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Monday, December 29, 2008



In this larger version of The Good 12 v2.0, there's plenty of luxury and comfort to go around. In fact, walk into a Nissan dealership and sales personnel will willingly sell you a Murano or Rogue to keep you comfortable. If, that is, comfort be thy goal.

On the other hand, vehicles with purpose intrigue the general populace. Potential Lotus Elise buyers don't expect luxury or comfort. They demand speed, handling, and an intimate connection with their automobile. Nissan Xterra owners are a similar bunch, in a manner of speaking. Speed, handling, and an intimate connection? Not so much. But toughness, durability, all-weather capability, with a facility for traversing whatever path leads to the destination? Must needs qualifications.

Nissan's Xterra supplies those traits in vast quantities. The Xterra is a true sport-utility vehicle. Up to 5,000 pounds of miscellaneous addenda can fall into line behind the Nissan with another 65.7 cubic feet of junk behind the front seats. Unlike the first-generation Xterra, the current sport-ute won't struggle with its own load nor the load you carry. 261 horsepower is plenty.

Don't get it wrong. This Nissan wasn't designed to coddle and, like the Jeep Wrangler previously honoured, won't care for you with a gentle bedside manner. Rather, the Xterra is the doctor of tough love. For those seeking an indubitable formula which began decades ago and lives on in spite of luxury CUVs, the Nissan Xterra is one such customer that takes a lickin' and keeps on kickin'.


Engines: 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque from a 4.0L V6

City Mileage: 15-16 miles per gallon

Base USD Price: $22,310

Cargo Capacity: 65.7 cubic feet behind front row

Towing Capability: 5,000 pounds

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