Long-Term Introduction: 2006 Nissan Xterra OR-V-6 4x4
A sport/utility with built-in texture
As with all winners of Truck of the Year, the 2006 Xterra earns an automatic invite into the Truck Trend garage. This is the second time the Xterra has won the award, the first being in 2000.
Although it looks similar to its predecessor, the Xterra launched in early 2005 is all-new in every other way. The exterior is broader and taller, which translates to more leg, shoulder, and headroom. Using a shortened version of the F-Alpha platform (Pathfinder, Titan, et al.), the wheelbase has grown by two inches but the overall length has increased by just 0.7 inch.
Previous-generation Xterras had a variety of engines from which to choose, none ever the perfect answer. Now there's just one: the 4.0-liter, 60-degree V-6--and it's exactly what this rig needs. This powerplant cranks out 55 more horses and 38 pound-feet more torque than the old supercharged V-6. Four-wheel-drive models get a secondary engine mapping that adjusts throttle response when in 4-Lo. A six-speed manual is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional; ours has the latter.
We opted for the Off-Road model, which gets underbody armor, foglamps, knobbier tires, and 9.5 inches of ground clearance, priced at $27,655 to start. Options included the 380-watt Rockford Fosgate AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system that's also wired for satellite radio ($900), the Protection Package (all-season floormats, emergency kit, and wheel locks for $160), carpeted floormats ($110), in-cabin microfilter ($60), splash guards ($110), and an auto-dimming mirror with compass ($230), bringing the total to $29,225. You can get a base 2WD Xterra for $20,655, and most of the standard features on the 4x4 are optional on the 2WD version.
We've put just over 6000 miles on it so far and have experienced one minor glitch: The tire-pressure warning light came on, but when the tires were checked, all was right. They've been checked multiple times since then and still no pressure loss. We'll have the dealer look at this when we take the Xterra in for its 7500-mile scheduled first service.
Nissan has built a sport/utility vehicle that's exactly what the customers want: It's rugged, versatile, fun, solid-looking, honest, and will take you and your gear anywhere you want to go--without costing a fortune.
|2006 Nissan Xterra OR-V-6 4x4|
|Price as tested||$29,225|
|Vehicle layout||Front engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|Engine||4.0L/265-hp/284 lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|Curb weight (f/r dist)||4451 lb (52 / 48%)|
|Length x width x height||178.7 x 72.8 x 74.9 in|
|0-60 mph||7.4 sec|
|Quarter mile||15.8 sec @ 85.7 mph|
|Braking, 60-0 mph||131 ft|
|Lateral acceleration||0.72g avg|
|MT figure eight||29.3 sec @ 0.56g avg|
|EPA city/hwy econ||16/21 mpg|
|Total mileage||6183 mi|
|Average test mpg||15.1 mpg|
|Problem Areas||Warning Light|
|From The Logbook|
|"Gone are the days of trucklike ride, bouncing and bucking down the road. The Xterra has gained an impressive amount of interior and ride quality." |
- Scott Mortara