The 2014 Nissan Xterra is boxy and buff, leaving few questions about this vehicle's intentions. It's designed like a traditional SUV–big, rugged and ready for the trails–and there's no indication that it'll get any softer anytime soon.
Nearly every line on the Xterra's body looks devoted to the practice of off-road travel–even its interior is built to withstand a little bit of rough-and-tumble action. The bulging fenders and high stance work well here, unlike so many silly add-ons for other vehicles, and its oversized off-road tires and its hanging spare on the rear make sense, as the average Xterra will probably see less pavement than most crossovers today.
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.