When it comes to safety, the Xterra performs respectably but isn't near the top in a class that tends to receive a lot of high scores.
It wins four-star ratings in the federal test for frontal protection and top five-star results for side impact, and the insurance-affiliated IIHS tests finds the Xterra "good" for frontal impact, "good" for side, and "poor" for rear impact.
Standard safety equipment on the 2010 Nissan Xterra includes front active head restraints, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, and side-curtain airbags.
Some reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, including the one by Cars.com, note that "despite the fact that the Xterra has active head restraints—which are designed to decrease the chance of whiplash in a rear-end collision—the SUV received a 'Poor' overall score in an IIHS rear crash test."
The 2010 Nissan Xterra also receives some safety extras—Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist—that will be appreciated by those who like to go off-road. Kelley Blue Book notes that they're included in the Xterra Off-Road model.
When it comes to visibility around the vehicle, Car and Driver is particularly impressed by the "unimpeded view” from the “commanding driving position" offered by the 2010 Nissan Xterra. But "visibility is hampered by the rear roof styling and wide-base windshield wipers,” ConsumerGuide counters.