First Glance at the XterraEverything about the Xterra says "big and rugged." Borrowing styling cues from the rest of the Nissan truck and SUV line, the Xterra has big boxy fenders, a squared-off snout and an oversized chrome Nissan badge on its grill surrounded by a V. The Xterra is more truck than car, even more now than before. The aesthetic is aggressive, angular and muscular, and may fall into the "love-it-or-hate-it" category. I happen to love it, but I wonder how Nissan's current line will look on the used car lots in five years. It's a look that may not age well. The rear of the Xterra has gotten even more boxy it reminds me of the old Land Rover Discovery. That's a compliment.
The Xterra comes equipped standard with some clever, useful exterior features. Steps are built into the rear bumper to help reach the roof rack, which is heavy duty. It features a covered storage box at the front, perfect for wet clothing and shoes. Water drains through the box and down the windshield at a stop, but flows out the back on the move. Tubular side rail steps on each side add macho beef, and help the short of stature enter the vehicle. 17" aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich Long Trail Tires look a little small in the wheel wells -- ripe for an upgrade.