A Used Nissan Xterra Can Be a Cheap Off-Roader

While it has not been sold in the United States since 2015, the Nissan Xterra was a quirky and off-road-oriented SUV. And today, it could be a candidate for your next 4×4 build. The second generation of this vehicle came with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that made 265 horsepower. And, the Xterra could be had with either an automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Nissan also provided this SUV with an array of off-road features. Plus, you can find one for under $20,000.

Should you buy the Nissan Xterra?

Because the Xterra SUV has been around for some time, most issues have been identified. And, overall, it is a reliable used car to buy. If you are shopping for an SUV that can handle off-roading or even overlanding, this Nissan is a solid option. And when you opt to buy used, you can avoid having to break the bank. 

According to Consumer Reports, the Nissan Xterra shared quite a bit of its DNA with the Nissan Frontier. It also borrowed some components from the previous generation of the Nissan Pathfinder. Because of this, the Xterra is a fairly rugged SUV with compact sizing. 

Can the Nissan Xterra go off-road?

In terms of off-road performance, even in stock form, the Nissan Xterra does a good job. For the second generation, both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive were available. And if you want to take your Nissan SUV on the road less traveled, you will likely want a 4WD model. The available manual transmission may also be something worth considering. 

A yellow Nissan Xterra demonstrates its off-road ability.
Nissan Xterra | NX1Z

The second-gen of the Xterra was sold from 2005 until 2015. By the end of its life, the Xterra had trouble keeping up with various regulations. But that does not mean you shouldn’t consider it for a 4×4 build. On off-road models, things like roof-mounted lights were featured. And, Nissan even included skid plates. 

There are plenty of noticeable differences between the first and second-generation Xterra. And if you can afford the newer option, it’s probably worth splurging on. 

Does Nissan still build the Xterra?

The Xterra might have been a vehicle ahead of its time because while it is no longer built, there are calls to bring it back. Today, plenty of buyers are looking for a truck-like SUV that is capable of handling rugged terrain. And that is exactly what the Xterra was. As overlanding and off-roading become more popular hobbies, buyers are interested in alternatives to things like the Jeep Wrangler. 

A Nissan SUV, the Xterra sits in a parking lot.
Nissan Xterra | IFCAR

In other markets, Nissan does sell an SUV known as the X-TERRA. It is certainly more luxurious than the Xterra of the past, it is still rugged. But, Nissan does not sell that model in the United States.

Nissan has just given the Frontier a major update. So the brand does recognize what folks are looking for. If Nissan did decide to introduce something like an updated Xterra in the U.S., it would undoubtedly catch the attention of those who enjoy the road less traveled. Hopefully, that winds up happening.

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