2012 Nissan Xterra vs. Its Competition

2011 Nissan Xterra 4WD 4-door Auto S Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

There are definitely fewer hardy, off-road-worthy vehicles than there were a decade ago, but the models remaining are more rugged and trail-focused than ever.

The current Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has msintained this model's reputation, with very boxy, rugged styling combined with phenomenal off-road ability, and for 2012 it gets an all-new (and much more refined) powertrain: Chrysler's strong Pentastar V-6 and five-speed automatic.

Like the Xterra, Toyota's FJ Cruiser hasn't changed significantly in many years; it's not at all a family vehicle but appeals to either young people or purists who want off-road capability.

For families who also need off-road ability, the Toyota 4Runner Trail model might be a better alternative than the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Finally, if you have a higher budget and want a little more luxury with that true off-road ability, check out the Land Rover LR4.

2011 Nissan Xterra 4WD 4-door Auto S Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan XterraBrowse Used Listings2012 Jeep Wrangler - First Drive2012 Jeep WranglerGet Your Price2011 Land Rover LR4 4WD 4-door V8 Angular Front Exterior View2012 Land Rover LR4Browse Used Listings2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota 4RunnerBrowse Used Listings2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD 4-door Auto (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota FJ CruiserBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.4
If you have a lot of gear to haul to tough-to-reach places, the 2010 Nissan Xterra is a good choice for weekend adventurers.
6.8
The off-road-hardy 2012 Jeep Wrangler is still fine-tuned for adventurous weekend warriors, but it's become a little more tolerable for the commute.
7.8
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 is a burly off-roader with a luxurious, high-class interior; just don't expect it to handle or perform like a car or crossover.
8.2
The brawny 2012 Toyota 4Runner targets off-road purists who sometimes need to haul the family—and it's better on the highway than you might think.
7.4
If head-turning style and true trail toughness are priorities, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser stands above most SUVs—although families and city commuters need not apply.
MSRP From    
$25,480$22,045$48,900$31,090$26,115
Gas Mileage    
15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 17 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Gas V6Gas V8Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class    
2WD Sport Utility4WD Sport Utility Vehicles4WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle 2WDSport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
2WD 4-Door Automatic X4WD 2-Door Sport4WD 4-Door LUX Limited EditionRWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (GS)RWD 4-Door Automatic (GS)
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel Drive4-Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
54555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
Sport Utility2 Door4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4 Door
Transmission    
AutomaticManualAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic