The looks of the Xterra give away its intentions – this is a rugged SUV with proper off-road credentials and it looks the part.
Big wheel arches, a front scuff plate and a high ground clearance, combined with chunky plastic bumpers and big tyres say that this machine is not afraid of a bit of sand or dirt. A step is built into the rear to allow easy access to the roof rack, which has moveable crossbars for flexible storage options.
The boot features ten clip and hook points in the floor, walls and ceiling, allowing for all manner of gear to be stowed safely. Inside, there’s no fancy soft-touch materials here; rather a raft of wipe-clean plastic surfaces. Available features do make some concessions to luxury and include a six CD changer, Bluetooth phone connectivity and satellite navigation.
If you know your off-roading, then you’ll understand the relevance of a 33-degree approach angle and 29-degree angle of departure. If you don’t, then just rest assured that it means the Xterra can go up and down pretty steep slopes.
Two versions of the Xterra are available for 2010: X and S grades. Both get their power from a 4.0-litre V6 engine, producing 270bhp and attached to a five-speed automatic gearbox. The four-wheel drive system can be switched between two and four-wheel power while on the move at speeds of up to 100kph. There’s also a low-ratio option for off-roading. A system called Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) helps to maintain traction on slippery surfaces.
Safety features include front, side and curtain airbags as well as ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and VDC (electronic stability control).