RIP, Nissan Xterra

August 19, 2015

When the Nissan Xterra debuted in the 2000 model year, it was hard to ignore. It was big, it was rugged, and it was often bright yellow.

Alas, the ray of sunshine known as the Xterra is fading fast. Its demise has been rumored since at least February, though the writing on the wall is much older.

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Unlike other Nissan rides, the Xterra has largely been ignored. The second generation rolled out quickly, in 2005, but the SUV hasn't received any major upgrades since. By industry standards, it should've been overhauled after seven years, but 2012 came and went -- as did 2013, 2014, and most of 2015. Nothing.

Then yesterday, Nissan issued a gargantuan, 11,500-word press release. (That's about 1/5 of a standard novel, FYI.) And tucked away in the middle of that release, among all the news of updates and refreshes and new packages and technological advances, came this wee bulletpoint:

  • And Xterra, one of the boldly designed vehicles that helped reinvigorate the Nissan brand at the beginning of the century, will go out of production after a highly successful 15-year run

The Xterra didn't even rate a period at the end of its official obituary. 

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So, let's take a moment and remember the glory that was the Xterra, a vehicle that turned its back on the champagne excesses of the first dot-com bubble and drove us back to the things that mattered -- the simple things, like surfing, camping, and sea kayaking. Despite its Japanese nameplate, the Xterra promised to remind us what being American was all about. That was an especially attractive offer during the trying early years of this century.

Got any great Nissan Xterra stories? Share them at the wake (i.e. in the comments below).

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