Chances are you won't have any trouble telling the Xterra's reason for being. Boxy and buff, in the way of traditional SUVs--and looking ready for the off-road trail--the Xterra hasn't gone soft or streamlined.
The Nissan Xterra proudly wears its serious devotion to off-road driving in just about every line on its body, and every surface on its dash and doors. The high stance and bulging fenders are appropriate here, not silly add-ons meant for marketing appeal, and things like the big off-road tires and the external spare hanging on the back, makes a lot of sense, as the Xterra probably sees more.
And when you add options like additional skid plates and brush guards, we think the Xterra looks especially fashionable--perhaps fitting in a bit better at the beach than the rock-scrambling Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
The theme inside is universally rugged as well, with tough-looking upholstery, easy-to-clean surfaces, extra storage spaces and tie-downs all contributing to a look that means business. The only thing a little lacking is the instrument-panel design itself, which looks dated and feels a little more plasticky than it should.