The Nissan Xterra, created as tough, essential gear designed to inspire and facilitate outdoor enthusiasts' activities wherever they go, receives a number of enhancements for the 2009 model year - including a redesigned front end appearance, new Roof-Mounted Off-Road Lights (Off-Road only), new wheel designs, new seat materials and colors (with leather-appointed seats standard on SE models), new trim level content and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.

The changes to the second generation Xterra enhance the differentiation between the four available Xterra models - X, S, Off-Road and SE - making it easier for buyers to determine the exact Xterra model for their particular needs and lifestyles. Optional equipment packages have also been simplified with two packages, Technology Package and X Gear Package, offered for 2009.