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2005 Nissan Xterra Sport Utility

4dr S 2WD V6 Auto

Starting at | Starting at 16 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway

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  • $21,650 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Nissan Xterra Sport Utility

Printable Version

2005 Nissan Xterra Sport Utility

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2005 Nissan Xterra

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

It looks almost the same, but the 2005 Nissan Xterra is all new. And it's better, on paved roads and off. It's safer, more powerful, more sophisticated, and more capable.

First introduced in 2001, the Xterra was simple, functional and largely unrefined. The original Xterra was really just a pickup truck chassis with a utility body, accessorized with racks, bins and cargo hold-fast items. It was truly useful, but it rode and handled like a pickup truck, and it was flawed by conflicts between the base platform and the accessories that were tacked on. Still, it was unique. It was a great adventure vehicle. And it was Cool.

Taking full advantage of the opportunity to re-design the Xterra for 2005, Nissan has made the new Xterra more modern, but still rugged and functional. Features and options are better integrated into the package. Conceived as a multi-function SUV, Xterra eschews luxury do-dads, but can be configured for varying combinations of utility and convenience. With the 2005 Xterra, Nissan has resolved the equipment conflicts, and properly integrated the features packages.

They did all that, and somehow kept The Cool.

Model Lineup

The 2005 Nissan Xterra is available in 2WD or 4x4 configurations, in S, SE or Off-Road trim levels. Each comes standard with the 4.0-liter V6 and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.

Safety equipment includes an advanced air bag system, which consists of dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor. Also standard are three-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants (including the center rear position) and a child seat anchor system. The Side/Curtain Air Bag Package includes side-impact air bags, with rollover sensor, and side curtain air bags.

Options include the Power Package (standard on SE and Off-Road grades), which includes power door locks, mirrors and windows, remote keyless entry, cruise control and a vehicle security system with an immobilizer.

The Utility Package (standard on SE and Off-Road) includes sturdy step rails, electronic Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) (automatic transmission only), a cargo net, flat-folding passenger seat for carrying long cargo, and the signature first-aid kit.

The Rockford Fosgate Audio (standard on SE) package has a six-disc in-dash changer, eight speakers with subwoofer, steering wheel controls and MP3 CD capability. The system is satellite-ready, and has speed-sensitive volume.

The Off-Road Grade (standard on Off-Road) combines an electronic locking rear differential with Bilstein shocks, skid plates, fog lamps, 16-inch alloy off-road wheels and larger 265/75R16 BFG Rugged Trail all terrain tires. The package comes with distinctive black body side molding, unique blue seat fabric, cargo net, and everything in the Power Package. The Off-Road Grade also includes electronic handling systems such as Nissan's VDC, Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist systems that avoid skidding and wheel spin through computerized application of the anti-lock braking system.

Walkaround

The new Xterra looks a lot like the old Xterra, but tougher and more powerful, ready for outdoor activity. Wheel wells have been accentuated with squared-off lines, adding muscular shoulders to the Xterra's stance.

The effect is especially pronounced from the front, where the massive front bumper and heavy grille combine with a conspicuous front skid plate, adding bulk and mass to the approaching Xterra. The roofline kicks upward to increase second-row headroom. Side mirrors are large and rectangular. The bodywork is intended to suggest an aggressive posture, and performance in the off-road sense.

The Xterra also projects a high-utility image. A roof rack made with wide beams adds size and a sense of utility. Side steps create easy access to the roof rack, a functional addition underscoring the utility of the roof rack and its cargo box. The angled C-pillar carries Nissan signature high-mounted rear door handles, a unique design trait that visually links the new Xterra with the original.

Overall, it's as if the original Xterra spent the past four years at the gym: same guy, but with more muscle.

Interior Features

Inside, the new Xterra has become more organized, and significantly roomier. It has about an inch more front legroom, and over an inch more front headroom. Second-row legroom, headroom and shoulder room have all increased.

Cargo capability has remained a priority. The rear seat folds down when needed, and the front passenger seat also folds down, meaning that lengthy recreational gear or lumber can be more easily accommodated.

Second-row seating is stadium-style, meaning that the rear passengers can see over the front-seat occupants.

Storage compartments have been enlarged (both center console and glove compartment), and there is also additional instrument panel storage. The cargo area has easily cleaned flooring and a total of 10 cargo utility hooks. The rear is set up to handle anything the roof rack can't, such as a dirty dog or muddy soccer cleats. There is an adjustable channel system on the cargo floor making it easier to secure bike racks. The built-in first-aid kit is included with the Off-Road and SE grades.

Driving Impressions

Testing an adventure vehicle demands something more than just putting around town, especially when you have a 4x4. Rising to the occasion, we ended up on a weekend adventure trip, driving to the Grand Canyon for a little river rafting, stopping in Sedona and Williams, Arizona, along the way.

Much of the route took us across lonely interstate highways, where we noticed the new Xterra cruises far more easily, and more quietly, than the previous generation. The automatic transmission, a five-speed overdrive, wins points around town. For commuting or driving in traffic, we would prefer it.

But on the open road, the six-speed manual is a sweet gearbox, with an overdrive gear so tall the engine barely murmurs at cruising speeds on the sweeping, largely unpatrolled highways leading to Williams, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. In addition, the six-speed's first four ratios are lower than the automatic, so we could really feel all the torque when we shifted for ourselves.

The 4.0-liter V6 has very good, if not outstanding, response to throttle. High-speed passing with the automatic transmission does create some noise and vibration as the engine revs toward redline, but only at speeds well above the normal cruising levels. No such issues with the manual, which is strikingly refined, yet sporty. We're told the six-speed is a version of the same transmission used on the Nissan 350 Z, and we would recommend it for those who like to drive.

