Nissan Xterra Reviews & Ratings

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Nissan Xterra (35 Reviews)
I hate this damn vehicle I would rather push my 26 year old ford oh that's right its never left me along side the road less the time I let it run out of fuel
First, if you have one, go to the dealer and get all of the recall work done immediately.I had a 2003 that I bought with 17,000 mi. Great SUV when properly maintained. LOVED it. The steering broke (a recall problem), causing a wreck which broke the frame. Nissan wouldn't pay. Big surprise! (It now has 106,000 mi, and is still parked in driveway).

I loved it so much that I just bought another 2003 Xterra with 93,000 mi. The "new" one got 10 miles and needed 2 oxygen sensors ($550) and needs a Knock sensor (estimate of $600). Mechanic says it can wait. The one I just bought had one owner, but no wrecks. My mechanic says it has had the front repainted, so don't count on Auto Check or CarMax for real info. Take a used car into your mechanic and have him check it. I knew better, but based my experience on my earlier car to judge the quality of the new one-big mistake. My question: Is there any economical way to use parts from my old Nissan, which is mechanically wonderful, on the one I just bought? I don't know a "Shade Tree Mechanic" to pull parts for the one in need. Any suggestions? The junkyard will only give me $500 for my wrecked one.
I bought my 2004 Xterra from the first owner. It's been reliable. Problems I have experienced are common for the vehicle. I live inner city. From time to time in the winter I get a check engine light.Scanning showed a loose gas cap.Locking gas cap does not keep people from siphoning gas.If electrical comes on but car refuses to start then move shift lever with the brake depressed and reposition into park. The lock out switches on this version are touchy.I have less than 100kmiles and already have had to replace the alternator, and rear springs. That dual catalytic converter replacement is going to be spendy and mine is on the way out.If they go through calipers frequently make sure to buy a pre-loaded caliper and a must do is to change out the rotors at the same time.Bad rotors will wear out brake pads and calipers very fast.My most recent problem is the dash lights went out as well as the tail lights. Nissan wants a grand to rip my dash apart to change the harness.I am retired and don't have it.I guess I will only be driving in the daylight hours from now on. The fuses are all okay. I read that if one of the tail lights or running lights is out it'll do the same thing and no one has to rip the vehicle apart to change the part.I will try to check the light bulbs myself and then recheck the tail light fuse. The dash lights are connected to the tail light and those fuses are located in the box next to the battery. My other option is to go to the vo-tech when they are doing wiring and have them do it for parts money.
I just went through the same problem with my xterra. I had to put a series of new parts in such as thermostat/ manifold gasgets/ alternator / battery /plugs / and belts. It ran great for a week then started doing it again the real problem was the alternator I got was a bad rebuild. And wasn't charging my battery. Now that I fixed that all is good. Now Im dealing with this damn entire exaust system. This truck sucks
I have a 2006 Xterra and feel it is the best vehicle I have every owned. Yet I've had some of same problems others have had, all after the warranty expired. After 114,000 miles I experienced what was originally diagnosed as a misfire in the #1 cylinder. While driving on a freeway the engine began running roughly. Talking with my regular, non-dealer mechanic he thought it might be a misfiring. After a 30 minute rest stop I had several recurrences hundreds of miles later. Two days later and 1,000 miles from home the problem got more serious. I had O'Reilly's do a diagnostic, with same results, so replaced the appropriate parts. ($100+). Next day, same problem.
I took it to the Tacoma, WA dealer, whose diagnoses said the same thing. Knowing I had just replaced the parts they switched #1 and #2 parts and the problem stopped. Two miles out from the dealer it started again; this time with considerable loss of power.
Second dealer diagnoses indicated a failed catalytic converter. Replacing the converter and the section on the header side of the system fixed the problem, at a dealer shop cost of $2,300+. I did look at the removed converter and it looked like it was stuffed with a lot of broken pieces of Styrofoam a few inches in size down to single granules.
If your Xterra engine starts sounding like all the valves decided to start rattling at the same time and you have a considerable loss of power; shut it off, get it towed to a reliable mechanic. Delaying it from that stage could cause serious cylinder damage.
So I purchased my xterra about 2 mnths ago and I had no problems with except my steering wheel was alittle hard to turn but that wasn't really a big deal and my breaks were a little squeaky. all of a sudden my truck wouldn't start, my battery didn't die because all of the electrical stuff still turned on and when I turned my key the truck didn't make any ticking sounds or anything it just made a sound like it wanted to start but wouldn't turn over to actually get the truck going. it was so weird because I NEVER had any problems with this before. I tried getting a jump and the it still wouldn't start so I assume it wasn't the battery. the mechanic told me it was my timing belt but for some reason I have a weird feeling about this. has anyone delt with this before ? & if so how much did it cost you to get it fixed ?
This is by far the WORST suv I have ever purchased NEW. The first two years were acceptable, but then the failing gas guage, transmission/radiator, timing chain. I paid over $6500 to have my Nissan fixed, one mile over the warranty and THEY WILL NOT COVER REPAIR AT ALL. Worst experience I ever had was with SUTHERLIN NISSAN and REED NISSAN in Orlando FL.

