Pros: It had all of the options I was looking for in a vehicle.
Cons: It could get better gas mileage.
Buying a used vehicle is a hard thing to do. You never exactly know if you are going to get something that the previous owner had beat to near death, or a good vehicle that will be dependable for you. I had been looking for quite some time at vehicles. I was trying to decide if it was worth paying the extra money to get a brand new vehicle, or save some and chance it on a used one. After much investigation and contemplation, I ended up buying a used 2002 Xterra; I was sick and tired of the little car that I had owned before. I missed having the four-wheel drive capabilities for the mountain area I live in. After looking at many vehicles, this is the one that I found to be the best for me. No, it isnt perfect, but it has been well worth the investment.
When buying a new vehicle, you really need to know what you want out of your new vehicle. I was looking for an upgrade. I had owned a small Dodge Neon, and before that a Ford Ranger. I loved my truck, but I got married and soon after found out that my wife was pregnant. We needed more space than my Ranger provided, that is why I got the car. After a while both my wife and I agreed that we needed to upgrade to something a little bigger, and that had four wheel drive. So we had some definite options that we were looking for in a vehicle.
The Xterra had everything that we were looking for in our new car. We are college students and have a tight budget, but the Xterra was within our price range. It is a solid built vehicle that had four-wheel drive. I hate getting into an SUV and feeling like I am in a flimsy car. When I want to go into the mountains, which I do often with my family, I dont want to feel like I am in a car. I like the fact that it is on a solid truck frame. There is a certain feeling of safety when you are in it, that I dont feel in other SUVs built on car frames. It has many options that work well, and I enjoy having. I like the fact that it has a keyless entry fob. It is simple and easy to use. It has power locks, and I have had no problems with them. One thing that is interesting about the SUV is that it only has two places to unlock the doors with a key. One is on the drivers door, and the other is in on the rear door to the storage area. A feature that I like about the lock as well is that if you turn the key twice to unlock it, it will unlock all of the doors. It also has power windows that work great. I also like the fact that the rear windows come tinted from the factory. Another feature that I was looking for was cruise control. If I dont have cruise control to set my speed on long trips, I tend to speed more and more as time goes on. For me it is a way to keep me from getting tickets. This cruise control works well and holds a constant speed. One other feature that we like for our daughter is the car seat mounting brackets in the back seat. Many car seats have clips that you can use to mount them into the car. You have the option of using a seatbelt, or these clips. Not all of the vehicles have the brackets that go along with the clips though. The Xterra did. They are small brackets that sit where the back of the seat meets the bottom cushion. They are solid and yet dont get in the way if you are just sitting in the seat. It also has the large cargo area that we were looking for. We go on many trips, and it is hard to fit everything that we need into smaller cars. The cargo area is large, and also has a rack on top for more storage, if needed. The factory CD-player and stereo have a good quality sound, and works well. I havent had a problem with the CD-player skipping or having a hard time reading some of the older CDs that have a few scratches on them. This vehicle had the options that we were looking for in our vehicle. I will admit that I really dont like the rims that come with it from the factory. It is a well designed SUV; I think that they could have done better on those rims.
Now for a little bit about the performance of the vehicle. I have the 3.3L V6, with an automatic transmission. It has the power needed to get things done. I am one that could always use a little bit more power though. The transmission shifts smoothly, and has good shift points. It gets about 20 mpg. This isnt the greatest, but is far from the worst. The brakes have work well to stop when needed. Like I mentioned before I love the frame and how it gives the feeling of something solid that doesnt give where it isnt supposed to. I have done some off-roading in it, and it has performed well. It shifted in and out of four-wheel drive quickly and smoothly. The automatic transfer for the four-wheel drive is easy to use, and in easy to get to place. On the road, it drives well. The engine is not loud and obnoxious. It has a smooth quiet ride. I am very pleased with the way that it performs.
I dont think that everything is perfect, but after breaking down the good and bad about the vehicle, it was the best one that I found for me. It is reliable, and does everything I need it to do. I have also found a better way to buying vehicles. Just find its good and bad points and make your decision from your findings. That is what I did, and came up with this great vehicle.