The Nissan Xterra is a front-engine, 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive, five-door, five passenger, truck-based compact SUV manufactured and marketed by Nissan Motors from 1999–2015 across two generations; the first (1999–2004) sharing a platform as well as front bumper, hood, A-pillar, windshield and front doors with the Nissan Frontier pickup – and the second (2005–2015) also sharing its platform with the Frontier.
While the two Xterra generations differed significantly, both prioritized ruggedness and affordability over luxury and used body-on-frame construction along with underbody skid plates. Both generations also used a two-box design with c-pillar-mounted rear door handles, asymmetrical rear window, tailgate bump-out for a first aid kit accessible from inside – and a prominent two-tiered roof enabling stadium seating in the second row. The stepped roof accommodated a lower, front roof rack with a removable gear basket and a more conventional roof rack at the rear, upper roof.
Developed at Nissan Design America in La Jolla, California, the Xterra was the first Nissan vehicle completely conceived, developed and manufactured in the United States. According to Jerry Hirshberg, president of Nissan Design International, "the impetus for Xterra designers was to create an affordable, rugged, quality piece of equipment".Road & Track described the Xterra as "an honest SUV that doesn't try to be a luxury car alternative, nor tries to hide its truck underpinnings".Jalopnik called it a "knockoff of the Land Rover Discovery". The Washington Post described it as "rugged without bravado".
2002–04 XE: 1,872 mm (73.7 in) 2002–04 SE 4WD: 1,884 mm (74.2 in) 2002–04 SE 2WD:1,889 mm (74.4 in) 2002–04 S/C 4WD: 1,834 mm (72.2 in) 2002–04 SC 2WD: 1,877 mm (73.9 in) 2000–01 XE: 1,872 mm (73.7 in) 2000–01 SE 4WD: 1,879 mm (74.0 in) 2000–01 SE 2WD: 1,869 mm (73.6 in)
The Xterra was introduced in North America in the 2000 model year, using Everything you need, nothing you don't as its marketing tagline.
During the Xterra's first two years two trim level were offered, marketed as XE and SE.
The XE featured a 143 hp (107 kW) KA24DEI4, 5-speed manual transmission, and steel wheels and optional step rails and roof rack as well as several option packages combining the 170 horsepower 3.3 L VG33EV6 engine with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, as well as roof rack, side step-rails, sunroof, and carpeted floor mats. The SE featured standard equipment that was optional on an XE. All models featured removable, tab-secured rear seat cushions to accommodate a fold-flat rear seat back.
Canadian models from 1999 to 2004 were limited to the VG33E V6 engine with part-time 4WD.
2002–2004 Nissan Xterra
With the 1999 Xterra having been developed at Nissan Design America in California, all updates for the 2002 Xterra were executed at Nissan Technical Center-North America in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The faclifted model debuted at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show with revisions with prominently revised front-end styling with rounded headlights, heavily revised dash, center console, larger glove compartment, pullout rear cup holders and four interior power points, foot-operated pedal parking brake (vs. previous a dash-mounted pull-and-twist parking brake) — and an increase of 10 horsepower for the V6 engine.
The 3.3L VG33E V6 was upgraded to 180 hp (134 kW) at 4,800 rpm and 202 lb⋅ft (274 N⋅m) at 2,800 rpm, with the 210 hp (157 kW) superchargedVG33ER option carried over from the 2001 Nissan Frontier, producing 246 lb⋅ft (334 N⋅m) of torque for the automatic, and 231 lb⋅ft (313 N⋅m) of torque with 5-speed manual.
For 2003, options included side-curtain airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system. The 6-disc, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system was replaced by a 6-speaker 300W Rockford Fosgate AM/FM/CD audio system with an 8-inch subwoofer that took up a small portion of the rear storage area. The last of the model year 2004 Xterras were manufactured in January 2005.
The Xterra received a facelift for 2009 (July 2008 production) with more options and colors, leather seats on SE models, and roof mounted lights on off-road models. The last year of the Nissan Xterra in Mexico was 2008. In 2012, production was moved from Smyrna, Tennessee, to Nissan's facility in Canton, Mississippi.
Early US models include X, S and PRO-4X, with a choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmissions, a choice of part-time 4-wheel drive or 2-wheel drive.
Standard Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls and sunglass holder (overhead console) on all grade levels;
An updated NissanConnect with smartphone integration for iPhone and Android, allowing the user to connect with Pandora, iHeartRadio, Facebook and more. Capabilities include SiriusXM (subscription required, sold separately), streaming audio via Bluetooth, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and audio voice recognition.
New 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheel designs for the S and PRO-4X.
New HVAC controls and upgraded audio system added to X grade.
Heated front seats available on PRO-4X.
Silver paint on the grille and underguard.
The Xterra was discontinued in the U.S. after the 2015 model year. Poor fuel economy, declining sales, and mandated upgrades to safety and emissions were cited as reasons.
All Nissan-produced Xterras manufactured outside the U.S. were built in São José dos Pinhais, Brazil until 2007. (Nissan ceased Brazilian production entirely in 2007.) It is built under license by Pars Khodro in Iran as the Nissan Roniz, and in China by Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile as the (Japanese: Nissan Paladin) from 2003 to 2013. The Paladin uses the same chassis and running gear as the first generation Nissan Xterra, and the 2.4L KA24DE engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The front end is from the local Pickup. (The second generation Xterra model is only available in North America.) Other difference between the American Xterra and its Chinese counterparts is the parking brake actuator, a pedal with a pull-handle release in America, and a lever in China.
Dongfeng Motors produces a Chinese version of the Xterra called the Oting from 2007 to 2015. It is based on the first generation of the Xterra. It was available with the 2.4 litre 4G64 and 4G69 or a 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox.
In comparison to pricing, the Chinese market Nissan Paladin was priced at 159,800 to 244,800 RMB (25,264 to US$38,702) while the Oting was priced at 119,800 to 154,800 RMB (18,940 to US$24,473). Trim levels for the Paladin were called the 2WD S, 2WD C, 2WD L, 2WD E, 4WD S, 4WD C, 4WD L and 4WD E. Trim levels for the Oting were called the China III MT L, China III MT E, China III AT L, China IV MT L, China IV MT E, Diesel 2WD and the Diesel 4WD.
Dongfeng Oting with Nissan badge
Dongfeng Oting rear.
Following the Xterra's discontinuation from the U.S. market in 2015, Nissan began testing a Navara-based SUV. The Nissan Terra made its debut in Asia in early 2018.
^Paul Lienert (May 5, 2000). "Nissan Xterra". The Detroit News. In fact, the Xterra is the first Nissan product totally conceived, developed and built in the United States, and its American heritage shows.