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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2010 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 the Nissan Xterra offers plenty of room, a good stereo and easy-to-clean rubber mats that everyone praises. Still, many also feel the interior looks and feels dated. If you plan on spending a lot of time commuting, the Xterra isn't the most pampering option. The Suzuki Grand Vitara and Kia Borrego are off-roaders that have higher standards when it comes to interior quality and style.

  • "The thick and boxy design theme is carried over into the interior, but unfortunately the cheap, hard plastics detract from an otherwise successful execution. When calling upon the rear differential lock for an off-road climb, the flimsy, plastic switch bracket snapped, allowing the switch to be pushed deep into the panel." -- Edmunds  


The 2010 Xterra gets high marks for ample front and rear leg room, but the praise pretty much ends there. Some find the seats uncomfortable, while others find entry and exit difficult. Leather-appointed seats are standard on the high-end SE model only. The Suzuki Grand Vitara and Kia Borrego provide off-road capabilities with more comfortable seats.

  • "Xterra has good headroom and legroom, though some tall drivers may feel too close to the steering wheel. The 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
  • "Because of the Xterra Off Road's taller ride height, climbing in and out of the cabin may be inconvenient for shorter passengers. The rear seats prove even harder to gain access to, due to the rear wheelwell intruding on an already narrow door and an awkward vertical door handle. Once you're seated, however, the rear cabin offers a decent amount of comfort, legroom and headroom for adults, though the seatbacks seem a bit too upright." -- Edmunds  
  • "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 car looks huge but isn't all that roomy inside. The backseat in particular is small and cramped, and it offers little legroom. Front-passenger seats have decent support and are large enough to accommodate most adults but offer a limited amount of adjustability." -- CNET

Interior Features

Overall, reviewers find the Xterra's controls simple and logically placed. However, those who want a colorful, slick cabin should look elsewhere. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, while pricier than the Xterra, boasts a higher quality cabin. Still, the Xterra's features are impressive for such an affordable vehicle and include remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, two 12-volt power outlets and a tilt steering column. An interface system for iPods is available for $270 on higher-end models only.

  • "Though high-set, the audio controls are easy to reach. The climate controls are slightly recessed into the center dashboard stack but aren't difficult to decipher. 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 utilitarian and somewhat primitive control layout makes for fairly easy operation -- the only time we had to consult the manual was in regard to the off-road features." -- Edmunds  


The Xterra shines for its versatile cargo capacity. It provides 65.7 cubic feet with the second row folded down and 36.3 cubic feet with all seats in use. It also provides more cargo features than most SUVs. These include luggage side nets, four ceiling hooks and two side hooks and under-floor cargo area storage. All but the base model also include an Easy Clean cargo area and an Utili-track Cargo Channel System with four adjustable cleats.

  • "Cargo space is large and versatile with a maximum capacity of 65.7 cubic feet, but while the plastic surfaces are easy to clean and allow objects to slide freely, they also show loading scars far too easily. Fortunately, our Xterra was also equipped with plenty of sturdy steel utility hooks and a version of Nissan's Utilitrack cargo channel system that can quickly be configured to secure any load." -- Edmunds  
  • "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. A stepped rear bumper provides access to the standard roof rack. The cabin has useful small-item storage." -- 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

Next Steps: 2010 Nissan Xterra

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