On the inside, four thin-shell bucket seats help maximize interior space. The floating, full-length center console, running from the dominating center stack rearward, is fabricated from a single piece of aluminum. The console houses switches for the electronic traction systems, the transmission controls, and storage compartments. The cabin's earthy tones (browns, black, and dark gray accented with alligator-skin leather upholstery) give the Zaroot a warm look, and the ribbed vinyl flooring facilitates interior cleaning.

Mechanically, the Zaroot is equipped with Nissan's electronic All-Mode 4x4 system, giving it all-terrain capabilities. While there was no mention of what would lurk under the hood, it's safe to assume that a variation of Nissan's respectable V-6 would fit, probably mated to a modified version of the CVT from the Murano.

Nissan's designers have positioned the Zaroot in the heart of the current SUV and crossover marketplace (see chart). While slightly shorter overall than the Xterra, it rides on a wheelbase almost four inches longer, emphasizing its wheels-pushed-to-the-corners look, at the same time improving its approach and departure angles. The Zaroot's combination of dramatic styling and innovative interior packaging gives us reason to believe Nissan will continue its current string of successes, searching out new segments to explore.

Size Comparison
 2005 MuranoZaroot Concept2005 Xterra2005 Pathfinder
Wheelbase, in111.2110.2106.3112.2
Length, in187.6177.2178.7187.6
Width, in74.070.972.872.8
Height, in65.565.474.972.8