Comfort and Quality » 6
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QUALITY | 6 out of 10
found the ride surprisingly smooth and quiet on smooth surfaces
Because of the Xterra Off Road's taller ride height, climbing in and out of the cabin may be inconvenient for shorter passengers.
The seats were a bit stiff but not unpleasant
Climbing into the back seats isn't easy, as they're still mounted on top of the rear wheel wells.
The 2013 Nissan Xterra serves as a reminder as to why traditional SUVs weren't a good fit for family duty; built for mud, gear, and off-road adventurers, the Xterra sings a siren song to weekend warrior types and hardcore off-roaders.
Simply put, it gives up some passenger comfort in the name of all-around usefulness--and particularly, usefulness in ways that a car or crossover probably can't deliver. Although the seats in the Xterra aren't as supportive as those you'll find in some of Nissan's other mid-size or large models, there's decent head and leg room in front, and the rear bench, while a bit upright and hard, can fit adults when needed. Its best use is probably flipped forward--to down to expand cargo area.For cargo and gear, Nissan has found ways to hone the Xterra's abilities, making it something of a Swiss Army knife. There's a double glovebox, a large center console, and a generous 35 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat up—expandable to nearly 66 cubic feet with it folded forward. And to fit especially long items, like cumbersome sports equipment, the front passenger seat can fold forward to a horizontal position.
Trims and cabin appointments in the Xterra, as with the Frontier pickup that it's closely related to, are a bit plasticky. But we wouldn't want leather or delicate trims here anyway; there are plenty of easy-to-clean surfaces. Interior noise could use more of a damper on the highway, especially in PRO-4X models, but otherwise the interior is relatively quiet compared to other off-road-focused vehicles.
Inside, the 2013 Nissan Xterra makes sense as a weekend warrior's transportation Swiss Army knife; passengers won't be all that comfortable, but the tough, easy-clean surfaces make sense for gear.