2005 Nissan Xterra Road Test
Xtra ruggedness, Xtra power, Xtra thirsty
Maybe the folks who created the 2005 Nissan Xterra also cast an occasional lure for the famous Big Mouth.
Whereas the previous version was focused almost entirely on the U in SUV, the new Xterra, like a good bass boat, aims to add some excitement to the points between destinations. To that end, behind the new, more familial front end is an engine that offers significant gains in horsepower and torque. It may not be bringing home any blue ribbons from the races at the local fair, but this new powerplant finally addresses the S in SUV. And if the old Xterra was lacking significantly in any one area, giddy-up was definitely it.
Along with the revised look and new engine come an assortment of aesthetic tweaks, fancy packages, and standard features that soften what has been one of the most unapologetically basic utility vehicles since the first Jeeps. It’s on a fine line that Nissan engineers have chosen to dance, safeguarding the Xterra’s simple success while keeping it fresh and appealing.
For bass fishermen, they’re surprisingly good on their feet.