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My review of the SUV version of the Frontier
I bought my 2015 Xterra with 500 miles on it.
I expect 90% of this to apply to the 2015 Frontier PRO4X as well.

Put on 900 miles of my own now.

A mix of mostly city and hiway but also some dirt roads and some short not-so-roads stretches.

First a few general remarks.

– The Xterra is one of very few remaining body-frame 4×4 SUVs.
– It is the SUV version of the Frontier mid size pick-up
– Its primary competitors are/were the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Toyota 4runner and the Jeep wrangler.
– It has a fully boxed ladder frame like the Mercedes Benz G Class
– Powered by a 4.0 L VQ series engine and a 5 Speed auto
– Its mid size, significantly smaller than , say, a Durango
- The vehicle has been made little change for a while and it shows in a lot of little details being matured and just right.


– very precise and accurate low speed steering that is nicely weighed.

– fantastic vision out compared to vehicles of all classes, never had such good situational awareness in a vehicle before!

– Much more livable than the Wrangler as daily, while having by all accounts about 95% of the stock wranglers off road abilities.

– Much less expensive than the nearest competitors in concept the 4 runner. (The 4 runner admittedly looks better/more expensive/more modern, but under the skin is near identical except for a couple of features and is consistently $ 9,000-10,000 dollars more when comparing equivalent trims.

– Good power in all driving situations

– Available with a 6 peed manual transmission, very rare!

– Very comprehensive base equipment: standard transmission cooler, rear locking diff. 4LO transfer case.

– chassis shared with a full size truck, the Titan, so you know its strong. lots of running gear components are oversized , for its weight, for this reason.

– Hugely oversized airfilter and air intake almost a foot (!) above the top of the tires tuck in as high as it can go inside the front fender

- Great Low beams, way better than in my Maxima, right up there w/ the HIDs in my 350Z. Hardly see a need for HiBeams anymore.

- My first vehicle with an accurate fuel gauge. All others usually show too high or too low.

– Love the PRO 4 X trim, comes with offroad lamps (in addition to the fog lights), bigger tires that effectively result in a mild lift, Bilstein offroad shocks. hill descent control, Hill start control, rockford fosgate stereo, , Navigation, skid plates for engine, transfer case and fuel tank, Machined (!) wheels for incredible strength, functional roof rails.

– Many many thoughtful detail touches in the interior, lots of practical features like tie down rails/hooks all over the load area and little nooks everywhere. Its easy to load this with different kinds of stuff in an orderly way.

– Wonderful ergonomics. This has always been one of Nissan’s strong suit. The dash board is very easily legible and all controls are very intuitive.

– Understated handsomeness. Though called a bit dated by some to me it is timeless

– Incredibly handy in town. It has an incredible tight turn radius. No doubt the short wheelbase helped make that happen. It is this handiness that convinced me to buy it, as it makes it real good BOV for quick reaction to changing traffic and/or roadblocks.
And due to almost no overhang in the back and front it is also very easy to park, easier than most cars (the rear camera also helps, it’s stock in all trims from mid range on up)


– Fuel economy: around town with my short trips in DC traffic I get around 13 mpg. On the hiway you can get 20 mpg in nearly normal driving, driving like grandma 21-22 mpg can be done (I have many times gotten 22 mpg, but you need to stick to a constant 62 mph) … 23 mpg is possible on the hiway but requires gentle driving with very deliberate fuel saving driving techniques (in my maxima those techniques would have yielded 28 mpg) The good thing at least you have a 21 gallon fuel tank.

– Steering/handling at hiway speeds is old school which is to say unimpressive. It drives very much like a traditional truck/SUV rather than like a modern Unibody crossover (which it isnt), but that’s part of a deliberate trade-off.
My PRO4X suspension/tire set-up likely didn’t help this area.

– The interior material, hard plastic, shows the age of the design, newer designs use a lot softer materials. . My truck is dressed up in leather, Nav and rockford fosgate which helps mask this quite a bit .

In summary I feel almost invincible in this truck like I can jump curbs and go offroad anytime.
Despite the hard plastics in the interior I really enjoy its logical arrangement and and superior ergonomics.
Even as a formerly pure car guy, I just love the overall design and intent of this vehicle!
Great report.
I have thoroughly enjoyed our PRO4X Xterra and my NISMO Frontier.
While I agree with the classic truck SUV ride, I am a classic truck person, so WINNING!

However, with 106K miles on my Frontier, I'm itching to get into an Unlimited Wrangler! I have a 98 TJ that will enjoy the company.
Seriously considering getting rid of the itch to have a project vehicle and sell my 2 Patrols, but they shall remain at home for now.
06 nismo CC 4X4: SOLD and replaced with 2017 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon; Teraflex 3" lift, 315/70-17 Cooper STT PRO tires on Fuel Trophy wheels, JCR bumpers front and rear w/Warn 9.5cti winch in front, Ace sliders, GraBars, Weathertech window deflectors and floor liners
98 Jeep Wrangler in the garage, 2" lift, 33X12.50 BFG MTs on 15X8 MT Classic Locks, Pioneer/MTX/RF P3 Sound, Borla Header w/Flowmaster
63 and 67 Nissan Patrols (under construction)
I already find myself eyeing used Frontiers and XTerras as a "back-up" Big Grin
Update, (which also applies to all Frontiers with this equipment):

been enjoying the heck out of the 300W Rockford fosgate.

I am not an audiophile and my standards are not high but to me this is the best stereo I have had in a car so far.

Makes old songs come to live in a way I had never noticed before.

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