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The future of the Nissan Xterra will be decided within a year as the Japanese automaker mulls over the SUV’s future.


Having received minimal changes since it went on sale in 2005, the Xterra has slowly faded away in the market place and Nissan might allow it to just disappear. While a replacement is a possibility, the Xterra has had poor sales and the automaker is concerned about fuel economy and a possible lack of partners.

SEE ALSO: Toyota FJ Cruiser Axed After 2014 Model Year

According to Pierre Loing, vice president of product planning for Nissan Americas, the Xterra does have plans for a replacement, but it’s not a definite if it will happen. And while the first-generation Xterra was highly successful, the whole rugged SUV market has begun to fade, as evident with Toyota giving its FJ Cruiser model the axe.

In 2000, Nissan sold 88,578 Xterra vehicles but last year moved about 17,200. The 2013 Xterra is rated at 16-mpg city, 22-mpg highway and is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 with 261 hp.

A decision on the Nissan Xterra is expected to be made in six months to a year.
 

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I'll be sad to see it go if it does. It's one of the last body on frame SUVs out there and with a solid axle in the back. Sadly no one wants a SUV that does actual SUV things anymore. People want a CAR that looks like a SUV.
 

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The future of the Nissan Xterra will be decided within a year as the Japanese automaker mulls over the SUV’s future....
This is an old article. Still might hold true, but I think this was originally dated sometime in 2013. The 2015 models have been announced, so the X makes the cut again, for another year at least.
 

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I'll be sad to see it go if it does. It's one of the last body on frame SUVs out there and with a solid axle in the back. Sadly no one wants a SUV that does actual SUV things anymore. People want a CAR that looks like a SUV.
So far, they want giant bulbous unibody hatchbacks with AWD.

The writing was on the wall the day Subaru came out with a legacy station wagon with a taller roof and called it an SUV, and showed Dundee racing it down a dirt road chased by bad guys in a Ford Exploder, while talking about its having better mpg and handling than the Exploder, etc....

As soon as Subaru made the bold step of saying, hey , as long as we CALL IT an SUV, people will buy it so they bought an SUV, instead of a old fashioned/out of vogue station wagon.

Immediately, everyone followed suit, and changed the lines of minivans (Mazda MPV, etc) station wagons, etc...and, suddenly, they were not minivans or station wagons, they were SUVS!



Now, the sad TRUTH is that an SUV is actually a lousy choice for those who just commute to work and soccer practice, etc...as, otherwise, you are paying for a lot of extra steel to have the strength to survive the twisting and torque loads of being off road...while never GOING off road.

Chuck the frame, and you drop 750 - 1,200 lb or so....and that = better mpg...which is what sells now a days.


Ask the AVERAGE person what they thought of a car they liked, and they say "It drove real smooth".

Not "It handled like it was on rails" or, it had great articulation....SMOOTH, like floating on a cloud.

Live axle ≠ Smooth

Independent Suspension = Smooth

Firm suspension that can handle heavy loads ≠ Smooth

Soft pillowing suspension that can handle Aunt Agatha's butt = Smooth

And so forth...a SOFT RIDE sells, and a firm or rough ride doesn't.

Jeep CAN get away with it because they are an icon with a cult following and an image going back to WWII, etc....BUT, only for the wrangler...NOT for the Grand Cherokee's etc.

Even the wranglers get traded in after a few years after being bought by non-aficionados... they get tired of the rough ride and buy a Buick or something SMOOTH instead...



If they kill the X entirely (No out of the question), it will at least die with its boots on....a dignified end.

If they sissyfy it a la the Castrated Pathfinder...it will die anyway, in disgrace.


If there were a way to make it a wrangler beater, the niche exists, and, it would sell.

JEEP didn't even realize that until a team of engineers there made a Rubicon from spare parts...a DEDICATED wheeler....and Jeep's marketing people were aghast that it had expensive parts you could not SEE....they wanted stickers and decals and plaques, not low range t-cases and lockers (Whatever THOSE were...).

They agreed to a teeny limited run to prove it wasn't going to sell, and sold all of them in a day....and, eventually, realized that the Rubicon SAVED jeep.


