2014 Nissan Xterra Safety

6.0
Safety

The 2014 Nissan Xterra looks and performs with some machismo, but body-on-frame SUVs don't always do the best job of protecting their passengers in accidents.

However, the Xterra is well-represented in terms of safety equipment. Front active head restraints, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, and side-curtain airbags are all standard, and Xterras with automatic transmission get Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist--two electronic aids that may enhance stability. PRO-4X models also come with a rearview camera system.

Safety scores for the Xterra have been pretty poor.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't recently tested the Xterra, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives it a mix of ratings. The Xterra earns a top 'good' in frontal and side impact tests, but calls it only 'acceptable' for roof strength and 'marginal' for rear-impact safety. And that roof-strength rating is a bit worrisome considering the Xterra's tall center of mass and its ability to perform on precarious terrain.

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