Though it was not the first compact SUV offered by Nissan, the Nissan Xterra SUV was the first entry-level model offered in North America. Prior to the Xterra's release in the North American market, Nissan had offered the Mistral in Japan and the Terrano in Europe. It remained the only compact SUV from Nissan in the United States until the Rogue was introduced in 2008. There have been two generations of the Xterra and in terms of price it tends to fall somewhere between the Rogue and the Murano.
While the Nissan Xterra SUV has changed repeatedly over the years, there are a few things about this SUV that have become trademark and remained. It has always maintained a rear roofline that was slightly raised and allowed for the seating inside to be stadium style. Like many other Nissan items, it has the rear door handles on the C pillar. It also features a unique humpbacked rear gate that provides a nice storage space for a first aid kit. Aside from that the latest generation of Xterra SUV is quite different from the first generation in size, style and features.
The Nissan Xterra SUV is an ideal vehicle for those who are active but still need family transportation. Unlike many SUVs on the market, the Xterra works well off-road while still delivering a practical alternative for the daily commute. Adventure is easy to have with the high clearance and outstanding performance that can be found in the Xterra. Still, many find that it drives more like a truck than a car. While that is often to be expected from an SUV, it is more noticeable with models like the Xterra than with some others. In effect, this makes for a vehicle that is far better for off-road driving than on even if it has a practicality to it.
Inside the Nissan Xterra SUV is a cabin that doesn't offer the bells and whistles that one might find in today's crossovers. Like the performance and the exterior, the interior of the Xterra tends to be geared more towards a rugged design symbolic of adventure and thrill-seeking. The style is quite boring and the materials are nothing above ordinary. User-friendly controls make it functional, but they do not add any luxury to the cabin space. That said, there is more than enough cargo space for anything that one might be wanting to haul.