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Average User Score
3.7 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 11 reviews
2004 Nissan Xterra Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 11 reviews
Taking its name literally, the 2004 Nissan Xterra is a compact SUV with an emphasis on both Sport and Utility, unlike the SMVs (soccer mom vehicles) and GHVs (grocery hauling vehicles) that most of the current crop of SUVs have morphed into. The 2004 Xterra is geared towards the young and active and not so much luxurious and insulated comfort.
There are few changes this year, except for new 17-inch alloy wheels for the SE trim. The XE comes as a base model rear-wheel drive SUV with a 143-hp 2.4-liter I4 and 5-speed manual. Moving up to the 3.3-liter, 180-hp V6 engine gives you a choice of the manual or 4-speed automatic and 4WD. The SE comes only with the V6 and a 4-speed auto, but is availalbe with 2WD or 4WD. A supercharged version of the V6 gets 210-hp. Low range gearing and a standard limited slip differential on the SE help make the 2004 Xterra a true off-roader, and being one of the few SUVs left to be built with a truck frame and suspension, the Xterra actually is better suited to rough roads than dry pavement. Sturdy adjustable roof rails hold up to 125 pounds and come with a built-in storage basket.
The compact Xterra seats four in two rows, with the rear row folding flat for up to 66 cubic feet of space. One cumbersome aspect is that the seat bottoms have to be removed and stored somewhere. Rear seats sit up higher than the front, so passengers don't feel blocked in. A higher roofline in the back provides more headroom as well. The XE is pretty bare bones, while the SE adds foglights, power features, 6-CD player, cruise control, and optional leather seats and sunroof. ABS is standard on all, and traction and stability control are offered as options. Drivers love the 4WD off-roading capabilities of the 2004 Xterra and its rugged look. They feel it's a bit underpowered, with poor acceleration. Overall legroom is limited and the interior materials look cheap. Nissan customer service does not win high marks.
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