2012 Nissan Xterra vs. Its Competition

2011 Nissan Xterra 4WD 4-door Auto S Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

There are definitely fewer hardy, off-road-worthy vehicles than there were a decade ago, but the models remaining are more rugged and trail-focused than ever.

The current Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has msintained this model's reputation, with very boxy, rugged styling combined with phenomenal off-road ability, and for 2012 it gets an all-new (and much more refined) powertrain: Chrysler's strong Pentastar V-6 and five-speed automatic.

Like the Xterra, Toyota's FJ Cruiser hasn't changed significantly in many years; it's not at all a family vehicle but appeals to either young people or purists who want off-road capability.

For families who also need off-road ability, the Toyota 4Runner Trail model might be a better alternative than the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Finally, if you have a higher budget and want a little more luxury with that true off-road ability, check out the Land Rover LR4.

2011 Nissan Xterra 4WD 4-door Auto S Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan Xterra
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2012 Jeep Wrangler - First Drive2012 Jeep Wrangler
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2011 Land Rover LR4 4WD 4-door V8 Angular Front Exterior View2012 Land Rover LR4
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2011 Toyota 4Runner 4WD 4-door V6 SR5 (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota 4Runner
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2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD 4-door Auto (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser
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Quick Specs
If you have a lot of gear to haul to tough-to-reach places, the 2010 Nissan Xterra is a good choice for weekend adventurers.
The off-road-hardy 2012 Jeep Wrangler is still fine-tuned for adventurous weekend warriors, but it's become a little more tolerable for the commute.
The 2012 Land Rover LR4 is a burly off-roader with a luxurious, high-class interior; just don't expect it to handle or perform like a car or crossover.
The brawny 2012 Toyota 4Runner targets off-road purists who sometimes need to haul the family—and it's better on the highway than you might think.
If head-turning style and true trail toughness are priorities, the 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser stands above most SUVs—although families and city commuters need not apply.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 17 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy
Gas V6Gas V6Gas V8Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class    
2WD Sport Utility4WD Sport Utility Vehicles4WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle 2WDSport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
2WD 4-Door Automatic X4WD 2-Door Freedom Edition4WD 4-DoorRWD 4-Door V6 SR5 (GS)RWD 4-Door Automatic (GS)
Rear Wheel Drive4-Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
Sport Utility2 Door4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4 Door
AutomaticManualAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Nissan Xterra vs. 2012 Jeep Wrangler2012 Nissan Xterra vs. 2012 Land Rover LR42012 Nissan Xterra vs. 2012 Toyota 4Runner2012 Nissan Xterra vs. 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser