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Avg. Price Paid:$9,939 - $13,555
Original MSRP: $22,060 - $29,560
MPG: 16 City / 20 Hwy
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2008 Nissan Xterra Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Nissan Xterra was new.

Most reviewers agree the 2008 Nissan Xterra offers a comfortable cabin with plenty of room and practical features like easy-to-clean rubber mats. Automobile Magazine says it offers "everything you need and nothing you don't." Others, however, feel the interior is somewhat boring and utilitarian.

Kelley Blue Book calls the 2008 Nissan Xterra's interior "civilized." Most reviewers agree it offers a comfortable cabin with plenty of room and a good stereo, and all praise its easy-to-clean rubber mats. However, many also feel the interior is somewhat boring and dated. Motor Week calls says it has a "straightforward layout that should appeal to the no-nonsense active lifestyle crowd."

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Seating

The 2008 Xterra gets high marks for ample front and rear leg room, but the praise pretty much ends there. The Xterra's slightly larger wheelbase provides for what Edmunds calls "welcome shoulder room in both rows" and prompts AutoMall USA to call the vehicle "roomier than other SUVs in this price class." But CNET strongly disagrees, calling the Xterra an "example of the Tardis Effect in reverse: The car looks huge but isn't all that roomy inside."

Even the manually-adjustable lumbar supports can't compensate for poorly padded seats. "These were very uncomfortable seats, and any amount of adjustment didn't seem to be able to ease the discomfort," says The Auto Channel. Cars.com praises the padded arm rests on the doors but says the one between the seats is "placed too far back to be appreciated by shorter drivers." The same review warns that the center of the back seat is the worst place to sit: "Claim car sickness, barter using your MP3 player, promise to pay for gas, whatever it takes to avoid long distances with your butt in the middle." Others disagree. Edmunds says the Xterra has "enough room for five extreme athletes and their parachutes."

Drivers are treated to a great view thanks to the Xterra's height (the better to handle off-road obstacles). "On the road, however, sitting so high in the saddle makes you feel that St. Pete will appear in the rearview mirror at any moment," says the Chicago Tribune.

Raised rear seats also give passengers better visibility -- if they can get into the car. MSN complains that "narrow rear door openings hamper entry and exit." Cars.com says the front and rear doors open nice and wide, "but even so, rear seat passengers will surely get touchy feely with the wheel well, which takes a big bite out of the rear door frame."

Interior Features

The 2008 Nissan Xterra offers two glove boxes for extra storage, but takes a few hits for a dashboard sporting orange backlight and black and white gauges. Ward's AutoWorld calls it "spartan," and MSN says that gauges "look and feel plasticky." CNET takes it further, saying the instrument panel "looks boring and dated" and that "the plastic used seems durable and practical, but other materials would have been nice as accents to break up the monotony."

Reviewers overall felt controls were simple, easy to use and logically placed, although the Boston Globe complains that the rear window wiper control is mounted too low on the dashboard: "It's tough to see while driving." The same review says, "The one decent cubby in the dashboard was blocked by the transfer case lever, causing us to hit the hazard lights switch."

Those looking for some color in their life need to look elsewhere than the Xterra. Car and Driver says, "The blue seat inserts do little to liven the shades-of-black ambience," and the Boston Globe comments on "the overall grayness of the interior." The Associated Press says the "fuzzy-like" ceiling material looked "old-style." However, the Detroit News praised the seat fabric in the new Xterra off-road model, material that the company describes as 'space fabric': "It's a dimensional, industrial-looking webbed material. I wish it were waterproof."

As for standard equipment, Nissan has added some conveniences to the base model's list for 2008, according to Cars.com: "For the 2008 model year, power windows, locks and mirrors are newly standard, as are remote keyless entry, cruise control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an exterior temperature gauge and compass."

Stereo and Entertainment

The Xterra offers an eight-speaker, 380-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system, which CNET says "produces good, clear sound, even at high volumes while driving on the freeway." Edmunds disagrees, saying: "The overall tone of the system is somewhat mechanical; it just doesn't have a warm sound, at higher volumes the highs can hiss or squeak, the display is prone to washing out on bright, sunny days."

Drivers can manage power, volume, tuning and mode from steering wheel-mounted controls (standard on all models). The six-disc CD changer plays MP3s and shows ID3-track information with the touch of the display button. The Xterra does not offer Bluetooth functionality or an auxiliary jack, but Xterras with the six-disc CD changer will support an OEM interface for an iPod.

Cargo

MSN calls the Xterra "sort of a sports locker on wheels" given its versatile cargo area. Drivers enjoy 10 cargo hooks to help contain groceries and what Nissan calls "Utili-track," an adjustable channel system in the cargo floor to secure bike racks and other accessories or gear. There are also dual storage nets and a recessed cubby under the plastic cargo floor. Reviewers loved the hard plastic that covers the area, saying it's easy to clean, but Edmunds warns, that the material "is slick so anything that isn't strapped down goes sliding back and forth with every turn."

The Xterra offers fold-down rear seating for 65.7 cubic feet of cargo space, but the rear seat bottom still needs to be flipped up for the folded seatback to lay flat, a procedure MSN calls "pretty old." There's also an optional fold-flat front-passenger seatback to accommodate items up to eight feet long.

Extra accommodations include cupholders in the doors and in the center console (with removable inserts to hold various sized bottles). Rear seat passengers have access to two expandable beverage holders. The Xterra also offers a lined, overhead sunglass holder and a driver's-side seatback map pocket.

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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