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Discussion Starter #1
I'm very close to purchasing a 2007 Xterra. I'm currently debating between a 6 spd and the auto. I like a manual trans, but several of the posts on this forum and others have me concerned.

Has Nissan made any upgrades to the clutch assembly that would make me feel better about purchasing a 2007 manual trans?

Thanks for any insight you may have.
 

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No updates have been made, go with the auto b/c you'll probably be better off for offroading and what not also.

Nissan doesn't like to cover anything w/ the clutch either. You could probably blow up your auto and it would be covered.
 

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I am an MT fan all the way but haven't had a clutch problem yet. I say get what you like the best.
 

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I have the MT and narry a clutch problem. I prefer a manual off-road, but then again I have many years experience with manuals off-road. I find the gearing of the MT X more than adequate for the X's off road capabilities (in stock form of course).

But the real reason I bought the manual is that is that it extracts the most from the VQ40. It's a good bit of fun to drive, which cant be said of most SUV's. IMHO, the auto makes the X less engaging to drive. Test drive them both and see what you think. Oh, here's something that will impress the salesman: See if you can get the X to lay a scratch going from second to third gear. It will do it.

-Old Army

PS: I don't want to hear about how hard it is to drive an MT in traffic. I commute 25 miles each way in Washington DC traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You guys aren't making this any easier! One of features that originally got me interested in the X was the manual tranny. I've always preferred a manual to an automatic going back to my first car...a 72 plymouth valiant with "three on the tree"!

Beyond the reliability issues; what can you tell me about the performance of the MT:

1--In deep sand. I don't expect to do any rock climbing or deep mudding...but I do plan to take the X on the sand around the outer banks of NC several times a year.

2--Towing. I tow a double jetski trailer with a total weight around 2000 pounds. It's not a heavy trailer, but I understand the MT has a lower towing capacity.

In the end...I'll probably have to get past the reliability concerns...I'm not quite sure how to do that. Maybe I should never have checked out the site!
 

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The AT and MT have the same 5000# tow capacity. So that shouldn't be a concern. The MT will have fewer problems with generating heat from towing (unlike and auto) but will generate more clutch wear from starting a trailer if you slip the clutch. The key to longevity is to simply not slip the clutch at all. A 2000# trailer will not be an issue.

Deep sand is not a problem. Serious rock crawling can kill a clutch if you have to slip it a lot.

As to reliability, I know a number of people have reported early clutch failures here, but a portion of those have been related to flywheel defects or improper installation. I am not convinced that there is a serious reliability defect with the clutch disk, although it is likely that this clutch may be less tolerant of abuse (ie excessive slipping).

In the long run, due to its simplicity, a manual will be more reliable than an auto. The manual will not have computer control issues, heat issues and will be more tolerant of water ingestion. But the clutch will be a wear item and will likely not last more than 100K miles.

So in the end it comes down to preference, not reliability or capacity. I, for one, am glad that the X offers a stick.

-Old Army
 

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I agree with Old Army. I personally enjoy driving a MT(maybe because I have had mostly MT vehicles) and thought after test driving both it made the X more fun to drive. I don't blame you for your concern about the reliability of it after reading these posts, but remember the people on these boards probably drive their vehicle harder off road than 99% of all Xterra owners. According to Consumer Reports the FJ is about the most reliable SUV made but go to the FJ boards and you will find rear differential failures, crumple zone cracks, and rear window leaks.

Drive them both and get what you makes you happy.
 

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X2 with Old Army...

When I test drove both models before buying mine the MT felt a little peppier than the AT (this could all be in my head IDK) as for the reliability issues it may be an issue like Old Army said but I'm looking @ replacing mine as soon as a good after market one is available like Center Force.
 

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I like the MT for off roading. the hand brake is great too. Would love a center force.

Edited to add tow an 1800 Lb tent trailer like it's not even there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Army, you make a good point. I recall reading about some sort of serious reliability issue on my current ride before I purchased it...a 2002 VW Jetta. It now has 180,000 miles (and the original clutch I might add...) with nothing more than routine maintenance.

I think I'll drive both this weekend and make a choice based on which version I like driving best. I'm pretty confident that I'll enjoy running through the gears myself...

Regardless, all of your comments and insights are appreciated. This is a great forum that I'm sure I'll make good use of your experience when I finally make up my mind.
 

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The 6 speed doesn't have the shift feel of a honda, but it is quite fine for a truck, IMO. The gear spacing is useful and lends itself to fast acceleration on the street. The OR model has a 42:1 crawl ratio and only 6th gear is overdrive. the rest of the gears are a close ratio setup with a 4.4:1 first gear.

The best part about it is the VQ-40 has the variable cam timing with the intake plenum tuning which means the torque is always there even if you don't shift at the most optimum times. It's a pretty good stick shift truck, but if you commute 45 minutes in traffic, it's still a stick, if you know what I mean.

The 6 speed on the toyotas feel good as well-maybe better, I don't for sure since the test drive I had in ones was over 2 years ago.
 

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This was my big issue when ordering my X last year. I'm an MT guy, always have been. My last car was on 04 Maxima, but with going to an OR 4X4, I wondered about going with an MT. A year later, I don't regret getting the MT - for all the reasons mentioned ealier. However, I've off roaded, towed up to 5000 lbs and run through stop and go traffic on the way to and from work every day. I'm quite suprised how the shifter broke in and feel like it is just as much fun to drive as my old Maxima.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to everyone for their opinions and advice. I'm proud to say I'm the new owner of a 2007 super black S Xterra with...

A 6 spd MT!

I drove both and like the manual. Still getting used to the sensitive accelerator...it makes the initial take off difficult without spinning the clutch. The tranny is more "truck-like" than I expected, but it's certainly more fun to drive than the auto.

Thanks again for all your assistance. Looking forward to many happy miles in the new X.
 

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I have an MT and you did make a good choice for getting one too. After driving the car for 1 year, I am still split on what I should get in my next car. So far the only two benefits of an AT are:

1. My girlfriend can drive it.
2. Easier on the rocks.

The benefits of MT are:

1. My girlfriend cannot drive it.
2. Fun to drive.
3. Love it on the highway!
4. Easier on gas.

I have had several tough calls with MT mostly because I am new to off-roading. I have gone around the issue by learning how to handle the truck (the process is painful) and by using the parking break. Not the best aspect, but you can manage. The principle that I picked up from other drivers is that it is better to stall then to burn the clutch by over-revving.

If you don't do rocks, then you should be fine with the MT. Good choice on the color too :)
 

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:clown: There are several other advantages to a M/T--

--Realatively easy to tow--

--You can push to start, especially OFF-ROAD--

--Doesn't care about hydraulic pressure or xmission cooler LINES--

--OH, by the way HATES STOPnGO TRAFFIC--

-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
 

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Congrats on the purchase! I had clutch problems but I never regret going MT, I absolutely love it!
 
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