When Chrysler was sold off to the Italians, the wrangler/rubicon is the only reason they got the deal.

God only knows if Fiat has the brains to not almost make the same mistake, and castrate the wrangler too.


If Nissan had the VISION to take the Xterra in a new direction (Well, the original direction...) - Everything you need, nothing you don't...and STICK TO IT...go smaller and more utilitarian, less expensive, lighter, better mpg, etc...

...able to off road and survive...it would sell. YOUNG people are physically active, but not typically rich, and, an affordable off roadable machine is an attractive niche...and, its going to be EMPTY.



I GET that the CAFE spilled all over the market, staining it forever.

MAKE the X smaller and lighter and get better mpg...make the roof removable, go crazy....do something original instead of CHASING the market.

:D
 

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I totally agree with you TJ. I would love to see the X go back to the days of the smaller off roader like the old land cruzers and even the old small body broncos. At the very least bring the size back down to the 1st gen size. Do what the older 4runners did and have a removable top a diesel option for mpg and an option for a straight front axle from the factory. Now that would be super sick. I would buy one of those in a heart beat. A nano second.


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I'd also like to see it stay basic, cheap(er), better MPG, and still a real SUV. I don't have the answer for how they'd accomplish that, but keeping it unrefreshed for another 3 years doesn't seem to me to be a good answer either.

The sad reality is that in an era of $3.50 gas that can shoot up to $4+ in short order, a bad-ass but heavy and powerful SUV with low MPG is not cutting it for a lot of people, even youngsters who have the "active lifestyles" to complement it.

Looking at my own activities, I can use almost any AWD crossover to get to my kayak spots, ski/snowboard parking lots, surf spots before I became inland-bound, campsites, trails to run and bike. Back where I used to surf, I never had to drive onto the beach - there were always, at worst, gravel parking lots.

So what does that leave? This past winter I went snowshoeing in some territory that a Rogue/Rav4/CRV/crossover du jour would likely have never made it out of, and of course there's wheelin', which is great fun and almost the exclusive domain of real SUV. But that's kind of it.

A crossover can get to most of those places. Well, not the extreme cases, but most of the pedestrian ones, which is what I suspect most people are doing.

I'll admit, though, they're not nearly as confidence-inspiring as my X. I am always confident of my ability to climb up the stupidest/steepest dirt hill in the middle of nowhere, and to get unstuck if it came down to that. I just don't think many people value these capabilities as much anymore, though.
 

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There is a way to get good mpg and still have a tough rugged body on frame SUV. The nissan navara with the 2.7l turbo diesel gets at worst 26mpg and the navara is basically the exact same thing as the xterra. I have read guys with 33s and at full tow capacity getting 28mpg. It's so simple. Put a diesel in the X and give us our small rugged SUV.

There is a reason diesels are super popular in Europe. They even will beat the mpg of hybrids. The Toyota Prius gets at best in the all time best conditions 45mpg. The diesel vw polo in Europe will get 70mpg easy. Even the twin turbo v6 diesel you can get in some jags in Europe will do nearly 50mpg.

My dream xterra would be a turbo diesel sas'd from factory and shrunk back to the gen 1 size and super basic but tough as nails.


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When you are trying to make something that everyone will want...you typically end up with compromises that make it not work for everyone.

MOST buyers out there buy on image. They only look at cars that appeal to them, the way they choose clothing.

This is one reason people will buy an SUV with 2wd. They get the image of wearing an suv...and looking rugged and outdoorsy...without BEING rugged and outdoorsy.

This is why jeep wranglers sell. If you are wearing a jeep, you look rugged and outdoorsy.

So, sure, off road abilities are not needed by MOST buyers. ..AWD is fine, etc. But people like the IDEA that their rig is capable, as it's just a deep seated need that adds to their feelings of security etc.

So...if a buyer wants something that LOOKS rugged and outdoorsy. ..there's not much left out there.

Our aesthetic stereotypes that are associated with that "look" are not aerodynamic, etc.

A designer would hit a home run if they found a way to make something evoke "rugged and outdoorsy" yet be aerodynamic, etc.
 

