There are only minor changes for the Xterra in 2006, most notably the addition of an entry-level model, while the Power Package becomes a standard feature on all "S" models. Also added are: a standard glovebox lock/lamp/damper; available satellite radio (choose between XM and Sirius); standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) stability control program; a new Midnight Blue exterior color; and a new Charcoal interior shade for Off Road models.
The Xterra's raison d'etre was to create a basic SUV that was capable off road, but not loaded with so many interior comfort and convenience features that might increase prices and discourage some from using their SUV off road. Inside, don't expect over-the-top amenities. The "X" base model is the down-and-dirty version, with manually-operated side view mirrors, cloth seats, manual windows, and a long list of options. The top-of-the-line SE gets all the goodies standard, like power everything, cruise control, keyless entry, anti-theft hardware, and upgraded audio system.
All Xterra models come in either two- or four-wheel-drive iterations. There's only one engine choice; the 4.0L V-6 with 265 hp and 284 lb.-ft. of torque. Two transmission choices are available: a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. The Xterra differs from many SUVs in its class since it has a solid rear axle with an independent front suspension. The solid rear axle offers more off-road capability, but doesn't give up that much in highway ride quality.
The front grille carries the same treatment as found on other Nissan SUVs and pickups, and is bold and aggressive. The roof rack is unique since it features a lid and is equipped to carry wet loads or extra gear that you don't want to carry inside the vehicle.
Safety is still paramount, with standard dual-stage front airbags, optional side curtain airbags, three-point seat belts at all positions, and a front-passenger-seat occupant classification system that estimates passenger weight and seating position before deploying the airbag.
The Xterra resides in the Compact Utility segment, with four other short-wheelbase and off road-capable, no frills competitors.
The Jeep Liberty is the segment sales leader, with 166,883 units sold in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM Another Jeep, the Wrangler (79,017 sales in 2005), holds the next position, just ahead of the Xterra (72,447). The Suzuki XL-7 and new Toyota FJ Cruiser round out the segment.
|X (M6)||6 speed manual||$20,050||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||17/22|
|S (M6)||6 speed manual||$22,250||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||17/22|
|Off Road (M6)||6 speed manual||$23,850||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||17/22|
|SE (A5)||5 speed automatic||$25,750||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||16/21|