Motor Trend Online senior producer John Matthius discovered something disconcerting about our Xterra. If you put four adults and cargo in it, you can possibly reach or exceed the 930-pound passenger-plus-cargo weight limit. He further noted pronounced suspension rebound and exaggerated bump stops over suburban intersection dips. He goes on to say that this much gear filled the cargo area to the roof, including the space between the rear passenger seats.

Many buyers probably look at a midsize SUV like this and assume it would haul more weight than it actually does-as we did.