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I am one of the people who use their X for commute 90% of the time. I get 20 ish mpg and do not do any hardcaore offroading (yet). I own an X because I know it can do what I want, and is a reliable safe vehicle. Sure I could have gotten a more luxurious SUV but I didnt want that. The X is a great vehicle for a young guy like myself. I hope it doesn't die.
 

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i agreed with chris. it is a very safe and reliable suv. my 2001 xterra has reached 300,000 miles and it is still going strong. i hope nissan will not axe it like toyota did to their fj cruiser.
 

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Just did 25 miles of "primitive" road so I could avoid the interstate. It was brilliant, no other cars, just wild life, dust and streams. It took the same or longer than going the road bound route, but it was way more fun. It could have been done in a jeep but the ride wouldn't have been as good. It might (emphasis on MIGHT) have been done in a lesser "suv" such as the outback, but it wouldn't have been as much fun with the fear of getting stuck.
Subaru used to sell the RX Turbo sedan and wagon with shift on the fly dual range and a 5 speed manual. I had one and while quite capable off road; it couldn't hold a candle to what the X can do.

I hope the X gets a "Gen 3" that proves the third time is a charm.
 

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I bought my 2014 x because it was the only thing on the market i could find that could handle a hunting/fishing/kayaking lifestyle. I hope it doesn't die as well because i really love this thing. I get about 18-20 mpg out of it which is plenty. I can pull 5000 lbs and my boat only ways 2500. I do hope if they keep it around they find a way to keep the same size. I never really cared for the first gen x because i thought they were too small. A diesel would be very nice and i heard that they were putting those into the titans soon so that may be a very real possibility. I hope to get many years out of this vehicle and it would be nice to get another one in the future
 

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I bought my 2008 Xterra in 2009 because I needed a boat/trailer towing vehicle. What I got was a road-smooth, road noise quiet, essentially bare-bones SUV. I don't drive it like I stole it, and on the road I get almost 25mpg. Honest. I traded-in a 2004 RAV4. Nice car but noisy and front wheel drive. And maybe a couple of mpgs more. (I don't like FWD: poor traction on ice and gravel. It's a great engineering way to minimize assembly time at the factory. When BMW and MB change all their designs to FWD, I'll begin to believe in it.) I don't need a lot of gingerbread destined to fall off or fail, and the Xterra satisfies. The idea of a diesel has a lot of merit. It needs to remain in the Nissan family.
 

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2015 is Xterra's Last year....

So Nissan announced last month that this is the last year the Xterra's are going to be produced..I am bummed about that because I love my Xterra. I am glad that I was able to pick up an new one before its too late. There are a bunch of great new features on the new Xterra's including Bluetooth, Navigation, Back up Camera, Heated Seats, and a thermometer in the Mirror to name a few.
 

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Diesel Xterra

There is a way to get good mpg and still have a tough rugged body on frame SUV. The nissan navara with the 2.7l turbo diesel gets at worst 26mpg and the navara is basically the exact same thing as the xterra. I have read guys with 33s and at full tow capacity getting 28mpg. It's so simple. Put a diesel in the X and give us our small rugged SUV.

There is a reason diesels are super popular in Europe. They even will beat the mpg of hybrids. The Toyota Prius gets at best in the all time best conditions 45mpg. The diesel vw polo in Europe will get 70mpg easy. Even the twin turbo v6 diesel you can get in some jags in Europe will do nearly 50mpg.

My dream xterra would be a turbo diesel sas'd from factory and shrunk back to the gen 1 size and super basic but tough as nails.


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Yes, a turbo diesel Xterra would be nice. I am hoping someone would make a conversion kit so I can drop a turbo diesel in my 1st gen Xterra, but unfortunately that will never happen.
 

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Yes, a turbo diesel Xterra would be nice. I am hoping someone would make a conversion kit so I can drop a turbo diesel in my 1st gen Xterra, but unfortunately that will never happen.
There isn't a kit per se BUT a couple guys have done a Nissan TD27 turbo diesel swap and as swaps go it's fairly straight forward. The Xterra is basically built for that motor and almost drops straight in.
 
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