First Look: 2005 Nissan Xterra

The new Xterra has evolved into a larger, more powerful version of its former self

Allyson Harwood
Jun 24, 2004
Photographers: The Manufacturer
Since the 2003 model year, Nissan's entire line of trucks, SUVs, and vans has completely changed, starting with the new Murano and redesigned Quest and then with the launch of the Titan and Armada. Now the transformation continues with the 2005 Xterra. Nissan didn't stray too far from the vehicle's original philosophy of rugged, affordable fun, but the new vehicle has evolved into a larger, more powerful version of its former self.

The sport/utility is now based on a version of the Titan's F-Alpha platform. While this change gives the Xterra an opportunity to stretch, it's still a reasonably sized SUV. Its wheelbase is two inches longer, and the vehicle is 2.5 inches wider and 1.9 inches taller. However, overall length only increased by 0.2 inch, meaning more interior space and an off-road-friendly front overhang. Ground clearance has also gone up, thanks to a cleaner underbody design. Suspension combines a double-wishbone front with a rigid leaf-spring rear.
Power now comes courtesy of a 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 that puts out more than 250 horsepower and more than 270 pound-feet of torque (final numbers aren't yet available). The engine is a higher-displacement version of Nissan's 3.5-liter VQ series, but the 4.0-liter is specifically tuned for truck and SUV use. Buyers can choose from six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions and two- or four-wheel drive. There will be two 4WD systems offered.
Inside, legroom and headroom have increased, most notably in the second row, where there's 3.6 inches more legroom and 2.3 inches of extra headroom. Nissan also redesigned the looks of the cabin and provided more storage space. Added to the cargo area is an adjustable channel system in the floor, much like the Titan's Utili-track system. A cargo-area first-aid kit is still an option on Xterras, with a nearby space designed to carry one-gallon water jugs. Satellite radio is a new option.
Before Nissan's done, the Frontier and Pathfinder will have also received its share of upgrades, including larger platforms, new exterior designs, and new engines. Expect to see all the new models in dealerships by early 2005.
2005 Nissan Xterra Photo Gallery...
Photo 2/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Front Passenger Side View
Photo 3/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Front Drivers Side View

Photo 4/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Rear Drivers Side View In Snow
Photo 5/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Roof Rack View

Photo 6/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Interior View Steering Wheel
Photo 7/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Roof Rack Storage Compartment View

Photo 8/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Wheel View
Photo 9/9   |   2005 Nissan Xterra Rear Bumper Step View



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