in 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $11,403 - $15,487
Original MSRP: $22,310 - $29,340
MPG: 16 City / 20 Hwy
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2009 Nissan Xterra Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Most reviewers agree that the 2009 Nissan Xterra offers a comfortable cabin with plenty of room and a good stereo. All praise its easy-to-clean rubber mats. However, many reviewers feel the interior is dated.

  • "The interior decor matches Xterra's utilitarian aims, perhaps too much. The dashboard is awash in hard plastic panels that look especially cut-rate. One test model suffered rattling front-door windows and an irritating squeak from the cargo area." -- Consumer Guide
  • "A clean and purposeful interior features dual stacked glove compartments, multiple 12-volt outlets and a versatile cargo area." -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2009 Xterra gets high marks for ample front and rear legroom, but the praise pretty much ends there.

  • "Good headroom and legroom, though some tall drivers may feel too close to the steering wheel. The [front] seats need more side bolstering to hold passengers in place through turns. They could also use a bit more padding for optimal long-distance comfort." -- Consumer Guide
  • "It requires extra effort to climb in the tall Xterra, and the side steps are too narrow to be helpful to those with large shoe sizes, especially when slippery. Narrow rear door openings also hamper entry -- and exit." -- MSN
  • "The longer wheelbase makes for more front and rear legroom, while the additional height and width have added headroom and welcome shoulder room in both rows. The extra space gives the interior a spacious feel and there's enough room for five extreme athletes and their parachutes." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Overall, reviewers find the Xterra's controls simple and logically placed. However, those looking for a colorful, slick cabin should look elsewhere.

  • "The steering wheel cruise and radio controls have tiny black markings on a gray background, rendering them nearly unreadable in most lighting conditions. They have no nighttime backlighting either, so the controls are practically useless unless you've memorized their functions." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The overall tone of the [optional Rockford Fosgate stereo] 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." -- Edmunds


The Xterra shines for its versatile cargo area. Drivers enjoy 10 cargo hooks to help contain groceries along with an adjustable channel system in the cargo floor to secure bike racks and other gear. There are also dual storage nets and a recessed cubby under the plastic cargo floor.

  • "Good space becomes generous with the rear seats folded. Available fold-flat right-front seat allows carrying objects up to 9 feet long. The lack of opening tailgate glass is a minus, but a low load lip and 12 cargo-bay hooks enhance utility. The plastic load floor is good for accepting dirty cargo, but items tend to shift rather easily back there." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Extreme active lifestyle people single out the Xterra because it's sort of a sports locker on wheels, with such items as cubbies, nets and a roof-mounted storage compartment for wet, dirty clothes. Rear side bumper steps allow easier access to that compartment." -- MSN
  • "Dual gloveboxes and a larger center console give you plenty of space for junk up front. But like the cargo area, the space ahead of the shifter is slick and will send your cell phone flying the first time you make a quick stop." -- Edmunds

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