For some reason my XTerra is going through brake calipers at a rate of once a year. In July 2011 I was told it was because I need to change them at the same time so I forked out the money and changed both. Now it is January 2013 and my right caliber is sticking and the vehicle is not driveable. I guess I will be shelling out another 500+ bucks. I will never own another Nissan.
My Xterra start and in the next five minutes turn off. I wait 5 to 10 minutes and start my car again, it run for five minutes and the turn off again. This happened 3 times or maybe 4 and I can use for the rest of the day, sometimes start maybe 1 time and I can't use for the rest of the day.
I bought my 2004 Nissan Xterra 4x4 SE about two and a half years ago with about 69,000 miles on it, it now has 92,580 miles. It has been an overall good car just certain things that you would think wouldn't be an issue are when your a full time student already struggling to make ends meet. Although not the cars fault right after purchasing it I found out the dealership from which it was purchased didn't replace the timing belt so that was an immediate $580 bucks. The exterior plastics does not hold up well in the heat or the sun period they fade faster than any car I've ever owned prior and I always keep it in the garage. another issue is the air conditioning went out just last year luckily right after the extreme summer heat, but is somewhat of a big deal seeing as I live in blistering Phoenix. I was quoted around $950- 1100 to replace, something to do with the fan clutch and compressor, so needless to say I've had to hold off on that whole ordeal. Now it is slightly lifted and I have taken it on a trail or two but is extremely well maintained and I've only put synthetic fluids in it since I've owned it. But before I decided to get it lifted one of my leaf springs snapped while on my way to work it completely caught me off guard and this was only a month or two after I bought it. So overall good trucks just cheap finishings and poor workmanship in the suspension and engine electrical areas.

after reaching 64000 miles start having problem with a whinning sound when i accerlerates and mor and mre i drive it noise get lounder.
2005 Nissan Xterra has been seriously one of the best decisions we've made. GREAT vehicle. Yes, it does drive/ride more like a truck, but I actually wanted that. It's got the BEST ground clearance around. We take it camping and on dirt roads frequently in the summer and the ride and storage on it is great.
One MAJOR complaint: Emissions. NIGHTMARE. I believe after doing research - ALOT of research - that it's just the 2004/2005 models that have this much of an issue. Apparently the fuel sensors in these models were placed on the inside of the fuel tank vs the outside - I'm not a mechanical genuis, but this somehow caused a problem. Bottomline: Constant "service engine now" light on, and anyone who lives in an Emissions Area knows, this is an absolute nightmare. $$$$$ later, plus two traffic violations (for expired registration, b/c it couldn't pass emissions) later.. Nissan finally fixed it for free. FINALLY. After over a year of arguing with them. The year following: Cat converter went. $1400 more on that. Now, the heat is blowing cold air. I looked on the forums.. also seems to be a "known issue" but no recall, there will be more $$ coming out of my pocket.
Overall - yes - I'd recommend the Xterra. If I had to do it over, though, I'd probably stay away from the 2004/2005's.. Just sayin'. :-)
Exhaust & Emissions* I need to see how i get to the knock senser and change it.
Alarm went off for no reason. Lights in dash stay on and engine continues to run after key was removed from ignition! Had to reinsert key, turn slightly, then to off to turn off engine. ??
I bought my Xterra used in August of 2007, and have put a little over 100,000 miles in the past four years of ownership. I've made a few power-increasing modifications, and my rig can get up and go quite well. I've beat quite a few cars down the road that I never should have given what I'm driving.

