T Nation

Looking For A New Ride


I just got a new job, where I will be commuting to Little Rock daily. This will be a 120 mile round trip. I currently have a 2002 Dodge Ram XLT Quadcab. Lately, with the goofy weather here, I am averaging between 10-14 mpg highway. I am thinking of trading in my truck for a Nissan Xterra. The Xterra gets better milage, and has 25 more hp; not to mention, it is easier to park at work. Does anybody here have an Xterra? If so, please tell me what you like and don't like. I think that I may be able to get between $13-15k for my truck. Thanks, -Starkdog


I don't personally own one but I've heard a couple of mechanic friends of mine say that Xterras are pieces of shit. Cheaply built and not worth the money.


my girl friend has an Xtera and she likes it but this one has alot of electrical problems, gas is ok as long as you keep it at 65 or lower, and its decent in the snow if you have good tires. She likes it but is thinking about trading it in for a Subaru.


I've got a 2004 Xterra. I've only had it for about 4 months, but so far so good... I traded a Subaru WRX for it, so getting used to the truck-like ride and size took a little time, but I'm happy.

As far as the mechanics' comments, I can't really say anything to that because I haven't had it long enough for anything to really go wrong, although I've always heard good things about Nissans in general. The stadium seating in the back is pretty cool although not really necessary. Cargo room is good, the rear seats fold down if needed. I've got the base model so the acceleration leaves a bit to be desired, but it gets the job done. Mileage depends a lot on how you drive it, but I typically get around 260-280 miles per tank (which usually takes about 15-16 gallons to fill when the light comes on, so do the math to find MPG), and that's with mostly city driving. Overall, I like the X.


The H3 is American, and it will get you around 20-24 mpg since it's powerplant is the new GM inline 5 cylinder motor. The engine, for it's size, still puts out about 220HP's at 5600 RPM's

You won't be losing any interior space to the Xterra, going with the H3 either.

If you'll get 13 K on your Dodge, then you'll only have to finance around 15k.

Just a suggestion, but I'd take the H3 over an X-terra any day of the week.



If you are really worried about gas mileage, want to get a smallish SUV, and you can get your hands on one, then I'd suggest looking at the Ford Escape Hybrid.



Why on gods green earth get an SUV or truck if gas mileage is a concern?


Just a guess but if he has to drive that kind of distance to get to Little Rock then he probably lives in a rural area.

And probably hunts

And goes fishing

And might have a dog or three

And hikes

And bikes

And needs 4 wheel drive

And needs room to put all his crap.

And might have a job where he needs to haul tools and equipment back and forth.

And cars suck

Just a guess.


The Xterra - Just about one one bucket of plastic short of being a toys r us.

Seriously - I've ridden in one several times, and I hate how noisy it is, and the seemingly gimmicky appointments like "first aid kit"

It rides a lot like a truck, be that good or bad for your tastes.

This just doesn't seem like the 1st choice in my book.


Definitely not first choice. They have a lot of road noise and the cabin just seems loud for some reason. For the money, I would think you could do a lot better if you just shop around a bit more.


Thats what I was thinking...

Why not a sedan? I got an acura TL a few months ago and I get around 25 mpg highway. Its great.

It just seems to me that for a 120 round trip everyday a sedan would be much smarter.


They're trucks. They're going to be louder than a sedan. The rack on top doesn't help with that noise, in fact it's reduced quite a bit if you take it off. My dad has an '01 Xterra and has had quite a few problems with it. One that stands out is a gasket that had to be replaced several times.

The dealer finally gave up and put in a new engine since it was still under warrenty (it just had 60k at the time). I personally wouldn't buy one, as that wasn't the only problem he's had with it. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what else went wrong.