2009 Nissan Xterra
|Also called||Nissan Paladin (China)
Nissan Roniz (Iran)
|Assembly||Smyrna, Tennessee (1999-2012)
Canton, Mississippi (2012-present)
São José dos Pinhais, Brazil (2003-07)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact SUV (1st generation)
Mid-size SUV (2005-present)
|Body style||5-door SUV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Successor||Nissan Rogue (Mexico)|
The Nissan Xterra is an SUV built on the Nissan F-Alpha platform by Nissan Motors. It is based off the Nissan Frontier pickup and is named after the XTERRA off-road triathlon race series that Nissan sponsored from 1998 to 2006.
The Xterra was introduced in North America in the 2000 model year (1999 calendar year) and marketed using the tagline Everything you need, nothing you don't.
Three distinguishing design cues have remained through every version of the Xterra: a distinctive raised rear roofline, a hump-backed rear gate, and unique rear door handles. The raised roof allows for stadium seating and the hump-backed gate provides room for a first aid kit. The rear door handles are installed on the "C" pillar as a Nissan design tradition that started with the 1990 Nissan Pathfinder. When the four-door Pathfinder was introduced in 1989, Nissan chose to conceal the door handles as a part of the "C" pillar trim to visually make it appear like a two-door truck with a camper shell, with conventional front door handles.
First generation (WD22)
|First Generation (WD22)|
|Production||May 1999–2004 (North America and Brazil)
1999-present (China and Iran)
|Designer||Diane Allen (1997)|
|Body and chassis|
2.8L TDI 4.07TCA 132 hp (98 kW) I4
2.8L TDI CRD 4.07TCE 140 hp (100 kW) I4
|Wheelbase||2,650 mm (104 in)|
|Length||4,522 mm (178.0 in)|
|Width||1,788 mm (70.4 in)|
|Height||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)
During its first two years there were three Xterra trim levels, two designated XE and the SE level with higher feature content..
The XE Xterra's were configured with several option packages combining the 170 horsepower 3.3 L VG33E V6 engine with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, as well as such features as roof rack, side step-rails, and carpeted floormats.
The SE was the premium trim level for the Xterra, offering almost everything available on an XE as standard. A flip-up sunroof and "SE" badging on the back set a fully optioned XE and SE apart.
Several minor options were available from the dealer, such as mudflaps, cargo liners, and in-cabin ventilation microfilters.
Xterra was freshened for 2002 (July 2001 production) with a redesigned dash and center console, improved powerplant, and new front end styling. The 3.3L VG33E V6 was upgraded to 180 hp (134 kW) and a 210 hp (157 kW) supercharged VG33ER option was carried over from the 2001 Nissan Frontier, with 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 new options became available, including side-curtain airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system. Audio systems were upgraded, the premium 6-disc, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD setup being replaced by a 6-speaker 300W Rockford Fosgate AM/FM/CD system with an 8-inch subwoofer that took up a small portion of the rear storage area.
Second generation (N50)
|Second generation (N50)|
|Body and chassis|
|Platform||Nissan F-Alpha platform|
|Engine||4.0 L VQ40DE 265 hp (198 kW) V6|
|Wheelbase||2,700 mm (110 in)|
|Length||4,539 mm (178.7 in)|
|Width||1,849 mm (72.8 in)|
|Height||1,902 mm (74.9 in)|
Unveiled at the 2004 New York International Auto Show in April 2004, the Xterra was redesigned for 2005 on the Nissan F-Alpha platform used by the Frontier, entering showrooms in mid-February 2005. Offering a rear differential locker on the off-road model, the new model is larger in all dimensions than its predecessor. Utilizing Nissan's variable valve timing fitted 4.0 L VQ40DE engine, it produces 261 hp (195 kW).
The Xterra received a facelift for 2009 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, as the larger-but-cheaper unibody Nissan Rogue replaced in the product lineup. Reasons why the Xterra stopped sales in Mexico was for Nissan to free up room for the 2009 Suzuki Equator at the Smyrna plant, and also because of Nissan building fewer Xterras due to declining sales in the United States and Canada. After that, the Xterra is now mutually exclusive with the unibody X-Trail sold outside the United States and Canada. However, the X-Trail was sold in Canada from 2005 to 2006 alongside the Xterra, but after the 2006 model year, Nissan replaced the X-Trail in Canada with the Rogue.
- An updated NissanConnect with Navigation system with available NissanConnect Apps smartphone integration for iPhone and Android, allowing the user to connect with Pandora, iHeartRadio, Facebook and more.
- To the new app integration, the NissanConnect with Navigation system's capabilities now include SiriusXM Traffic, SiriusXM Travel Link (fuel prices, movie times, stock updates and weather), SiriusXM Weather (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 grades
- standard Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls and sunglass holder (overhead console) on all grade levels;
- push-type HVAC controls and upgraded audio system added to X grade;
- addition of heated front seats on PRO-4X (standard cloth, available leather-appointed seats);
- new Hyper Silver paint added for the grille and underguard.
Awards and recognition
- 2000 Motor Trend's Sport Utility of the Year
- 2000 North American Truck of the Year
- 2000 New England Motor Press Association's Winter Vehicle Award of New England for Best in Class - Mini Sport Utility
- 2001 Named Top Car by AAA New Car and Truck Buying Guide
- 2005 Named on the Automobile Magazine's 50 Great New Cars list
- 2006 Nominated as North American Truck of the Year
- 2006 Motor Trend's Sport Utility of the Year
- 2006 Motor Trend's Truck Trend's Best Little-Guy SUV Award
- 2006 Car and Driver Rock-Hopper SUV Winner.
- 2006 4x4 of the Year award from Peterson's 4-Wheel and Off-Road magazine.
- 2006 Edmunds.com Editor's Most Wanted Vehicle
- 2009 4Wheeler Magazine's SUV of the Year
- 2010 Xterra received the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's highest Side-impact Safety Rating (five stars).
Production outside of North America
All Nissan-produced Xterras manufactured outside of 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) since 2003. 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.)
Dongfeng Motors produces a Chinese version of the Xterra called the Oting. It is based on the first generation of the Xterra.
- Zimmerman, Malia (November 15, 1998). "Nissan names SUV after Maui triathlon". Pacific Business News. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "2000–2004 Nissan Xterra: Safety". consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- 2014 Nissan Xterra Press Kit
- 2014 Nissan Frontier, Xterra Priced
- Rock-Hopper 2006 Competition Car and Driver.com, April, 2006. Accessed on June 11, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nissan X-Terra.|
- Nissan USA - Official American site
- Official site on Nissan China
- Xterra Firma - Nissan Xterra information site, reviews, articles, and forum
- A story of Nissan Paladin and the Chinese team in a 2005 long distance auto race (Dakar 2005) from this website: Nissan Motorsports website
|Nissan light truck timeline, North American market, 1980s–present|
|Compact MPV||Stanza Wagon/Multi||Axxess|
|Compact crossover||Rogue||Rogue Select|
|Pickup||Datsun Truck||Hardbody Truck||Frontier||Frontier|