2012 Nissan Xterra Safety

7.0
Safety

Sport-utility vehicles tend to do well in crash tests because of their strong frames, but the Nissan Xterra falls somewhat shy of expectations.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't tested the current Xterra since it changed up its ratings and criteria, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has. The latter rates the Xterra as "good" in front and side impacts, but calls it only "acceptable" for roof strength and "marginal" for rear-impact safety. For a vehicle intended to trundle over some difficult terrain, the roof-crush score in particular is worth considering when it comes time to buy.

Safety scores aren't great, and there's not much in the way of add-on protection in the Nissan Xterra.
Standard safety equipment includes front active head restraints, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, and side-curtain airbags. Automatic-transmission Xterras also include Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist. Off-roaders will require the skid plates of the PRO-4X edition, but on-road drivers will miss newer features like parking sensors and rearview cameras.

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