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Long term Classic: 2000-2004 Nissan Xterra


Mar 2, 2023
Future Classic: 2000-2004 Nissan Xterra

Nissan presents a vast selection of crossovers and SUVs these times, but none of ’em are what we might simply call amazing. Yeah, guaranteed, a Pathfinder Rock Creek is rugged-ish and will seem neat parked upcoming to a melting snowbank in the shopping mall parking good deal, but it is not the form of SUV you would truly conquer up and get muddy. Even the whole-size Armada is geared more toward tarmac than trails.

That is why we are going to often have a gentle location for the Nissan Xterra. Made available from 2000 to 2015, the Xterra’s system-on-frame architecture and midsize pickup underpinnings manufactured it a formidable off-roader though its boxy style and purposeful functions aided it stand out. It experienced the similar use-me-and-abuse-me mindset of a Jeep Wrangler but did not feel as spartan inside.

No offense to the 2nd-technology Nissan Xterra – which was bought from 2005 right up until the SUV’s dying in 2015 – but it is really the past, 2000-2004 product that we’ll concentration on right here. Frankly, the very first-gen Xterra is the one particular most people today recall and the edition we usually appreciated finest (and it really is the one that Nissan drove out of the “world’s most significant backpack,” as you can expect to see down below). It is also the just one offered for the duration of a time when the Xterra genuinely felt like an vital section of Nissan’s lineup most of the second-gen SUVs were just neglected carryover models.

Why is the Nissan Xterra a potential classic?

Penned at Nissan’s studio in Southern California, the Xterra was designed with features in brain. Its two-tier roof authorized for stadium seating in the next row and it manufactured it so the standard roof rails could accommodate a detachable lessen basket in between the A and B pillars. The rear door handles have been mounted on the C pillars and the rear window was asymmetrical, and don’t overlook about the notable bulge on the driver’s facet of the tailgate, which is exactly where Nissan place a very first support package. The Xterra often shared its entrance fascia with the Frontier pickup truck, and in 2002, the SUV gained a new schnoz with round headlights and a smoothed-out front bumper.

All through its existence, the Xterra’s foundation engine was a 2.4-liter in a natural way aspirated inline-4 with 143 horsepower, while you could also step up to a 3.3-liter V6, which developed 170 hp in the beginning but was upgraded to 180 hp in 2003. A five-speed guide transmission was common throughout the board, however V6 styles could be experienced with a 4-speed automatic. If you needed 4-wheel drive – and you did – you had to get the V6.

What is the perfect illustration of the Nissan Xterra?

This is wherever we’re torn. When we certainly want the styling of the 2000 and 2001 styles, the 2002 Xterra was obtainable with a supercharged 3.3-liter V6 engine, producing 210 hp and possibly 231 or 246 pound-feet of torque, based on if you obtained the five-velocity guide (231 lb-ft) or four-velocity automated (246 lb-ft) transmission. Regardless of the gearbox, you could get the supercharged Xterra with two- or four-wheel drive.

Interestingly, the supercharged/manual combination was dropped for 2003, so in spite of our styling choices, a 2002 Xterra with this powertrain and 4-wheel push is fully the way to go. In yellow, certainly.

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Are there any excellent options to the Nissan Xterra?

The first Xterra competed in the coronary heart of the midsize SUV sector, battling everything from the Chevrolet Blazer to the Jeep Cherokee and Liberty. But arguably the Xterra’s stiffest competitors arrived from the Toyota 4Runner, an SUV that – regardless of rather nominal alterations – even now troopers on right now.

Offered the 4Runner’s loyal lover foundation and America’s powerful appetite for off-road SUVs, could a new Xterra centered on the up to date Frontier rekindle Nissan’s flame in this phase? We’ve listened to rumors suggesting as substantially. But until finally one thing definite comes to fruition, we’ll consider a 1st-gen to our beloved trails any working day.

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