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#17

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $23,110 - $31,090
Invoice: $22,147 - $29,452
MPG: 16 City / 22 Hwy
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Nissan Xterra Interior

Reviewers say that the 2014 Nissan Xterra's cabin is constructed with lots of hard plastics that don't look very pleasing, though some note that the interior materials are durable and easy to clean. However, one reviewer noticed some undue rattles and squeaks in his test vehicle.

  • "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
  • "Like the rest of the vehicle, the interior of the 2013 Nissan Xterra has a rough-n-ready vibe. There are lots of hard plastic surfaces which, in a vehicle like this, are actually something of a positive, as it makes everything easier to clean after a long day on the trail." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "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 (2012)

Seating

The Xterra seats five and comes standard with cloth seats. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are optional. Some reviewers say the Xterra's seats are supportive and comfortable, while others prefer seats with more side bolstering. Reviewers also say forward visibility is good, but a few write that the design of the roof impedes rearward visibility. Reviewers report that there is plenty of space for rear passengers and headroom is ample. Some critics mention that the Xterra's narrow rear door openings make it difficult to get in and out of the back seat.

  • "In addition to its ability to secure a lot of gear, the 2014 Xterra's roomy cabin easily accommodates people. The tall roof and theater-style raised rear seats provide good headroom and an impressive view out. The Xterra's seats are comfortable and supportive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2013)
  • "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. Visibility is hampered by the rear roof styling and wide-base windshield pillars. Step-in is high without the available running boards." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Interior Features

Standard features on the 2014 Nissan Xterra include a six-speaker stereo system and Bluetooth. Options include a USB port, an eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo system, a NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation and smartphone app integration, satellite radio and a backup camera.

Test drivers report the Xterra's buttons and knobs for climate and audio adjustments are simple, logically arranged and easy to reach and use, though some critics note that the redundant steering wheel-mounted controls are difficult to read. They mention that the simplistic dash design is befitting the Xterra's rugged image, but some note that some modern car-based SUVs offer a more extensive list of available features.

See full 2014 Nissan Xterra specs »

  • "Buttons and knobs are easy to use, but the dash is rather plain and utilitarian." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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
  • "Everything else shows a similarly practical bent, with straightforward gauges and controls. While everything is perfectly serviceable here, keep in mind that most car-based crossover SUVs will offer nicer accommodations along with a more extensive list of creature comforts." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "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 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 competitive among two-row SUVs in the class. Test drivers say the Xterra has plenty of space for large and bulky items like surf boards, and that an optional flat-folding front passenger seat adds to the Xterra's utility. Auto journalists write that the roof-mounted cargo basket is a convenient way to keep dirty items out of the cab, and they like the rear bumper-mounted steps, which make it easier to access the roof and roof rack.

  • "An available ‘Utili-track Cargo Channel System’ maximizes interior flexibility by adding two channels in the ceiling and two in the floor, both with eight adjustable sliding cleats that can be used to secure cargo in place. 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
  • "The Xterra is good at hauling stuff, from surfboards and bikes to man's best friend. With 10 cargo hooks, a fold-flat front passenger seat, Utili-track cargo system and available accessories that include a pet divider and hatch tent, versatility is the name of game." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • " The standard fold-flat front passenger seat on Pro-4X models makes it possible to squeeze in long items with the rear liftgate closed, and oversize or muddy gear can be toted up on top with the beefy roof rack and gear basket." -- Edmunds (2013)
Review Last Updated: 3/31/14

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