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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking of posting this over on the "other site" as well, but thought I'd put the question to this group first.
I've always felt Nissan and Toyota were head-to-head competitors. Having seen what Toyota has done recently in relegating the FourRunner down to soccer mom utility....I was wondering if that isn't exactly what Nissan has done for our Xterra's.
Toyota has grossly destroyed what was once a very viable offroad vehicle and turned it into something that is repulsive to most male buyers, certainly those in the offroad crowd. With the drivetrain changes made to the new X, doesn't it appear Nissan is doing much the same?
Will Nissan answer to Toyota's newest offering to the offroad enthusiast following that they have.....the FJ Cruiser. By all appearances the FJ Cruiser has got to be one of the most successful ventures they've made. And, given that the FJ has it's problems, none of which are keeping them off the trails. So, I'm left wondering what Nissan is going to do? Will they make good for all the current owners of the last three production years. Or, will they just chicken-shittedly send us the message that we've basically been bait-and switched into a wimpy FourRunner equivalent while they're in the midst of designing a new retro-Patrol-like offroad offering?
Your thoughts please.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nothing to this point. And, I wheel my truck every weekend...no bull...literally, every weekend. Some weekends harder than others. I do not go offroading as a form of recreation in itself most of the time, I do a lot of flyfishing and birdhunting and use the vehicle for a more utilitarian purpose....access. But, some on this board are pushing the notion that our trucks are unworthy due to deficient design in the differentials, and this is the issue I'm addressing. Personally, I've never viewed the Xterra as a toy in the way Jeeps and other vehicles are played with. I don't think the Xterra was designed for hardcore trail demands. To me, it's always been a compromise vehicle. It has ample enough traction controls to handle most offroad situations. It has the interior space I require......It has plenty of things to its credit, but it's not meant for the toughest stuff. I don't think it was meant to be taken out and worked through obstacles purely for that purpose.
 

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Nissan built us a truck that has the best of both worlds, a capable off road rig, that is practical as a daily driver. and since we keep beating up on the competition in the comparison tests, I would hardly call our truck a "has been"

Nissan doesnt have to answer to the FJ, the FJ is Toyota's answer to the X
 

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Dont forget xtatik that before the Xterra, Nissan's off-road contribution was the Pathfinder. If you want to compare anything to the 4Runner, it would probably be the Pathy.

X11 is correct, the FJ is Toyota's answer to the X. How many years has the X been around without anything comparible from Toyota's lineup?
 

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Look at it from Toyota's perspective...Most people don't go off road. With the price of a 4runner, it has to compete with ML's, X5's and the like. The changes to suspension were a necessity. Remember, the Japanese manufactures ADAPT to the market. That is why they do so well. And thats why GM still puts a live axle in the Vette. They never change even when we stop buying.

Think of a brilliant off roader you cant buy new in this country anymore.

Think...

Think...

Thats right the Defender. Sold in every other country. Why don't you see it?

Land Rover says that if they made the Defender meet current safety standards, and emission requirements(they have the TDI engine out of a Ford Box Van) It would be ruined off road.

With the X jammed in between the Murano and Pathfinder, and if people continue to buy them for off road pursuits, Its evolution will take it to FJ and Wrangler territory.

Good Discussion starter.

BTW I WANT A 4 CYLINDER DIESEL OPTION!!

Low end torque and gas mileage are a must.

Like the one out of the euro-spec Pathy.
 

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The best "blank-slate 4x4" is the wrangler (especially the rubicon). Buy the wheelbase you want and add on parts. I used to have a wrangler and that is why I bought an X..for streetability and a little more engine power and sophistication on road.

I was disappointed with the whole front end issue, but otherwise has been exactly what I wanted the X to be. I will agree that they marketed the X as tougher than what it is. To touch on the original poster's concern..will Nissan improve the X? yes..but probably for on road use :(.
 

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Even with the expanding market of Soft Roaders? IE Rouge and Murano? I don't know if I agree, Mike.
 

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I dont think they will improve the X for on road use only. The Xterra was never advertised to be just another family SUV. Nissan is just like every other company trying to cut corners. They give you a better engine but they give you a crap housing for your differential (or just a crap differential actually). It is give and take. I agree with BigTom that as long as we continue to support the Xterra, they will continue promoting it as Nissan's 4x4 Adventure Vehicle.

