This is my contribution to the Manly Write-off in honor of Hawgwyld and Joubert's 3rd year here at Epinions! Congrats you two manly guys!
A few years ago, my husband started a real estate development company with a partner. Our new hobby has become driving around the countryside looking for undiscovered tracts of land off of which we can become rich. Yeah, we are still looking.
Sometimes that search takes us off the beaten path. When you are looking to design a subdivision, chances are there aren't any roads put down. This is what prompted us to get the Xterra. It's an SUV without breaking the bank.
We are a Nissan family. In our 8 years of marriage, we've bought three, all brand new, and they've never given us a minute's worth of trouble. The Xterra is no exception. We give it the standard oil change, and any general maintenance, and it gives us a good ride each time.
Another attribute I like about the Xterra is that it is pleasant looking. It has got a very distinctive shape and has always caught my eye while we were out, even before we were owners. The colors for this line of SUV's is so bright and sassy. I've liked almost every one I've seen, but we chose the blue one, as it is my son's favorite color. While I've seen many women driving it, you (or your man) won't look like a sissy in this truck.
What's under the hood? Just a V-6 engine, nothing spectacular. This means little to me, but I will tell you this: If you are trying to pass someone on a 2-lane, allow plenty of room. If you are trying to beat someone at a red light, make sure you are next to a little old lady before trying it. But hey, did you buy this thing for speed? No, and it isn't a strong point. But it does handle nicely. We had a fair share of snow in North Carolina this year, and the Xterra got us through in every situation. And we tested it; my daughter was born New Year's Eve 3 months early, so she had to stay in the NICU nursery for 2 months before coming home, which was about 20 miles from our house. We only missed one day of seeing her due to snow. Now perhaps you can understand my loyalty to this SUV?
Here's my Xterra's dirty little secret though: It eats gas. I have never driven another SUV (I'm thinking Suburban, Navigator, Explorers) so can't compare it to them, but it gobbles it quicker than my Maxima. If we are on the highway, it may get close to 20 miles to the gallon, but I'd say normal driving is only going to get you 16-17 miles to the gallon. Ouch!
When you are inside the Xterra, the feeling of gliding on glass is not one you'll have. I suppose this is all a matter of perspective, but being compared (again) to the Maxima, I have to say my bottom hurts. But hey, this is an SUV, folks.
Another little add on was the trailer hitch. Apparently, this too is an extra that you must request. We have yet to haul anything (to my knowledge) so I can't comment on it. I will say that the trailer hitch cover comes "unhitched" often and is a minor annoyance to the aforementioned anal-retentive husband.
Inside is what I like to call sufficient. I drive a Maxima with a lot of frills, so I do feel like I'm roughing it a little when I drive the Xterra. The seats are canvas, and can be removed and hosed down. Not that my anal-retentive husband would allow his truck to get that dirty, but nice to know it can be done.
One nice extra is the CD player in the front. It is one that you feed from the front, not a changer, but that's not necessarily a drawback to me. I will freely admit that the CD changer in the trunk is more convenient, but you certainly get more selection (providing you bring your CD collection) with the front loading CD player. The radio has a memory for up to 18 stations, more than we can actually get around here! The speakers are sufficiently loud and clear.
Do you smoke? Not in my car! We don't have an ashtray! You must pay extra for it to be a "smoking" vehicle. Also, in the place where lighters usually are is just an empty cap over the AC outlet. You may use these to plug your cell phone in, or to plug up your portable DVD for the kids in the back-seat.
Speaking of kids in the back-seat, this little truck actually has lots of leg room...for kids. While it doesn't have as much as my Maxima, the kids (OK, Ty as Mary Ashley is only 5 months old) like taking the Xterra because they are seated up so high that they can see out so much better. The seats are individual, though bench seats, which come with a third seatbelt in the middle. You may also push down one of the seats, or both, to allow yourself more trunk room. This trunk is where your extra storage comes into play. You are not as confined by an enclosed trunk, so can find more space to stuff your stuff. Also, there is a luggage rack on top, which we will use for the first time this summer.
And speaking of room, this little dilly isn't as big as it looks. In fact, we take this truck on our 11-hour trek to Florida each year, and I get to squirming pretty quick. I had a back surgery a few years ago and it is hard for me to sit straight up, but that's just what these seats do. You can manually lean your seat back, but I've never found that comfort spot. I'm either up too straight or laying too flat. My other complaint is with the seatbelt. For some reason, this one locks against your chest if you move too much (and for me too much is leaning up to change the radio station). It also creeps up along my neck, which my Maxima doesn't do, so I know it is not just me!
As confined as I feel in this car, it is obviously made for tall people. I had to really learn how to get into this darn thing gracefully, and I'm almost 5'9" tall. I can hardly complain though, since this very feature allows us to actually see over some cars in front of us, and besides, the truck comes with a tubular rail on the side to help you up, anyway. It's an SUV, people!
If you are looking for a manly vehicle, you just can't go wrong with a Nissan. I've never been disappointed with any of their products, and the Xterra is no exception.
Amount Paid (US$):
2002Model and Options: