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2014 Nissan Xterra Overview

If your daily commute leads you over the river and through the woods… not to mention those nasty rock-strewn gullies, then take a look at the 2014 Nissan Xterra. A downsized throwback to the oft-maligned truck-based full-size sport utility vehicle, this 5-passenger midsize tank is long on off-road prowess, but needless to say comes up a bit short at pavement-borne driving comfort and agility.

No matter, though. All trims, said trims being the base X, the midlevel S and the terrain-taming Pro-4X with its standard 4-wheel drive (4WD), boast a peppy V6, nearly 66 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seatbacks folded down and standard skid plates. Both lower trims are delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), but of course also remain eligible for 4WD all-weather cruising and all-terrain bushwhacking.

Some slight changes are expected for 2014, including Bluetooth connectivity and an upgraded stereo in the base X trim, upgraded alloy wheels in both the X and the S, and standard heated front seats in the Pro-4X. All this is an effort to keep pace with such challengers as Jeep's Wrangler and Cherokee offerings as well as Toyota’s well-wrought FJ Cruiser, all of which feature similar ruggedness and pricing.

The potent 4.0-liter V6 powerplant returns for all Xterra variations and mates with either a standard 5-speed automatic transmission (RWD trims) or a heady 6-speed manual shifter (optional in 4WD editions) to deliver a respectable 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. Mileage is, despite variable valve timing (VVT), a not-so-spiffy 16 mpg city/22 highway in RWD-equipped trims and 15/20 in 4WD variants, but towing is maxed out at a useful 5,000 pounds with the proper and available equipment. Meantime, Nissan’s 4WD system offers a multi-mode low-range transfer case and electronically locking rear differential that allow for worry-free expeditions through untamed wilderness.

Flaunting standard 16-inch steel wheels (with those new and upgraded alloy wheels optional), a roof rack and skid plates outside, the base Xterra X also boasts cloth upholstery, simulated alloy accents, remote power door locks and power windows inside. Cruise control is again standard in this entry-level trim, as are tilt-wheel steering and air conditioning, while this latest year’s version additionally sports an upgraded audio system with a single-CD player and 6 speakers. Finally, as mentioned, standard Bluetooth hands-free calling is now standard as well.

Moving up to the midlevel S, expect to find such additions as the new-look 16-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable outside mirrors, roof rails and satellite radio, with all-terrain tires an available option.

The trail-busting Pro-4X, meantime, flaunts beefed-up off-road suspension components, as well as hill start assist and descent control, each standard (optional in the lower trims). The list continues with roof-mounted off-road driving lights, premium cloth upholstery, new-for-2014 heated front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat and unique upgraded cabin décor. This outrageous outback-organizing off-roader also boasts standard navigation, a rear-view camera, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a Rockford Fosgate stereo upgrade hosting 9 premium speakers.

Options-wise, lower trims can be equipped with many items found standard in higher trims, while the Pro-4X Leather Package includes leather upholstery, but deletes the fold-flat front passenger seat. Such add-ons as step rails are available to the X and S trims, with a towing package available lineup-wide.

Noteworthy standard safety equipment for all 2014 Xterra trims, finally, includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, and active front headrests. A remote antitheft alarm is standard across the lineup, while the Pro-4X tosses in standard front fog/driving lights.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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