Nissan Xterra Review
The 2013 Nissan Xterra ranks 18 out of 22 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Xterra, as well as reliability and safety data.
Critics say the 2013 Nissan Xterra is a capable off-roader with decent on-road handling. However, many of its crossover competitors offer better handling on pavement and nicer interiors.
The 2013 Nissan Xterra has a V6 engine that most critics say provides strong acceleration on pavement and enough power to crawl around obstacles off-road. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, and one reviewer says it’s responsive. According to the EPA, the Nissan Xterra gets up to 16/22 mpg city/highway, which is poor for the class. Some auto writers think the Xterra has good on-pavement handling, but others say it suffers from a bouncy, jittery ride. Test drivers write that the Xterra has very good off-road capabilities. The PRO-4X offers the most off-road features, but a couple critics think the PRO-4X trim has a harsher ride than other Xterra trims.
Reviewers agree that the 2013 Nissan Xterra’s interior has lots of hard plastic panels. One test driver says this makes it easy to clean, but another thinks it feels cheap. Most test drivers say the Xterra provides good head- and legroom in the front and rear seats. However, critics say that the Xterra’s height and narrow rear door openings make it difficult to climb into. The Xterra provides more cargo features than most SUVs. Reviewers like the multiple tie-down points and the flexibility of the cargo area. Overall, automotive journalists find the Xterra's controls simple and logically-placed. The 2013 Nissan Xterra comes standard with remote keyless entry, cruise control and a six-speaker radio/CD player. Available features include NissanConnect (Nissan’s infotainment system), a 5.8-inch touch-screen display, navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a backup camera, USB and auxiliary jacks, satellite radio and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system.
- "If you want an SUV that serves as a comfortable commuter or has the latest safety and tech features, look instead to a road-oriented crossover like the Honda CRV, Ford Escape or Kia Sorento. But if you're among the hardy types who desire a rugged, few-frills SUV that's happy in the rough, the Nissan Xterra is an appealing option with a starting price that undercuts the 5-passenger Wrangler Unlimited and Toyota's FJ Cruiser." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Even though the 2013 Nissan Xterra doesn't have the funky styling or legendary brand name of its off-road-ready SUV competitors, it's still plenty capable in the dirt and a lot easier to live with in everyday driving." -- Edmunds
- "Its off-road orientation accounts for subpar ride comfort, and its backwoods-ready avoidance of luxury touches makes it seem relatively unrefined. Indeed, its main appeal is that rugged demeanor, cargo versatility, and youthful attitude." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
Other SUVs to Consider
Critics say the Jeep Wrangler is a fun off-roader with a powerful V6 engine and a no-frills interior. Unlike the Xterra, the Wrangler has a removable top, so drivers and passengers can get even closer to the great outdoors.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is another trail-oriented SUV. Reviewers say it has comfortable seats and a durable interior, and the FJ Cruiser comes with more standard features than the Xterra, including USB and auxiliary inputs, satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Details: 2013 Nissan Xterra
The 2013 Nissan Xterra seats five and has a 4.0-liter V6 engine. Rear-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic transmission are standard. Four-wheel drive is optional, and comes with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2013 Xterra comes in three trims: X, S and PRO-4X. The Xterra’s last redesign was in 2006, and it sees minor changes for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2007 to 2013.
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