The side impact airbags work well when rolled.
This is a discussion on OT-- Anybody own a Nissan Xterra? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I am getting ready to go to Afghanistan for 1-2 years and one thing I want to do before leaving is to get the wife ...
I am getting ready to go to Afghanistan for 1-2 years and one thing I want to do before leaving is to get the wife a better car than she has now (2000 Chrysler 300M pushing 200,000 miles) so I don't have to worry about her while I'm gone
We live in western Colorado with mountains, high desert lands and trout streams all around so we are wanting something that will handle day trips into the wilds.
If you have one what do you think of the ride, amenities, handling, off road capabilities, durability etc.
The side impact airbags work well when rolled.
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I bought one new for my wife (2001 model) back in 2000.
It was almost too small for me to even fit in, but it was her car after all and that was what she wanted. Not much power, but it was a 'soccer-mom' car for her, so it was sufficient.
At about 36K miles the entire AC died. $700 to replace it. Hydraulic on the rear hatchback went limp about the same time. At about 54K miles, the entire AC wore out again, another $700 to replace. Inside it just felt cheap; I had to be careful with the turn signal, as it felt like it would snap off if you hit it with any force. We had some other mechanical issues with it, but it finally stopped living in the shop at about 100K miles and much money spent. At that point we sold it to my barber's daughter, and she's put another 40k on it in the last two years and hasn't had a single problem.
I got Mrs. Whec a 2010 Ford Escape after that, and have been very pleased with it. It has much more room on the inside, more power, better ride, better everything. It is a huge comfort to me that this is her new 'soccer-mom' ride.
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My only suggestion is go to the Consumer Reports Car Buyers Guide (Annual) and study the "Frequency of Repair" tables real well. Their sample sized are large enough to illustrate trends and the like. They also do a great job on safety matters and impacts.
Last edited by Rock and Glock; August 17th, 2012 at 10:00 PM.
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Before I bought my last new car I Googled this Model, year, problems. I turned up all kinds of good information. Don't let a few complaints overly influence you though. There will be more posts about it being a lemon than praise about how good a vehicle it is.
Look for trends in the complaints. One of the cars I was looking into had a post about how the electric windows would suddenly start opening on there own when going down the highway. I added problem with windows to the search for that model and found that it was not a individual problem. I found it was a frequent complaint for that model.
It was a great help in purchasing a car for me.
While I have no experience with the Nissan Xterrta I am currently on my third Toyota 4-Runner. I have never had any problems with any of them and the only time any were in the shop was scheduled maintenance. I traded my 2005 to upgrade to a V-8 for more towing power, the 2008 I traded simply because I wanted a newer model with the back-up camera and nav system. Just another option in your search.
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I bought one (used, 2006 model) a few months ago. So far, I'm very happy with it. Good pick up, plenty of room (and I'm 6'4", so I'm not sure who isn't fitting into these!), and better off-road capability than most of the soccer mom SUVs. I haven't had it long enough to say much about it's longevity (and neither would my singular experience mean that much anyway), but I've had absolutely no mechanical issues whatsoever.
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We bought a 2003 XTerra in 2003, and it has been great. It's bene through 2 foot deep snow, and along the forest roads in the national forests down here. Nary a problem with it in over 100,000 miles.
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I have a 2011 Xterra, and its off road capabilities are great. I also got it for my wife, and it's the Pro 4 that comes with extra lift, off road lights, and some other stuff. When we're in AZ, we drive it all the time in the valley east of Phoenix. It's our "let's go find somewhere to shoot" vehicle. It pretty much goes anywhere. I recall reading a test in one of the mags, and it's off road abilities bested even the Jeep Wrangler.
The mileage is kind of sucky, but it's a big tall vehicle, so that kind of goes with the territory. The power is very, very good.
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Never owned one, but a buddy had one that was in the shop WAYYY too often. I'd go with a Ford if I were you. The Escape is nice, but the Explorer's are freakin' awesome. My Dad bought an 05 awhile back and it is one of the best vehicles he's ever had. Not a single problem with it, and it does whatever he wants it to.
We own a '04 and would recommend it for what you're describing. With the aftermarket bumper and Warn winch, we've pulled more Jeep Cherokees and Ford Escapes out if ditches and snowbanks then I can count. If looking at used, I would concentrate on '03-'04. With regular maintenance, these will last 250k easy.
spidey, your friend's situation aside, comparing an xterra(real suv) to an escape(lifted econo car) is an insult.
op, get it! but make sure you get it with 4x4. no sense in having such a capable rig and then neutering it. like i did! we're getting another one with 4x4. but dude, trust me, they are amazing. tough as hell, room for a bunch of people and gear, the cargo area is all plastic so no worries about your muddy gear. after mudding, as i'd get back into the truck, i would open the box on the roof and throw my wet clothes up there and close it. no need to have stinky crap inside. cup holders are huge, double glove box, more than enough power, i could go on all day. google search clubxterra.org. and watch some youtube vids. you wont be disappointed.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Escape are really more AWD vehicles for on road and limited 4X4 for off road, but by no means are deep mud/rock crawlers - nor are they intended to be. The Escape is a economy car that allows a higher ride height and the JGC is a luxury SUV with limited off road capabilities (assuming you get the 4X4 version). Too many people buy the JGC and expect it to perform like the CJ/Wrangler class of vehicle and they, predictably, get stuck.
Back to the OP, if you like the Xterra and its mission profile and road ride, it should be a great vehicle for your wife.
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