in 2011 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $15,185 - $19,427
Original MSRP: $24,260 - $30,720
MPG: 16 City / 20 Hwy
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2011 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 praised the Nissan Xterra for offering plenty of room, a good stereo and easy-to-clean rubber mats. However, many deducted points for an interior that looks and feels dated. Still, test drivers noted that the Xterra’s interior is pretty typical for an off-road SUV. Plus, active people might appreciate the Xterra’s basic, easy-to-clean interior.

  • "The overall look is marred somewhat by a rather dull design and the predominant use of hard plastics. But the latter aren't really any worse than what's seen in its off-roading competitors. Should you be less interested in off-roading, any number of compact crossover models feature more comfortable and better-appointed cabins." -- Edmunds  


The 2011 Xterra gets high marks for ample front and rear legroom, but the praise pretty much ends there. Some found the seats uncomfortable, while others said entry and exit are difficult. Leather-appointed seats are standard on the high-end SE model only. 

  • "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
  • "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 -- including remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, two 12-volt power outlets and a tilt steering column.

  • "The Xterra's interior controls are easy to use and reach." -- Edmunds
  • "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


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

  • "The cargo area offers 35 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 66 cubes with the seats folded. All Xterras (except for the base X model) feature cargo areas that have an easy-to-clean floor, as well as sturdy utility hooks mounted to the sides of the floor and ceiling. An innovative channel-type locating system for securing bike racks and gear is also built into the floor." -- 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

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