for awhile then it leaves for awhile, then comes back for awhile then leaves for awhile. When i put the brakes on it goes away, sometimes for awhile sometimes only till i take my foot off the brakes, I was wondering if anyone could help me with this, I'm thinking it is the brakes, but i only have 34,000 miles on it and i'm not hard on brakes, or at least i didn't think i was. thanks
  • I have been reading over the "other side" and there is alot of talk about the Toyota SR5 4runner with a whopping new 245 hp V6 and the venerable, silky smooth V8 Tundra engine. All this at about the starting cost of 27k (around SC X price). This is not a direct competitor to the X in price, but in possible utility.

    Does anyone know when the 240 Horse VQ will make into the X? Will there be a cyclical re-design before then?
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    The inside fold-out is the new 4-Runner in all its glory. New V8 and Avalanche (GM) body lines. A little odd, but I'm sure it will grow. The motor alone is worth driving. If Nissan drops the VQ into the baby X....WOW, what a ride!!! There is a post somewhere a group of Nissan performance guys dropped the 240-horse monster into an X for the GOX can be done, the only question is will it be done. I hope Nissan would realize the runaway sales numbers this option could give them!
  • vmaturovmaturo Posts: 71
    That'll never happen. I'm sure ( considering what I've seen of the previous 4Runner stickers ) it'll be more like 32k to 44k.

    There is usually a huge difference from the published starting prices and the stickers you'll see at the dealer.

    And then when comparing two vehicles, I never compare the sticker price. I compare the price I would have to pay to purchase.
  • I know the differences between the 2 model years, I am just curious to see if anyone has actually driven both and could feel the 10hp difference or noticed any differences in the XE model that would warrant bypassing the hot deals offered on the 2002.

    My other question is this...does anyone know how difficult it is to obtain a manual transmission? I do dealer searches for the surrounding areas and it seems like no one stocks 5-speed, which I STRONGLY prefer. I am not sure how long of a wait I could expect if I ordered one with manual...does Nissan make only a very small percentage with manual?

  • calucykcalucyk Posts: 35
    I'm considering a 2003 Xterra s/c. Are there any typical problems I should know about? How is the 210 HP engine? It seems like it would have lots of low end torque, but how does it handle itself at 50 or 60 MPH?

    All feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks,
  • Just so you know you'll need to put Premium gas in the S/C model, which has worse gas mileage than the normal V6 engine, which itself is not a gas miser. Something to keep in mind.
  • We somehow managed to sratch the plastic dash of our Xterra, on and above the glove box. Any way to repair this or make less noticeable?
  • I've had lots of experience with Luggage Repair companies when I worked for an airline. I was amazed at the repairs they did to plastics. The way body shops repair cars they repair luggage. I've seen hundreds of pieces of the plastic moulded luggage and other types that were repaired. And done so well I could not tell.

    That's where I would go. Find the biggest luggage repair company in your area.
  • I love my 2000 Xterra. I just brought it in for it's 30K service to my mechanic. They found calcium deposit stains on the head gasket.They said this is normal. It is not. I took into dealer and they pressure tested it for 16 sec. and said there was no leak. So I took back to my mechanic and he put dye in the coolant. You can see the dye (it is a bright fluorescent color) and it is seeping from between the head gasket and block. The dealer doesn't want to admit there is a leak. I had to get consumer affairs involved and now the dealer really wants to fix. We'll see. Wondering if anyone else has had similar issue? You may want to keep an eye on this. I have heard it may be a recurring problem (defect) with the Xterra engines. ??
  • Don't give up! You can call your state "Bureau of Automotive Repair" and get them involved. They do not want to hear from these people!
  • dmf2dmf2 Posts: 5
    I think I bought a lemon. I bought my 01 Xterra in Nov 00. In Sept. 01 they had to replace my Cat Converter, in Oct 01 they had to replace a front exhaust tube, in April 02 they had to replace the intake manifold gasket, this past month they had to replace the Head Gasket, today I just got it back again because they had to replace all 4 spark plugs. This has become ridiculous. I only have 18,000 miles on the truck and for it to have this many problems worries me. I am looking into the Lemon Law, does anyone have any experience with the Lemon Law? Should I try to get Nissan to give me a refund or a new truck. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • Jeez! That is terrible. Did the dealer give you any problems agreeing to fix the problems with the intake manifold and head gasket? Was your head leaking coolant?
    As far as the lemon laws, each state has their own lemon laws. In your manual, you will see a section re: lemon laws for each state. Yes, there are "lemon" solutions. What state are you in?
  • dmf2dmf2 Posts: 5
    The dealer hadn't given me any problems with fixing the truck. Each time I asked for a rental car they said they don't do that. They had the truck for two weeks for each one (intake manifold and head gasket). Yes, the truck was leaking coolant. I noticed today while driving, after just getting it back from them yesterday that it still is not performing right. I live in Conneticut. All I know is the warranty is up Nov 03 and I am not keeping this truck. I don't believe it will ever be the same. I don't want to sell it and give some else these problems as I am sure it will continue. I would rather try something with the Lemon law first. The CT lemon law requires the problem to be 4 times, I was just wondering if the problems I've had would be serious enough for them to consider.
  • jcliffrojcliffro Posts: 108
    dmf2, if everyone had your personal code of ethics, the world would be a much better place. You are going through a lot of effort on this, but in refusing to push your problem off on someone else, you have strengthened, or at least maintained, your character and that is worth more than a brand new truck, even an SE S/C. So I thank you for sharing your problems with your Xterra and I sure as hell hope whoever hears your case in CT (if it comes to that) recognizes what you have been through and gives you the compensation you deserve. In my opinion, satisfying you by doing the right thing would be a lot more cost effective for Nissan than spending more money on advertising. Keep us informed on this. BTW, you mentioned that the dealer "changed all 4 spark plugs". Is your Xterra a 4-cylinder model?
  • dmf2dmf2 Posts: 5
    Thank you for the kind words. My Xterra is a 6-cylinder. My brother believes the problem is now the timing belt. He says when the head gasket goes, sometimes they need to adjust this and it looks like they didn't. I will be bringing it in again this week. As I mentioned before I just got it back again this week and I still feel something wrong when I step on the gas. My mistake, the invoice states they replaced all spark plugs. My lack of automotive knowledge made me assume there was four.
  • Thanks for the update on the Head Gasket! I have 2001 Xterra SE, bought new w/28,000 miles. I had my first brakes replaced at 9,000 miles, then again at 16,000, and the 3rd set at 24,000. Also rear door leaks, frame seems bent or off center-rides down a straight road crooked (to the right).Replaced sunroof, horn 4 times, carpeting in the front, and rubber run around the driver window (it still rattles).

    I too have an engine noise upon excelleration, and the catal-converter seems to be very loud.

    I have taken it into service 5 times in 13 months, and have contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs, NC Attorney Generals Office, and the BBB Autoline (which is required by NC). But beware--the Autoline and the Lemon Law are very different. Autoline will arbuitrate for you (with a neutral person), but replacement of a vehicle requires deductions for warrantys, taxes, interest, and mileage, which could just be "fair market value", which you could get just trading in. The Lemon Law, however, will replace and includ all interest from the first service, taxes, warranties paid for and any extras you may have incurred.

    I am awaiting an arbitration now, after a meeting with the GM of the Dealership(who states that these items are only cosmetic, and I do not have a fighting chance in h$%#). But, now I am determined, mainly because I never had 1 problem with the GM car I traded in that had 140,000 miles on it. I believe that my vehicle was made on a Friday afternoon at 4:30p.m.

    If anyone has dealt with an arbitration or the Lemon Law, I would like suggestions...thanks.
  • I bought an `02 Xterra XE (V6) with a 5-speed in October. So far everything has been fine. The only thing I'm finding a little peculiar is that in 5th gear, at highway speeds (~65 mph), the engine runs at 3000 rpm. At top gear I would expect it to run a bit lower. I asked the service manager at the dealer and he claimed that 3000 rpm at that speed is normal. I'm just curious to know if anyone else owns an Xterra (3.3L) with a 5 speed and experiences the same thing. I have a friend who owns a 2000 Xterra (V6) with an automatic transmission and her truck only seems to run at 2000 rpm at that speed. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • I just took my X in again (fourth time) today and because I went to Consumer Affairs and this is my fourth time, they gave me a rental car. They don't normally do this, but they do have a form called the "Goodwill" form for giving you a rental car for all your troubles. I think you did get a lemon. How did you realize your truck was leaking coolant? Puddles, or calcium deposit stains? I think your problems are definately serious enough for them to consider! Those are major problems!
  • I bought a 2002 Xterra in June. The vehicle pulls to the right. I can change lanes without even touching the wheel. If you hit the brakes and your hands aren't on the wheel, the wheel will turn sharply to the right. I was wondering if anyone else is having this problem. I have taken it to the garage 5 times and now am in the process of using the lemon law. I have spoken with other Xterra owners (at gas stations, etc) but could really use input on this from other Xterra owners. This is something I would like to print and bring with me to the arbitration. I have taken this vehicle to 3 other garages and have been told there is a steering, suspension or braking problem with the truck. Anyone else out there with the same problem. Everyone I spoke with who owns an Xterra claims to have a right pull problem.
  • My Xterra pulls slightly to the right. Not anything as bad as yours. Sounds like a bad alignment but I guess it's more than that. I will be going to get an alignment for mine soon. If it doesn't correct the problem, I will let you know.
  • To Holiday 3. Thanks for the information. Just for your info. There is a tech bulletin on the pulling. It didn't correct mine but it may correct yours. Tech bulletin #01-083. Good luck with yours.
  • My 02 Xterra pulled slightly to the right when I first got it. Nothing serious, but it was a little annoying after a few hundred miles. I brought it back and had an alignment done. It seems to still pull very slightly, but nothing that I'm worried about.
  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    You are running at the right rev's for a manual, AT's are geared differently and lower than manuals. About 500 less is a good guess if I remember right, I have already tested this on a road trip, pacing with a bud with an AT. Doesn't seem to effect MPG that much though.

    Nice to see this board active again.
  • Thanks for the information. Where do I find these tech bulletins?
  • I got the tech bulletin # from the Nissan Service Manager. I called Nissan to verify the #. Also, there is a website. I have it at home. I think it is called Alldata. You can verify the tech bulletin but you have to pay to get a copy of it from that site. Nissan and the dealerships will not give you a copy or let you see one. The tech bulletin for pulling actually started with the Nissan truck - Frontier - on the 2000 model.
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