A-Z April Challenge the X word…


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The Xterra lassos an award at the 2011 Truck Rodeo of Texas

The 2012 Xterra Pro-4X was voted Compact SUV of Texas. Held at the rugged Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch, the Truck Rodeo of Texas pits dozens of SUVs and pick-up trucks against the elements and each other, and nearly 50 members of the Texas Auto Writers Association vote on a winner. Xterra Pro-4X beat all challengers and took home the title.

The … Nissan Xterra may lack the funky styling and unique features of its off-roading competitors, but it’s the easiest to live with on those days when you’re not rock-crawling and mud-splashing.” — Edmunds

The 2012 Nissan Xterra ranks 13 out of 20 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 65 published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Xterra, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2012 Nissan Xterra is a good option for those who want a rugged off-roader with plenty of utility and space. Its 4.0-liter V6 has lots of power, but its on-road ride simply can’t compete with crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Then again, they can’t compete with the Xterra when the pavement ends.

In rollover tests with the federal government, the Nissan Xterra earns three out of five stars. It has not been scored in any other area yet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2012 Xterra a top score of “Good” in both frontal offset and side impact tests. However, the Xterra gets a score of only “Marginal” (the second lowest out of four ratings) in rear crash protection tests, and the second highest score of “Acceptable” in roof strength tests.

Standard on the Xterra are four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags. Models with an automatic transmission receive hill descent control and hill start assist, but these features only come on the PRO-4X model.

“Inside the 2012 Nissan Xterra is a world quite opposite the vehicle’s rugged exterior. The tall roof makes for an open and airy cabin, while theater-style raised rear seats allow back-seat passengers an equally good view of the trail ahead. The Xterra’s seats are comfortable and supportive, and the dash and instruments are logically arranged with large knobs that are easy to reach and operate while bouncing along unpaved roads.” — Kelley

Versatile cargo capacity is where the Xterra shines: It provides 65.7 cubic feet with the second row folded down and 36.3 cubic feet with all seats in use. The Xterra also provides more cargo features than most SUVs, including luggage side nets, ceiling hooks, side hooks and under-floor storage in the cargo area. All but the base model also include an Easy Clean cargo area and an Utili-track Cargo Channel System. The Xterra also has a lockable compartment on the roof. There are steps on the rear bumper that make it easier to reach the roof compartment.

So it seems the XTERRA is a vehicle for the more rugged outdoor lifestyle and not so much a luxury vehicle. What do you think of Nissan?  What do you think of the American car companies?  What is your dream car?

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