I wouldn't trade my X for any other SUV out there...except maybe another one. It might be the X trim package, the base model(2wd, manual transmission, manual locks and windows) but I love that about it. In reading some of the other "stories," I haven't experienced any of the fuel sensor issues or cold weather complaints that anyone else has. My Xterra keeps plugging along as it should. The only thing I've replaced is the serpentine belt and the brakes. Next, is the secondary time chains and tensioners, which is an issue that everyone with Nissan's 4.0 V6 has. $1,200 for that repair, though. Despite that, and the annoying noise it makes, I love my rig and wouldn't give it up. I've converted many of my friends to being Xterra fans, and I'm a lifelong Xterra man now.
I purchased my Xterra new in 2004. This has been probably the most reliable vehicle that I have ever owned. Solid mechanical performance with no repairs.

I have used synthetic fluids in the crankcase and transmission since 3,500 miles. I switched to a permanent cleanable air filter for long term use. My goal is 250,000 miles on this car. I am confident that the car will make it.

Downsides are all cosmetic. I live and Florida and the sun has ruined the plastic covered bumpers and the fascia under the wipers. The door side moldings and fender trim has also suffered under the hot Florida sun. This vehicle has neve been garaged and the plastic does not hold up well in the sun. I am planning to have all the plastic trim removed, painted and reinstalled. I suspect I will spend $500 - $750 for this. The front grill looks absolutely horrible due to sun and environmental damage so I will have it painted as well.

The plastic features inside the car do not hold up well over time. There is a lot of cheap fit and finish with this car inside and out.

The front lights have yellowed and faded in the sun. I paid $150 to have them cleaned about 1-1/2 years ago and they are yellowing again. I will actually look into replacing them because I plan to drive this car for another 5 to 6 years. I think it will be worth the investment.

I have towed boats and jetskis with the aftermarket tow hitch with no issues or problems. The most I have towed is around 4,000 pounds and the vehicle is rated to 5,000 pounds towing capacity.

Recommendation for replacing the timing belt is at 60,000 miles but I stalled until 94,000 miles. Replaced the timing belt, water pump and had the head gaskets replaced. Also repaired a leak in the rear main seal. Quoted nearly $2,700 with labor and my local dealer discounted the work down to $1,500. (It pays to have a good relationship and prior service at a local dealer). Even if I had paid the full price that would be $2700/7 years = $385 annual maintenance costs. To that you can add my other maintenance of approximately $1,500. That works out to $3,780 over 7 years for a total maitenance costs of $540 annually. I think that is great.

I only wish that the Xterra had stronger cosmetic constitution.

My other complaint is that the dash lights seem to have dimmed over the years. I understand that I can have the dash lights replaced and I am investigating that cost to determine if it is worthwhile for me.

Overall I have been pleased because I bought this car strictly for utilitarian use and it has servec me extremely well. If I were in the market today or certainly when I am I will look immediately to Nissan or even Infiniti as I will then move to a near luxury sedan or coupe.
Outstanding car! The only disappointment is the S model doesn't offer optional leather seats and there's no optional navigation system built in. Would be nice if some of the comforts of new technology were offered as options for the interior.
The nissan xterra is a great vehicle I bought mine in 2000 now its asking for new parts it has 102,000 miles and I was told that I need to replace timing belt they r charging me between 1,100-1,400 which I believe is way to much reason being that I looked up prices for timing belt kits and there under $75.00
98 percent The best SUV I have ever Driven , fun to drive a little rough on passengers because of stiff suspension and truck like handling(,But that is exactly what I love about it) not so fuel efficient, But managable