First gens didnt have lockers available off the showroom floor did they? ( I really dont know the answer to this one but I think they didnt)
 

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Nissan would be shooting themselves in the foot if they make the X softer and more mall rated. They designed the X to be their no frills mid size SUV with real off road capabilities. They advertise it as such also. With the Murano, Rogue, and Pathfinder, there's not really any room in their SUV/Crossover lineup for another on road SUV.

The X fills a great niche, and I fell for it. A mid size 4x4 with a true truck frame, lots of functionality, enough space, great engine, and awesome price! I no longer have to worry about where I'm going at any time, as the X can handle anything any reasonable person would want to drive through. Sure, it may not be as single purpose driven as a Jeep, but is much better to live with in the real world.
 

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I just want to point out that I don't think Nissan purposely engineered a weak driveline. They tried to cut some cost and weight and it did in the front diff. The rear M226 diff, from what Lloyd said is very stout in every way except for the locker which Nissan did not design. So I don't think Nissan was trying to turn the X into a mall only crawler on purpose.
 

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matteblack said:
I no longer have to worry about where I'm going at any time, as the X can handle anything any reasonable person would want to drive through.
That is the exact thinking my wife and I had when we bought ours. We have a habit on trips of looking for the road less traveled. The X gets us down the highway in relatively good comfort but its still able to handle the trails and "unimproved roads" that lead to other places along the way that most people don't get to see. If I wanted a vehicle for heavy off-road use, I would have bought something that was less expensive and had a huge after-market available to it for mods.

You have to keep in mind that everyone on this board enjoys the X for what it is. But I would suspect that we represent only a few percentage points of all X owners. A vast majority own an X and the most off-roading they do is getting the tires in the grass next to their driveway. And since those people make up the majority of ownership, why make the X any beefier?

FYI - my sister-in-law bought a Rubicon and it has NEVER been off the pavement.
 

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I bought my X as a decent street vehicle, way more comfortable and more room than my old 95 Wrangler.

I also, coming from a Jeep, wanted a vehicle I knew could take me off pavement. I'll never take it rock crawling and I am not a hardcore offroader but it gets me places other SUV's or cars could not and these are places I want to go.
 

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...I do not go offroading as a form of recreation in itself most of the time, I do a lot of flyfishing and birdhunting and use the vehicle for a more utilitarian purpose....access.... Personally, I've never viewed the Xterra as a toy in the way Jeeps and other vehicles are played with. I don't think the Xterra was designed for hardcore trail demands. To me, it's always been a compromise vehicle. It has ample enough traction controls to handle most offroad situations...
Nissan built us a truck that has the best of both worlds, a capable off road rig, that is practical as a daily driver.
I was disappointed with the whole front end issue, but otherwise has been exactly what I wanted the X to be.
...They designed the X to be their no frills mid size SUV with real off road capabilities... The X fills a great niche, and I fell for it. A mid size 4x4 with a true truck frame, lots of functionality, enough space, great engine, and awesome price! I no longer have to worry about where I'm going at any time, as the X can handle anything any reasonable person would want to drive through...
That is the exact thinking my wife and I had when we bought ours. We have a habit on trips of looking for the road less traveled. The X gets us down the highway in relatively good comfort but its still able to handle the trails and "unimproved roads" that lead to other places along the way that most people don't get to see. If I wanted a vehicle for heavy off-road use, I would have bought something that was less expensive and had a huge after-market available to it for mods...
I think these posts are a pretty good representation of my feelings, and I believe, the contingent to which the Xterra is (successfully) marketed. If you want a true, out-of-the-box capable, off-road toy to mod to the hilts, there really isn't much, if any, true competition for the Rubicon. But, for the other 90%+ of the time you have to live with a vehicle, driving around town and back and forth to work, it certainly isn't the most comfortable or practical. This is where the X shines; cheap, comfortable, practical, capable off-road. Might not be great at specifically one thing, but I think it does well at pretty much everything. I don't think there is any other vehicle on the market that I would be happier with for how I use my X.

