The front of all Nissan Xterras receive a new look for 2009, along with new wheels, seat material, and colors, while Off-Road models also get roof-mounted lights and SE models come equipped with leather seats.
Strong, purposeful exterior styling hides a well-planned interior on the 2009 Nissan Xterra. Motor Trend reviewers note that this second-generation Nissan Xterra, which debuted in 2005, "stays true to the more industrial, squared-off lines of the previous generation," but the 2009 Nissan Xterra boasts a "sturdier, muscular appearance, helped in part by the wider fender bulges." Kelley Blue Book muses that the Nissan Xterra "looks as if it were born to be a long way from pavement."
Cars.com reviewers find that "the Xterra offers a chiseled appearance," thanks to "its large grille, with its angular slats," and the "flared fenders and stepped roofline." They conclude, "If you like your SUV to look tough, the Xterra has toughness in spades." Edmunds says, for Nissan, 2009 brings an Xterra that comes in "four trim levels—X, S, SE and Off-Road," though the external differences are minimal. While the X, S, and Off-Road all offer 16-inch wheels, the SE comes with "17-inch alloy wheels," and the Off-Road model sports "off-road tires," according to Edmunds.
The interior is very ruggedly styled and versatile. It includes an adjustable channel system in the cargo hold for securing bike racks and sports gear, as well as a total of 10 utility hooks. Cars.com approves of the Nissan Xterra's "large numerals on the tachometer and speedometer" that "help make the gauges easy to read." ConsumerGuide praises the "high-set" audio controls that "are easy to reach," but they add that the "steering wheel cruise and radio controls have tiny black markings on a gray background, rendering them nearly unreadable in most lighting conditions." Kelley Blue Book likes the "clean and purposeful interior.”