Nissan counted on its off-road experience when it made the Xterra. It was built on the same chassis as the Frontier pickup and was related to the European Pathfinder. It aimed at the X-generation, hence the X in its name, and tried to convince its customers that it could deal with more rugged terrain than its competitors. But being related to a utility vehicle came with a similar steering system cost and being heavier than other compact-segment SUVs.
The revised Xterra received a new front fascia with a V-shaped grille similar to other Nissan vehicles. Yet, its round headlights in squared clusters looked odd for a car launched in 2001. The flared wheel-arches for both axles made room for big, 265/65R 17 tires for the SE version and 265/70R 16 for the rest of the range. A new, 48 mm (1.9") bulge on the hood made room for a supercharger for the most potent version.
Inside, the carmaker introduced a new instrument panel with three round dials with the speedometer in the middle and the tachometer on the left. At the same time, the right cluster featured the fuel level and coolant temperature gauges. In addition, the redesigned center stack sported a side map pocket, while the glove compartment grew by 25%.
But the most significant changes were under the hood, where the carmaker offered a choice of three engines ranged between 143 hp and 210 hp. The latter was a supercharged V-6 powerplant, and it was available with a five-speed manual gearbox. In addition, depending on the options, Nissan installed either an open or a limited-slip differential for the rear axle.
"Xterra" redirects here. For the competition, see XTERRA Triathlon.
Not to be confused with Nissan Terra.
"Nissan X-Terra" redirects here. For the SUV sold in the Middle East with the same name since 2020, see Nissan Terra.
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.
Nissan licensed the Xterra name from the XTERRAoff-road triathlon race series and manufactured the SUV at Nissan's Smyrna Assembly, as well as in Canton, Mississippi. Variants were also manufactured in Brazil and China.
Styled by NDI Director of Design Tom Semple and 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 (NDI), "the impetus for Xterra designers was to create an affordable, rugged, quality piece of equipment". He later described it as "a garage tool that says, 'treat me rough' -- it's designed to look better dirty than clean."
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".
First generation (WD22; 1999)
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 levels were offered, marketed as XE and SE.
The XE featured a 143 hp (107 kW) KA24DEI4, 5-speed manual transmission, and steel wheels 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 (rated for a load up to 125lbs), 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.
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 facelifted model debuted at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show prominently revised front-end styling with rounded headlights, revised instrument panel, 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 rear differential for all Xterras and Frontiers are H233B with a number of gear ratios offered in both limited slip and open configurations. The most common being 4.636:1 and 4.9:1. Early differentials has a flange style input to the pinion while late 2004 through the end of production had a Spicer yoke style input to the pinion.
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) Eaton M62 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 the front seats received additional adjustability with added lumbar support and in SE models the available 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.
Second generation (N50; 2005)
The second generation Xterra debuted at the New York International Auto Show in 2004 using Nissan's F-Alpha platform. Larger in all dimensions than its predecessor, it entered showrooms in early 2005 for the 2005 model year. The standard engine was upgraded to Nissan's 4.0 L VQ40DEvariable valve timing V6, producing 261 hp (195 kW). A rear differential locker was offered for off-roading.
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.
Awards and recognition
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
Following the Xterra's discontinuation from the U.S. market in 2015, Nissan began testing the D23 Navara-based SUV. The SUV, later named Terra, made its debut in Asia in early 2018, and the facelifted version was released in the Middle East in late 2020 under the "X-Terra" name.
|Calendar year||United States||Canada|
- ^ abc"2000 Nissan Xterra Press Kit: Overview". Nissannews.com.
- ^ abMark Glover (February 11, 2000). "Nissan sport-ute designed for what people do with the vehicle". The Sacramento Bee.
- ^"Nissan Xterra Used SUV Buyer's Guide". Autobytel.
- ^ abWarren Brown (May 9, 1999). "Nissan Xterra". The Washington Post.
- ^ abc"2002 Nissan Xterra Press Kit: Overview". Nissan-global.com. November 10, 2006.
- ^Paul Lienert (May 5, 2000). "Nissan Xterra". The Detroit News.
- ^Phil Pattron (June 30, 2000). "AUTOS ON FRIDAY: Design; A Last Chord From Nissan's Rocker-Designer-Spokesman". New York Times.
- ^"Media Talk About Nissan Xterra, Named 2000 North American Truck of the Year". Nissan-global.com. January 12, 2000.
- ^Andrew P. Collins (March 16, 2017). "A Nissan Xterra Is The Most Underrated Cheap 4x4 Right Now". Jalopnik.
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-12. Retrieved 2014-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2014-06-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^2014 Nissan Xterra Press Kit
- ^"2014 Nissan Frontier, Xterra Priced". Archived from the original on 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- ^"Nissan Xterra Discontinued in U.S." edmunds.com. 23 Feb 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- ^"Xtra! Xtra! Nissan Xterra Confirmed to Die After 2015 Model Year". caranddriver.com. 18 Aug 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- ^Timothy Cain (March 11, 2015). "The Numbers Behind The Nissan Xterra's Demise". The Truth About Cars.
- ^Rock-Hopper 2006 Competition Car and Driver.com, April, 2006. Accessed on June 11, 2007.
- ^ abc"Nissan Xterra Sales Figures". Good Car Bad Car. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
SE 4dr 4x4
2002 Nissan Xterra Specs
|Front head room||39 "|
|Rear head room||38 "|
|Front shoulder room||55 "|
|Rear shoulder room||54 "|
|Front hip room||52 "|
|Rear hip room||52 "|
|Front leg room||41.4 "|
|Rear leg room||32.8 "|
|Luggage capacity||44.5 cu.ft.|
|Maximum cargo capacity||65.6 cu.ft.|
|Body width||70.4 "|
|Body height||74.0 "|
|Ground clearance||8.4 "|
|Gross weight||5,200 lbs.|
|Fuel tank capacity||19.4 gal.|
|EPA mileage estimates||16 City / 18 Hwy|
|Base engine size||3.3 liters|
|Base engine type||V-6|
|Maximum towing capacity||3,500 lbs.|
|Turning radius||17.7 ''|
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Nissan engine 2002 xterra supercharged
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