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Strong New Platform

From the beginning, Xterra has differed from many other similarly sized SUVs with its truck-based (rather than car-based) platform, a credential that adds to its proven off-road capabilities. For 2005, the new Xterra features a new platform, a modified version of the "F-Alpha" platform developed for use with the full-size Nissan Titan pickup and Armada SUV.

The new Xterra starts with a fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame and adds a steel double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and rigid leaf spring rear suspension. High-performance gas shocks are available with the Xterra Off-Road model. The new Xterra also features an enhanced ground clearance with a clean underbody to protect components from off-road obstructions.

Powering the new Xterra is a standard 4.0-liter DOHC V6, rated at 250-plus horsepower and 270-plus lb-ft torque (final figures will be announced closer to production). The new engine is an increased displacement version of Nissan's VQ engine series found in the 350Z, Maxima and Altima. It features a longer stroke (than the 3.5-liter version) and has been specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications.

Like others in the VQ family, the new 4.0-liter version includes such advanced design features as Electronic Throttle Control with secondary mapping in 4LO (4WD models), Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, molybdenum-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler, lightweight aluminum block and platinum-tipped spark plugs.

Two advanced transmissions are available with the 2005 Xterra. The new electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission is based on the transmission used in the 350Z, modified for use in truck applications (with an emphasis on acceleration, fuel economy and shift quality). Also available is a 6-speed manual transmission tuned for driving performance and fuel economy and also based on a 350Z design.

"We expect the new Xterra to offer best-in-class horsepower and torque, with exceptional acceleration and driveability, such as acceleration coming out of a corner," said McNabb. "We've given it the hardware to get the job done, on highways and any paths that lead to adventure."

Like the previous generation, the new Xterra is offered in 4WD or 2WD configurations. The part-time 4WD system includes 2WD/4H/4LO modes and electronically controlled transfer case. A Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system is also available, along with other advanced off-road capabilities.

Other driveline components include engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). Available wheels and tires include up to 17-inch wheels with 265/65R17 tires.

Advanced Safety Systems
The new Xterra's list of safety features and equipment includes Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (which includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor), and 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters.

Other standard equipment includes 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants, including the center rear position, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system.

Also available are supplemental front-seat side-impact air bags, and available roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover protection for all outboard passengers.

A Range of Models
The 2005 Xterra will be offered in a choice of models: S, Off-Road and SE. Each is offered with standard 4.0-liter V6 and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions and in 4WD or 2WD configurations. It goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in early 2005.

The new Xterra will be assembled at Nissan's award-winning Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility. Engines will be supplied by Nissan's nearby Decherd, Tennessee engine facility.

"For 2005, Xterra remains a catalyst for adventure," said McNabb. "With aggressive styling, enhanced off-road capabilities, dynamic performance and its unique multi-flex interior, Xterra once again has it all."
 

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Discussion Starter #2
What Is It?

2005 Nissan Xterra

What's Special About It?

Bigger and more powerful than its predecessor, the second-generation Xterra is looking to bolster its image as a rugged no-nonsense SUV. It maintains body-on-frame construction but it now rides on a modified version of the F-Alpha platform found underneath the full-size Titan truck and Armada SUV. Although the overall length is nearly identical to the previous model, the wheelbase is up by two inches for more interior room and a less choppy ride. It's also 2.5 inches wider and nearly two inches taller than its predecessor making it one of the larger SUVs in the compact class.

While the previous model was plagued by a lack of power, the 2005 Xterra gets a major boost of power in the way of a 4.0-liter V6 that will produce more than 250 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Two transmissions will be offered: a five-speed automatic and a six-speed manual. Four-wheel-drive versions will use a multimode transfer case that offers two Hi/Auto/4Hi/4Lo modes for maximum flexibility in varying conditions. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard while an electronic stability control system is offered as an option.

Interior space is up thanks to the stretched exterior dimensions. Nissan claims that front seat leg- and headroom are up by nearly an inch while rear-seat passengers enjoy over 3.5 inches of additional legroom and more than two inches of extra headroom. New interior features include adjustable tie-down hooks in the cargo area, increased storage up front and an optional 300-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. Safety conscious buyers will be happy to note than in addition to the optional stability control system, the Xterra also offers front-seat side-impact airbags as well as side curtain airbags that protect both rows of seats.

What's Edmunds' Take?

More power, more room, more features — what's not to like? Sure, it may not be the stripped-down, back-to-basics SUV that the original was, but the second-generation Xterra still has the same rugged construction and unique styling that made the first model so popular in the first place. If you're looking for a compact SUV that's more than just a car on stilts, the Xterra is one of the best prospects going. — Ed Hellwig


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Old post...New reply. I owned a Xterra before my Mo. I like it A LOT!! But I feel the 4x4 on my Mo feels better for some reason. I went for a little better gas milage although I have yet to get better then 17.3 of the posted 20. Maybe one day when gas price drops down to closer to a dollar i might get a bigger engine.

:twak:
 
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