Nissan XTerra Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm looking to get an Xterra. I will use the vehicle for mild to moderate off-roading (trails, mild hill climbing, mud, snow, etc.). I will also use this to drive to work on an occasion. The mods that I will be doing will be wheels/tires, differential lock (if needed), and possibly a small lift. I don't plan on any wild rock climbing, etc. I don't really need more power than either generation. I will be spending 7K or less. I can find both gen 1 and gen 2's (2005 or 2006) for this price range. Most of the xterras have around 90-120K miles on them. I already know many of the pro's/con's of both models (better power, ride, fuel economy, steering components, etcs on the gen 2, but weaker differentials, need to bypass the trans fluid-radiator, etc. I also know the gen 1's will need plugs/wires, timing belt, water pump, etc. My main question is what generation will more more reliable/easier to work on for my needs? I don't have a problem replacing the brakes/repacking the front bearings, changing the plugs, air and fuel filters, etc. What is important to me is that the 4x4 will properly work when I need it. I'm basically looking for the lower maintenance vehicle with this many miles. I really don't want to go replacing head gaskets, engines, transmissions, etc. (I understand with 100K miles, stuff like this can break though). Any suggestions would be great! I'll prob get opinions from both gen 1 and gen 2 forums for comparison.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
Well there's no such thing as a perfect car, for any brand, and you are correct that after 100K miles stuff will go wrong from time to time. This is true for a 1st or 2nd gen.

If you're looking for "easier to work on" I would go with a 1st gen. Less fancy computer stuff going on which, in my opinion, makes it easier and more fun to work on for the garage handyman. However, that fancy computer stuff can be nice. To my knowledge the pro4x package already has a rear diff locker, navigation, upgraded suspension etc.

But if you aren't getting the pro4x...1st gen is my vote for sure. Yah 2nd gens have more HP but they're also heavier; besides a few upgrades they're just a big 1st gen in my option lol. PLUS 1st gens are cheaper! Makes it less scary to do mods and and have some fun with it :D
 

·
Sage Mentor/Moderator
Joined
·
12,216 Posts
The 2000 - 2004 are cheap, under $4-5 k typically.

If you're going to mod it, look for a modded one, people upgrade from the older ones to the newer ones, or get married ans are not allowed to do anything fun anymore/have to buy a minivan, etc.

The need to do the t-belt every 100k miles is a PITA if you put a lot of miles on them though...I had over 500k on my 2001 before it got turned into a rock buggy. I got a 2004 to replace it....BOTH were my daily driver for work too.

The 2005+ can fit larger tires with less work, if the trails you drive make that important, and they can take hilly terrain with less downshifting due the added power.

The pre-2005 have stronger diffs, so if not planning on axles swaps, etc...2000 - 2004 are better in rougher terrain. The 2005+ often lead to people ditching the stock drivetrain, and swapping on one from a Titan to add beef.

The STOCK rear locker is an option on the off road/Pro 2005+, which is nice in NOT doing a titan swap...but the gear ratio can be a PITA to match of you go the other way.



If you get a 2000 - 2004 with an OPEN REAR DIFF (NOT LSD), you can put in a Lock Right locker (The diff is set-up like a Ford 9"... not like a D44, etc). An ARB can also go in there if you like a selectable.

The front diffs can take a Lokka, which works great, or, another ARB.

>:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
Go with the first Gen more reliable, cheaper, and if you like wrenching, easier to work on. Theres more space under the hood since it being a 3.3L rather than a 4.0L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I love my first gen. Things I like about it more than the second gens:

- The price tag. I was originally looking at second gen Xterras, but my first gen was $2500 for a 2000 Xterra V6 4WD Tri-pack (every option but the sunroof) with a manual transmission and 138,000 miles.

- Manual transfer case. Regardless of how problem-free the electronic transfer in the second gen X may be, the fact that literally every person I know who owns a GM vehicle with a push button transfer case has had problems with it has made me very skeptical about it being a good idea.

- Free running hubs. I put a cheap $400 Lokka auto-locker in my front differential. This makes no difference in on-road use because I can unlock my hubs. The second gen X has fixed hubs. If you want to put a locker in a second gen you would (in my opinion) need an expensive ARB pneumatic locking unit.

- The intangible spartan quality. The first gens (and particularly the 2000-2001 models) feel like the old Nissan/Datsun D21 pickup trucks to which they're not far removed and which I've always liked. The square headlights, flat hood, tall shifter, tiny door handles and "unique" parking brake all have something about them that you just have to love (or hate, if you're not a fan of 1990s-and-older vehicle aesthetic.)

They are both great trucks and there are a lot of advantages to the second gen Xterra, but I like my first gen quite a bit.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top