Regardless of the power train, the Xterra is easy to keep in lane on the highway, probably due to the combination of rack-and-pinion steering and a speed-sensitive steering ratio. At one point, we drove five hours without stopping, a positive indication when it comes to seat comfort and overall driving effort.

To check the audio system, we jammed a CD into the Rockford Fosgate. We're not audiophiles, but we like our music. We can testify that the 300-watt system is quite a bit bigger, cleaner, and more accurate than what we normally listen to. Getting good sound in an SUV interior can be difficult, since there are many hard surfaces combined with soft shapes to reflect and muffle sound. In this case, 8 speakers with subwoofer carry the day.

Even though the Xterra's utility quotient is the main design priority, effort has been made to reduce wind noise, and the results are tangible. Large mirrors, angled grilles, big roof racks, open side steps-these are features that invariably create wind noise, and at speeds over 75 mph, noise does begin to become a factor. Yet below those speeds, the Xterra remains nicely calm and quiet. The roof rack, a prime source of wind whistle, has been redesigned with oval beams, which slice through the air more cleanly than round or square tubing. Engine noise, likewise, is kept to a minimum through techniques such as a silent timing chain, microfinished surfaces and Teflon-coated pistons.

On smaller roads, the Xterra retains a handy feeling, driving with the ease of a large family sedan. If you push it, the long-travel chassis will show some roll from side to side, and the tires will complain, but in ordinary driving, the Xterra feels consistently composed and, for a truck, highly refined. The 4-liter engine has some guts in the midrange, and we noticed that acceleration coming out of a corner is a strong point.

A memorable stretch came when as we approached the launch point for our raft trip. Leaving the highway for a graded dirt road, we continued downward for miles. It had rained in the desert the night before, and as we approached the river, water trickled across the road, accumulating in the middle and flowing down the path. Eventually the trickle became a torrent, then a series of streams, and we found ourselves driving down a canyon path of loose gravel with rivulets of water running around us on all sides. The crunch of gravel gave way to the sound of water and rock in the wheelwells. We were forced to move carefully from sid

Summary

There is nothing exactly like the Xterra on the market. True to the theme of the original Nissan Xterra, the all-new 2005 Nissan Xterra is considerably improved, and there is a lot to like. There is more power, more room, plus more carefully thought-out utility features. It is more refined in every way, making it a much more practical everyday vehicle. And when used as a truck, a dirt road prowler, or an adventure vehicle, the Xterra can offer authentic 4x4 capabilities, handle wet or dirty cargo, and clean up like a champ.

New Car Test Drive correspondent John Stewart is based in Southern California.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$NaN
Model lineup:
Nissan Xterra 4x2, 4x4; S, Off-Road, SE
Engines:
265-hp 4.0-liter DOHC V6
Transmissions:
5-speed automatic; 6-speed manual
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual frontal airbags with Nissan Advanced Air Bag System; 3-point height-adjusting seatbelts w/pre-tensioners and load limiters; 3-point rear center seatbelt; LATCH system and three child seat tether anchors, child-safety rear door locks; ABS
Safety equipment (Optional):
side-impact airbags, curtain side-impact/rollover airbags; Vehicle Dynamic Control
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Smyrna, Tennessee
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Nissan Xterra 4x4 Off-Road
Standard equipment:
power door locks, mirrors, windows, Vehicle Security System with Immobilizer, remote keyless entry, cruise control; Utility Package with driver and passenger sunvisor with extender and mirror, cargo net, flat fold passenger seat, drivers side front seatback pocket, first aid kit; 16-in. alloy off-road wheels with matching spare, 265/7516 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail off-road tires, unique blue seat fabric, locking differential, Bilstein Shocks, skid plates, Clutch Interlock Override Switch, "Offroad" badge
Options as tested:
side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, side-impact air bags; Rockford Fosgate Audio System w 6CD in-dash changer, 8 high performance speakers with subwoofer, steering wheel audio controls, satellite radio ready, MP3 CD capability, speed-sensitive volume
Destination charge:
N/A
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$NaN
Layout:
four-wheel drive
Engine:
4.0 liter DOHC V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
265 @ 5600
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
284 @ 4000
Transmission:
6-speed manual with 2-speed transfer case
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
N/A
Wheelbase:
106.3 in.
Length/width/height:
178.7/72.8/74.9 in.
Track, f/r:
61.8/61.8 in.
Turning circle:
37.3 ft.
Seating capacity:
5
Head/hip/leg room, f:
39.9/55.9/42.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
39.3/46.1/34.4 in.
Cargo volume:
65.7 cu. ft.
Payload:
1061
Towing capacity:
5000 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, double wishbone with coil-over shocks and stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
solid axle (Dana 44 variant) with leaf springs, long stroke shocks
Ground clearance:
9.5 in.
Curb weight:
4375 lbs.
Tires:
P265/70R16 all-terrain
Brakes, f/r:
disc/drum w ABS in.
Fuel capacity:
21.1 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Nissan Xterra Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Side Head Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2005 Nissan Xterra Sport Utility

Nissan Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-year/100,000 mile limited warranty. Only Nissan models less than 6 years old and under 80,000 miles qualify for the Nissan Certified Pre-Owned program. The CARFAX Vehicle History Report ensures your vehicle has a clean title history.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer & less than 80,000 miles.
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 150+ point comprehensive Certified Pre-Owned Inspection and reconditioning. Inspection includes OEM service bulletins and recalls, diagnostic trouble codes, powertrain/chassis, body frame, road test, interior and body exterior.
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes for the duration of the 7 year/100,000 mile limited warranty from the original in-service date of the vehicle.
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty No/Yes if wrap coverage is purchased at the time of sale
Warranty Deductible $50 per claim

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Nissan Xterra Sport Utility

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