You can tell that the 2010 Xterra is a serious off-roader from the outset, with its high physical stance, externally mounted spare, and prominent brush guards and skid plates on some variants. Kelley Blue Book asserts that the Xterra "looks as if it were born to be a long way from pavement." 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 Nissan Xterra boasts a "sturdier, muscular appearance, helped in part by the wider fender bulges."
Cars.com declares that "if you like your SUV to look tough, the Xterra has toughness in spades," detailing that "the Xterra offers a chiseled appearance," thanks to "its large grille, with its angular slats," and the "flared fenders and stepped roofline." Between the several trim levels offered, the Xterra looks quite differently because of wheels and tires; 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 rides on "off-road tires," according to Edmunds.
Inside, too, the look is universally rugged, with tough-looking upholstery, easy-to-clean cargo surfaces, tie-downs, and extra storage spaces as part of the package. Kelley Blue Book likes the "clean and purposeful interior.” 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 also 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 rather difficult to read in most lighting conditions."