Looks Great , everything you need to switch, turn,click,or open is exactly where it should be for easy access

2006 Nissan Xterra Off-Road 75K, On-Road and Off-Road usage.
Pros: Great Engine, excellent layout for large dogs, great Off-Road manners, very room inside as compared to FJ Cruiser, super visibility for driver position (no blind-spots)
Cons: Fuel Sensor issues @ 60K, cheap mud-flaps(one plastic screw), expensive front hub assembly part (@72K, $500.00), A/C does not shutoff when switched off, Bilstein shocks started leaking @40K
Wishes: All-Wheel drive at all speeds (4WD limited to 57 mph and is part-time) [better system for drifting snow and ice]

Would recommend this vehicle for mixed road usages.
My 2000 Nissan Xterra runs great, but I have an ABS light that comes on intermittently, often during hot weather, and almost never during cold weather. Can't tell any difference in braking, ABS light on or off.
My XTerra is just great, bought it in 2004 and still doing good, the only thing is the lights on panel go off completely and i go for days without being able to read any gauge, good thing I know my speed pretty well.
I wasn't a big fan of my Xterra when I first bought it in Dec 2006, i got it because of all the SUVs I looked at it was the most economical one for my large dogs (completely flat back when seats are down and made of plastic, easy clean up). Over the last 3+ years I have had it I have grown to love it. I have taken MANY cross country trips with it and put almost 60k miles on it in the time I have had it. I've never had a brake down, get pretty good gas milage for an SUV, has a great start off speed, does well pulling, lots of storage compartments, amazed at what I can pack into it, lots of space in the front seat area (dont' feel claustrophobic), just an all around good SUV for my needs. My only CONS on the SUV are the road noise and its not the MOST comfortable vehicle for long distance but a cushion behind my back changes all that. Love my NISSAN!!!
I love my Xterra! It is now 10 years old and I have not had any problems with it. Would I buy another one? Absolutely!
Bought it in May 1999 and still runs like new. Not a fast car but it is great in snow and in hwy as long as your tires are in good shape. I had to change the shift cable lock plate from the transmission in 2000. ABS brake system is not great either and brake light is on and too expensive to replace (anti-skid actuator). Other than that my wife loves it. She took the car from me!
Love my Xterra (2000). She's been the best automobile I've owned, few minor nuisances like the dash lights flickering out then back on a few minutes later, but apart from that, beautiful.
I have had my xterra for almost 4 years now and have never had a break down, however do have a couple of complaints. The Heat will not warm up until the car is in gear so even the coldest of mornings it really does me no good to "warm" the car up. We also have a 2005 Xterra and BOTH vehicles had the Fuel Sensor go out around 60K. The vehicle is also not comfortable for long rides. With all of that being said I still appreciate the fact that Nissan makes a reliable, sturdy SUV.
Overall I am very happy with the 06 Xterra. I have the Off Road package and I have taken it trail riding on several occasions and it has always performed well. The second generation Xterra addressed many of the shortcomings seen in the first generation model.

PROS: Engine (great power & torque), Dana Locker, Skids, Undercarriage Layout, adequate ground clearance, cargo room.

CONS: Soft Suspension (even with Bilstien Shocks), Annoying VDC, and the fact that this vehicle absolutely hates cold weather. I live in North Dakota and during the winter the Xterra struggles. If the temperature is below 0 expect the following: The rear hatch will not stay up or even close properly. The clutch will stay depressed even after you remove your foot. The vehicle will not easily enter first gear or reverse until it reaches normal operating temperature. Finally, if you try to drive with gloves on, you will flip on the wipers and lights every time you turn because the controls are too close to the steering wheel.
like driving a cup of water! and AC has been a pain in da A$* since i bought it. oh and the gas mileage oh my GOD!
I've had my Xterra for 2 years and I love it. It's great for taking my dogs to the park and for hauling my son and his friends around. I love sitting up high enough to see everything better than before.

The only problem with my Xterra is the dash gauges will sometimes go out, but they come back on usually within a couple of minutes.