The Xterra’s interior is much roomier and more versatile than the FJ’s, which has an especially cramped backseat.
Yet the Toyota FJ Cruiser feels like a more expensive vehicle inside and out, which may give it an advantage over the Xterra.
The Wrangler now has a full array of safety features, along with much better handling than the old version, but its interior is slightly inferior, and it still allows more wind noise than the others due to its boxy shape.
The H3 doesn’t ride and handle as well as the rest of the group, and its styling is typically love-it-or-hate-it.
For those who plan to haul or tow, but not off-road quite as much, the Xterra is arguably the best choice, as its V-6 feels especially perky on the road, with better highway stability.
Those thinking about doing occasional off-roading, but needing a real backseat for occasional longer trips, should consider three of the most rugged conventional mid-size SUVs: the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Grand Cherokee was just redesigned for 2011 and has a much more refined and sophisticated feel overall, while the 4Runner was completely redesigned last year, retaining its tough, traditional truck look and feel.
|2011 Toyota FJ CruiserBrowse Used Listings||2011 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings||2011 Jeep WranglerBrowse Used Listings||2011 Nissan PathfinderBrowse Used Listings||2011 Nissan XterraBrowse Used Listings||2011 Toyota 4RunnerBrowse Used Listings|
|15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy||13 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas/Ethanol V6||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||4WD Sport Utility Vehicles||2WD Sport Utility||2WD Sport Utility||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|RWD 4-Door Automatic (Natl)||RWD 4-Door Laredo||4WD 2-Door Sport||2WD 4-Door V6 S||2WD 4-Door Automatic X||RWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (Natl)|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||4-Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||Sport Utility Vehicle||2 Door||Sport Utility||Sport Utility||4 Door SR5|
|Automatic w/OD||Automatic||Manual||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic w/OD|