Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The first-generation Nissan Xterra was, to be blunt, a passable product wrapped in a great idea. The Nissan Xterra is an SUV built on the Nissan F-Alpha platform by Nissan Motors. It is based off the Nissan Frontier pickup and is named after the XTERRA off-road triathlon race series that Nissan sponsored from 1998 to 2006. 

Available between 2000 and 2004, that original Xterra was built around the Frontier pickup's ladder frame-a dated platform comprised of C-section rails made from conventional steel-and came with an available V-6 engine that was not only down on power (even the new-for-2002 supercharged 3.3-liter SOHC 12-valve mill put out a middling 210 horses) but also about as refined as raw sugar.

Nissan built the Xterra for slow, deliberate off-roading, and the truck's relatively short wheelbase, solid approach and departure angles and decent break-over make for a happy little billy goat. Of course, I'm piloting a top-of-the-line PRO-4X, complete with the ultimately unnecessary luxury package. While I could do without the leather seats and premium audio, the trim does offer a spate of off-road goodies, including Bilstein dampers and a selectable locking rear differential. 

The Nissan Xterra now features an all-aluminum DOHC 24-valve V-6 and a version of the brand's stout F-Alpha platform, which utilizes stronger, fully boxed frame rails, many of which are made from higher-strength and lighter-weight steel, a move made to offset the new Xterra's higher weight. Our tester weighed 4456 pounds, 265 more pounds than a V-6 Xterra we tested in 2001.

For this generation, Nissan has created new trim levels: the entry-level S, the hard-core Off-Road, and the premium SE. Each comes standard with a potent 265-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 engine, two-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission. Optional are four-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic transmission. Best of all, Nissan says pricing will hover around current levels, which means a new S will start at $21,380, the Off-Road at $23,780, and the SE at $25,880; and add about $2000 to those prices for four-wheel drive.

Some of the new features a 2014 Nissan Xterra has are:

An updated NissanConnect with Navigation system with available NissanConnect Apps smartphone integration for iPhone and Android, allowing the user to connect with Pandora, iHeartRadio, Facebook and more.

To the new app integration, the NissanConnect with Navigation system's capabilities now include SiriusXM Traffic, SiriusXM Travel Link (fuel prices, movie times, stock updates and weather), SiriusXM Weather (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Streaming Audio via Bluetooth, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and audio voice recognition.

-New 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheel designs for the S and PRO-4X grades
standard Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls and sunglass holder (overhead console) on all grade levels;
push-type HVAC controls and upgraded audio system added to X grade;
addition of heated front seats on PRO-4X (standard cloth, available leather-appointed seats);
new Hyper Silver paint added for the grille and underguard.

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