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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, May 22, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


By Harvey Schwartz After an extensive list of enhancements and revisions for the 2009 model year, the tough and rugged Nissan Xterra continues in 2010 as a vehicle designed to inspire and facilitate outdoor enthusiasts’ activities wherever they go. The new Off-Road Xterra meets the needs of adventure-seeking consumers with a package that can safely and securely get you to your furthest off-road challenges and back. The U.S. built Xterra offers outstanding quality and reliability, along with strong on-road and off-road performance credentials. All 2010 Xterra models feature an advanced 261-horsepower 4.0 liter DOHC V6 engine, along with a rugged ‘F-Alpha’ truck platform utilizing a fully-boxed, all steel ladder type frame for adventure ready performance. Xterra is available with a choice of a rugged six-speed manual or a smooth shifting five-speed automatic transmission.


The new Xterra Off-Road styling is bold and aggressive, just what off-road enthusiasts are looking for. The front fascia starts with a bold front bumper, large flared front and rear fenders, a powerful-looking hood and headlamps, two round off-road lights mounted in front of the roof rack, foglamps, Nissan SUV-style angle strut grille, a versatile tubular roof rack with latchable lid, and a rear bumper design with built-in side steps for easy access to the functional roof rack not found on any of the competition. The Off-Road model also features black front and rear door handles, black sandblast aluminum front fascia, black lower bodyside molding, a rear tow hook and tinted rear privacy glass. As in previous years, Xterra features a long wheelbase for a smooth ride and ample interior room, yet overall length is highly manageable due to the short front overhang-helping to enhance maneuverability in off-road hill climbing or trail shortcomings. Xterra Off-Road’s flexible interior is spacious enough for up to five adults with ample leg, head and cargo room. What’s left outside fits easily and securely in the roof rack.


A standard 60/40 split folding stadium-style rear seat comes with removable seat bottom cushions for fold-flat capability plus an off-road model only fold-down front seat back that creates added utility for hauling long gear like a surfboard. Standard interior features in the Off-Road model include sporty, manually operated, reclining front bucket seats with unique, washable seat cloth, footrest, dual front and rear 20-ounce cupholders, power windows/door locks, power sideview mirrors, two-tiered glove box with lower lock, self-dimming rearview mirror, cruise-control, variable-speed intermittent wipers/washers with rear wiper/washer/defogger, dual map lamps, dual A-pillar mounted grab handles and grab handles above each passenger door for easier entry and exit, sun visors with extenders and vanity mirrors, beefy, titling/leather-wrapped steering wheel, padded center console with dual cupholders and a big storage bin, auxiliary audio input Jack, AC/heater controls with micro-filter, overhead console with sunglass storage, three-12-volt power plugs, remote keyless entry, a 300-watt Rockford Fosgate powered audio system with eight speakers and subwoofer, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, MP3/WMA capability plus aux-in-jack, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and XM satellite radio. Options that I found in my Off-Road model included an interface system for iPod, floor mats, adjustable cargo organizer, emergency kit, wheel locks, and a Garmin portable navigation system.


Xterra Off-Road versatile cargo area is highlighted by an optional Easy Clean cargo surface and a total of ten cargo area hooks-six on the floor/sides and four on the ceiling (floor hooks can carry up to 110 pounds). Underneath is more storage that latches closed. Securing bike rack and other accessories or gear is made easier with an optional adjustable channel system in the cargo floor, similar in design to the Utili-track system offered on the Nissan Titan and Frontier pickup trucks. Under the floor is another storage area for flatter cargo. The heart of Xterra Off-Road’s trail blazing capability and prowess is the magnificent and rugged fully-boxed, all-steel ladder frame and suspension system found underneath. Up front is an independent setup with steel double-wishbone geometry, Bilstein high-performance gas-charged shocks and a 33 mm stabilizer bar. The rear suspension features a solid axle leaf spring setup with Bilstein high-performance gas-charged shocks and a 25.4 mm stabilizer bar. The new Off-Road model also comes with 9.5-inch of ground clearance, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, brake limited slip differential, as well as an electronic locking rear differential for serious off-roading. The dashboard mounted rotary switch enables you to easily change from rear-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive high and four-wheel-drive low.


Other driveline components include engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack & pinion steering with a great feel for the road, and big, 4-wheel disc brakes. These brakes are 11.65-inch vented and clamped with dual-piston calipers up front, and 12.2-inch vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. Braking control on the road and off are complemented with standard ABS and Electronic Brake Force Distribution and a Brake Limited Slip Differential allowing you to maintain control of your direction during severe maneuvers. For a smooth ride on the road and rugged off-road trailing chasing your latest adventures, the Off-Road Xterra comes equipped with unique 16X8 aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with BF Goodrich 265/75R16in. Rugged Trail T/A off-road tires. Occupant safety is a prime concern at Nissan and each Xterra Off-Road model comes standard with Nissan’s Advanced Airbag System (AABS with dual-stage supplemental front airbags, with seat belt and occupant classification sensors), driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and 3-point front/rear seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors, roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags with rollover sensor, LATCH system for child seats, Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, First Aid kit, Vehicle Dynamic Control and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. To keep the undersides of the Xterra Off-Road safe, each model comes standard with skid plates covering the oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case. With the addition of the new Off-Road Xterra model, adventure enthusiasts now have an even wider choice to choose from when purchasing a real off-road warrior. It’s everything you need for great adventures in the outdoors.


© Pictures by Harvey Schwartz For more information about Nissan products, go to More of Harvey Schwartz’s photos can be viewed at


SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Nissan Xterra Off-Road Price: $30,400.00 (base) $32,005.00 (as tested) EPA fuel economy rating: 15 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway Engine: 4.0 liter DOHC V6 Horsepower: 261 at 5,600 rpm Torque: 281 pound-feet at 4,000 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear wheel drive/four-wheel high/four-wheel low Transmission: 5-speed electronically controlled automatic/6-speed manual Front suspension: Independent, steel double-wishbone with Bilstein gas-charged shocks, 33mm stabilizer bar Rear suspension: Multi-leaf with solid axle, Bilstein gas-charged shocks, 25.4mm stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: 16X8 aluminum alloy off-road style wheels BF Goodrich 265/75R16in. Rugged Trail tires Brakes Front: 11.65-inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers Rear: 12.2-inch vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Limited Slip Differential Overall length: 178.7 in. Overall height: 74.9 in. Overall width: 72.8 in. Angle of approach: 33.2 Angle of departure: 29.4 Curb weight: 4,453 pounds (with automatic transmission)

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