2012 Nissan Xterra

If you’re looking for off road ruggedness, this weekend warrior utility vehicle may be just what you want. You will find that the 2012 Nissan Xterra combines comfort with toughness.

There is plenty of storage space and your sports equipment will fit just fine.

You can enjoy this SUV in the city or off road for a weekend trek.


General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $25,210.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gallons (80L) MPG: 16 city / 22 hwy
Length: 178.7 in. (452.9 cm) Wheel Base: 106.3 in. (270 cm)
Height: 74.9 in. (190.2 cm) Width: 72.8 in. (184.9 cm)
Curb Weight: 4143 lbs (1052 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.2 in. (20.8 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 36.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 24 Valve V6 DOHC Displacement: 4.0 Liter
Horsepower: 261 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 281 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 5000 lbs (2268 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Xterra S 4×2 MSRP: $27,200; MPG: 16 city / 22 hwy
Option:Xterra Pro-4X 4×4 auto MSRP: $30,370; MPG: 15 city / 20 hwy


The 4.0 liter V6 engine puts out 261 horse power with a torque of 281 ft lbs. Equipped with a 6 speed manual or a 5 speed automatic transmission, the Nissan Xterra is perfect for the tough jobs. The suspension is built for rugged driving and you get 9.5 inches of ground clearance. Steering is weighted and direct. 4 wheel drive is what makes this a perfect fit for off-roading.


This mid-size SUV has a double wishbone front extension and a live axel rear suspension as well as a front rear stabilizer bar. The car runs on regular unleaded gas and gets approximately 16 miles per gallon city and 22 miles per gallon highway.


The first glance at this ruggedly designed car may bring up hazy memories of the old classic Toyota Land Cruiser. The body design features the traditional body – on – frame structure as well as side moldings, sprinkle pads and double power exterior mirrors.

The steps on the rear bumper make the roof much more accessible. The roof has a latchable bin at the front of the tubal shaped roof racks for storage.

Like the Toyota Highlander, the alloy wheels and all terrain tires are standard on the Nissan Xterra. There are eight standard Nissan colors to choose from so you can choose the look to suit your taste. The over all exterior design is great for its rugged image as an tough off road vehicle that gives you a truck like ride on the highway and city streets.


The interior of the 2012 Nissan Xterra is not fancy and does not say luxury in sense of the word. But who cares when you plan on getting down and dirty on the rough terrain? What the interior does offer is plenty of room and an easy to clean hard plastic dashboard. The controls are simple and well placed.

There is plenty of head and leg room and the cargo capacity is excellent. The cargo compartment does feature an easy to clean floor and before I forget, I want to mention that this SUV features a built in first kit which fits right in with the rugged purpose of this vehicle. If you are looking for a fancy interior this is not the vehicle for you. You may want to check out the Jeep Grand Cherokee for a more luxurious interior.


The standard safety equipment includes the front seat side impact airbags as well as the front and back seat curtain airbags. There are front seat active head restraints and also a tire pressure monitoring system. Together with the anti-lock brakes, stability control and security system, all these safety features are sure to give you peace of mind.


The Nissan Xterra comes with a basic 36 months/36,000 mile warranty and a 60 month 60,000 mile power train warranty. These are topped off with the 60 month unlimited distance corrosion perforation warranty to ensure you of the reliability of your vehicle.


  • Safety features
  • Versatility
  • Over all good performance
  • Cargo space
  • Spacious interior
  • Affordable pricing


  • Poor gas mileage
  • Back seat is not very comfortable for long rides.

I would get this vehicle for rugged off roading. It is well made and the reviews from those who own the Xterra are generally enthusiastic and positive. The price is great fro a SUV in this class and the safety features are more then enough to encourage a second look at this rugged vehicle.


The Xterra is comparable in price to the Ford Escape XLT (MSRP $24,870; 21 city / 28 hwy) and the Toyota FJ Cruiser (MSRP $26,115; 17 city / 20 hwy). The Toyota 4Runner SR5 (MSRP $31,090; 17 city / 23 hwy) is similar when it comes to the engine.

Overall Rating
65 out of 100

What others say:

“The Nissan Xterra goes for an appealing, trail-ready look outside; inside, it’s a little wash-and-wear.”Car Connection

“Fast cornering induces marked body lean, plus some tail hop over bumps; PRO-4X’s stiff suspension bounces even more. The steering feels slow in parking and quick direction changes, but Xterra has a relatively tidy turning circle for easy close-quarters maneuvering. Stopping control is unexceptional.”Consumer Guide

“The Xterra feels crude but is very capable off-road. Although the ride is stiff, handling is relatively responsive.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Unlike so many SUVs that have moved to a more carlike unit-body design, the 2012 Nissan Xterra retains its traditional body-on-frame architecture, which is just fine by us and most off-road enthusiasts”KBB

“Even though the 2012 Nissan Xterra doesn’t have the funky styling or legendary brand name of its off-road-ready SUV competitors, it’s equally capable in the dirt and a lot easier to live with in everyday driving.”Edmunds