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#17

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $23,660 - $31,640
Invoice: $22,673 - $29,973
MPG: 16 City / 22 Hwy
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Nissan Xterra Interior

Auto journalists report that the 2015 Nissan Xterra's cabin is constructed with lots of unappealing, hard plastics. Still, most reviewers agree that the Xterra’s interior is functional and its cabin materials are befitting of its brawny image. Test drivers also agree that taller drivers will have trouble finding a comfortable seating position. However, the Xterra has plenty of cargo space for the class, and reviewers like its handy storage features.

  • "Furthermore, it's got a simple yet functional interior with nifty storage features, and passengers and cargo alike get plenty of space." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2015 Nissan Xterra isn't luxurious, but instead the simple design and straightforward layout emphasize ease of use and utility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "One of the places where the Xterra shows its age is inside, where there are hard, cheaply-grained plastics instead of the soft-touch materials found in many competitors." -- Left Lane News
  • "The interior decor matches Xterra's utilitarian aims, perhaps too much. The dashboard is awash in hard plastic panels that look especially cut-rate." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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Seating

The Nissan Xterra seats five and comes standard with cloth seats and a tilt-only steering wheel. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are available. Test drivers agree that the Xterra’s low seating position and lack of a telescoping steering wheel make it difficult for taller drivers to find a comfortable position. Some also point out that the seats aren’t very comfortable for long-distance driving. However, reviewers say there’s good headroom and legroom for adults in both rows.

  • "The driving position is uncomfortable for tall drivers; the seats are small, short, firm and low in the cabin." -- AutoTrader
  • "The high roof and theater-style raised rear seats provide good headroom and an impressive view out, important when you're bobbing down an off-road trail. … Unfortunately, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel makes it hard for some drivers find a sweet spot." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The X trim's lack of a height-adjustable driver seat is disappointing, and a tilt-only steering wheel across the lineup can make it harder to find a comfortable driving position. While there's ample room for four adults in the Xterra's two airy rows, most car-based crossover SUVs offer nicer accommodations. …” -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2012)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2015 Nissan Xterra include a six-speaker stereo, cruise control and Bluetooth. Options include a USB port, an eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo system, a rearview camera and a NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation, a 5.8-inch touch screen and smartphone app integration.

Most reviewers agree that the 2015 Xterra’s interior is functional, with simple audio and climate controls that are easy to reach. However, a few critics say the Xterra’s controls aren’t clearly marked and the lack of backlighting makes them hard to see.

See 2015 Nissan Xterra specs »

  • "Upscale it isn't, but the cabin's controls are easy to use and logically arranged, and there's a simplicity and honesty to the overall design that fits well with the SUV's old-school feel." -- Left Lane News
  • "Buttons and knobs are easy to use, but the dash is rather plain and utilitarian." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "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 back lighting either, so the controls are practically useless unless you've memorized their functions." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Cargo

The 2015 Xterra has 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 65.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is a good amount of cargo space for the class. Reviewers agree that there’s plenty of space for storing large items. They also like the Xterra’s convenient features, which include an under-floor compartment, easy-to-clean surfaces and rear bumper steps that make it easy to get to the roof rack.

  • "Other nifty touches include an under-floor storage area for stashing extra gear, ‘Easy-Clean’ cargo area surfaces and a roof rack built from construction-grade aluminum that's capable of carrying up to 150 pounds. Even better, the rack is easily accessible thanks to side steps located in the rear bumper." -- Left Lane News
  • "While the roof and doors may not come off, the Nissan Xterra still boasts a flexible interior. Big enough inside to accommodate bikes, snowboards, a furry companion - either your dog or roommate - it's further enhanced with accessories such as a hatch tent and pet divider." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "When it comes to hauling gear instead of people, the Xterra shines with a versatile cargo hold that has a storage box under the load floor for items like a first-aid kit. Nissan actually gives you a first-aid kit in the S and Pro-4X, and these trims also boast an Easy Clean cargo area with handy tie-down cleats and ceiling hooks, along with optional sliding cargo-net dividers that utilize the floor's built-in tracks." -- Edmunds
Review Last Updated: 12/2/14

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