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Looking at older compact SUVs, the Nissan Xterra is one of the most discussed models. The automaker made the off-roading SUV from 2000 until 2015. During that time, it gained a reputation for being both rugged and an excellent choice for buyers who wanted a straightforward SUV.

After being discontinued, many people question why it’s no longer in production. Because of this, there have been renewed calls for Nissan to revive the Xterra nameplate . Here’s why Nissan discontinued the Xterra in the first place and why it needs to bring it back. 

Why did Nissan discontinue the Xterra?

Unfortunately, like many vehicles, the Xterra experienced a decline in popularity in its later years. Still, the Xterra has a pretty long history. This is despite the SUV being one of the more modern options for buyers who engage in off-roading activities. Of course, the Xterra was never the most popular SUV on the market, but it sold well enough to be a success. 

According to The Truth About Cars, the Xterra’s sales declined 77% over a decade. Overall sales were only 16,505 in 2005. In addition, Nissan’s off-roading SUV only sold 69,714 between 2011 and 2014. The Xterra was the 23rd best-selling SUV in 2005.

By 2014, the SUV ranked as only the 61st best-selling option in the United States. The writing was on the wall.

The Nissan Xterra didn’t age well

The Nissan Xterra not keeping up with the times is a significant reason for its discontinuation. For one, the Xterra had a look that wasn’t as sporty as newer SUVs at the time. During the Xterra’s run on the market, crossover SUVs became all the rage.

Because of this, the Xterra seemed dated compared to those options. Of course, Nissan redesigned it for the 2005 model year, but those changes weren’t enough to keep up with a changing market. 

In addition to looks, the Xterra wasn’t as fuel-efficient as newer SUVs. Before the Xterra’s decline, customers didn’t buy SUVs for fuel efficiency. However, its competitors helped change the market, and people wanted both larger vehicles and to save money at the fuel pump. The EPA estimates that the 2015 model only gets 17 miles to the gallon. 

Nissan needs to bring back this off-roading SUV 

Car buyers have called for Nissan to bring back their favorite off-roading SUV. This desire for a new Xterra comes from a few places. For one, the new Nissan Frontier reminds SUV fans of the Xterra. The thought is that using the truck as inspiration would make building a new Xterra reasonably simple.

In addition, a 2024 reimaging of the SUV has made the rounds on the internet. Indeed, it looks how many would assume a brand new model would appear. It’s rugged, has a bold stance, and this reimaging looks perfect for off-roading. 

Nissan’s overall popularity as a brand has declined over the years due to increased competition. While there are no guarantees, bringing back the Xterra could be a recipe for success. Revamping old nameplates has worked in the case of the Ford Bronco.

Perhaps the public’s desire for a new model of its favorite Nissan off-roading SUV would translate into sales. With as much time that has passed, Nissan could easily make a fuel-efficient Xterra for the modern age of SUV buyers. 

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