Has-been? Not a chance. The '05+ X has many more offroad enhancements over the 1st gen (locker, bilsteins, bigger meats, etc). Just hope Nissan doesn't do anything silly in the future to compromise a great, for the most part, vehicle (like ditch the live-axle for the IRS on the Pathy).
 

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lostboy said:
Lyrex said:
FYI - my sister-in-law bought a Rubicon and it has NEVER been off the pavement.
That's just a waste of money or a sad Rubi...poor Rubi.
And I bet she bought it for the hood sticker and the nicer wheels.

I doubt she has a need for the 4:1 TC and the front and rear lockers. ;)
 

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I have been analyzing this lately myself. The FJ is a disaster not safe for the road, let alone off-road. The Xterra is unfit for off-road, and the H3 and JK have more early model production problems then I have ever seen combined.

Something is going on. I believe it was a realization the Off-Road market was a growing, under served market and the current offerings were too "Soft" including the Gen I Xterra and Fourunner. So, Jeep, Hummer, Nissan, and Toyota all took a leap into the hardcore off-road market, all at once, and failed to take time to develop and engineer there products. After all, NO hardcore vehicles in over a decade then FOUR in 2 years!(and if you continue to think these vehicles were not marketed to the hard core crowd, review some of the advertising again) This lack of design and engineering time has lead to pissed off customers, mounting losses and discouraged manufacturers. Things like bad computers, body cracks, blown valves and engines, un-treated diff parts or Dana 60 axles with less then Dana 35 Spider gears are not cost saving, or "Soft" design work, just pushed, BAD work.

Sales for these vehicles have BLOWN expectations to hell and back, so the demand WAS there. But I see the Nissan, Toyota and Hummer markets beginning to implode as word spreads of the defects, and start of lack of warranty care for it. Yet the Rubicon is so far back logged, it takes 3-6 months to get one.

I believe the FJ will be canceled as it was planned, due to mounting losses of this "boutique" vehicle for Toyota. Nissan will powder puff and bail DUE to mounting losses on the next model. Hummer will focus on the H2, and be forced to do better because of the hype of the line up. Jeep will fix its JK early production problems and become the only serious contender in the market again, or one of only a couple.

Now to see who is right....
 

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GM is dropping a V8 in the H3, so that will give it the much needed power that the i5 was lacking. I do wonder if the driveline will hold up.

But then again, I have never seen an H3 on the trails.

The FJ is still selling very well for Toyota, so I don't see if going any where any time soon.

Seeing as Jeep is the only SFA I can think of being sold in the US, it will continue to be the off-road vehicle of choice. I do think the new 4 Door JK is actually too big. I have wheeled with quite a few and there have been tight spaces I can fit my X the the 4 doors couldn't get through. As far as I know, the wait for the JK Rubi is pretty much over unless you want certain options and colors. I know a couple dealers I can walk on the lot today and drive away with a 2 or 4 door Rubi.

Nissan, well, if they continue the X line into the next new model year, I think it will be even better. Really, all that is stopping it from being a good on and off road vehicle are the diffs and it only seems like the OR rear diff is a problem. We just need the aftermarket support that the FJ has.
 

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Wow what a great thread.

I just took delivery of my 07 X not even a week ago and im possitively in love. I also can't wait for the 09's for several reasons. First of all, I tihnk my x will be even more awesome when it's not the newest most recent model. I guess that's just some weird aesthetics thing I have. I Also really want to see what Nissan does with the Xterra. There are two forces at work here.

On one hand I think Nissan will continue the hardcore marketing and make the X into an even more formidable contender to the Hummers and Jeeps and whatever Toyota calls the FJ in a few years. After all, Nissan has 4 other predominately on-road suvs. There is really no reason to soften the X.

However, on the flipside, as someone above me said, the majority of X owners really could care less about offroading. Whether or not Nissan is wise to what 95% of X's go through on average is unknown to me.

So, in conclusion I dont know what will prevail, refining the X into an even more capable offroad predator, or numbing the essentials into a CRV-esque platform while keeping only the tough interior to satisfy Joe consumer who could care less about ground clearance and solid rear axles.

Only time will tell.
 

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I definitely don't see it going CRV, I thought that was why they came out with the new Rogue.
 
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