in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $12,551 - $18,452
Original MSRP: $22,750 - $30,700
MPG: 16 City / 20 Hwy
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Used Car: 2010 Nissan Xterra Review

Review Last Updated: 7/26/12

If you’re looking for an off-road vehicle, the 2010 Nissan Xterra is one of the few 2010 compact SUVs that will fit the bill. However, the Xterra’s truck-like performance, poor fuel economy and basic interior make it less refined than competing car-based crossovers.

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is ranked:

The 2010 Nissan Xterra is a great off-roader, but its on-road performance simply can’t compete with car-based crossovers in the class, like the 2010 Honda CR-V. Still, if you need go-anywhere capability, reviewers felt that the Xterra was one of the better performers in the class. When it was new, test drivers liked the Xterra’s power and acceleration from a stop, but some took issue with its passing ability.

The Xterra’s V6 engine is more powerful than those found in many competing SUVs. However, with up to 16/20 mpg city/highway, the Xterra trails most of the competition when it comes to fuel economy. Also, most reviewers agreed that because the Xterra is a truck-based SUV, its on-road handling is rough with significant body lean, so it is best when traveling off-road. The Xterra also has below-average safety and reliability ratings for the class.

The Xterra’s interior was mostly panned by auto reviewers because of its cheap materials and uncomfortable seats. The Xterra has plenty of space for passengers and their gear, but if you’re planning on spending a lot of time commuting, the Xterra’s cabin won’t pamper you. Auto critics noted that the seats lack bolstering in the front and cushioning in the back. However, test drivers liked the versatile cargo space that has an available washable floor mat.

Roof rails, cruise control, keyless entry and a six-speaker stereo come standard on the base Xterra X. Higher trim levels add enhancements that can make the Xterra more capable off-road, as well as features like foglights, Bluetooth, satellite radio and an upgraded stereo.

See the full 2010 Nissan Xterra specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking at the Xterra, the 2010 Jeep Wrangler is also worth a look because of its excellent off-road performance. Much like the Xterra, the Wrangler has a choppy ride that isn’t suited for on-road driving, but is one of the best off-road SUVs on the market. Both vehicles get comparable fuel economy, but the Xterra has a more powerful engine and a slightly better reliability rating.

While the Xterra may suit drivers who travel off the beaten path, the 2010 GMC Terrain is a better choice for those who stick to paved roads. The Terrain offers excellent safety scores, great fuel economy and a better reliability rating than the Xterra. While the Terrain’s base engine is smaller than the Xterra’s, it offers a car-like ride and a refined interior that the Xterra can’t match.

Compare the Xterra to the Wrangler and Terrain »

Next Steps: 2010 Nissan Xterra

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