The Nissan Xterra is a truck-based compact SUV. It is a 2 or 4-wheel drive that was manufactured from 1999 to 2015 with two generations to its name.
After the 2015 model year, Nissan discontinued the Xterra line. It was said that sales decline, mandated upgrades, and poor fuel economy were the reasons for the discontinuation.
Even after discontinuation, the Xterra is still one of the most affordable and cheapest to maintain SUVs.
We will answer the question of its reliability and longevity in this article.
Here is the short answer to how long the Nissan Xterra lasts:
You can expect a Nissan Xterra to last 200,000 miles. If you cover an average of 15,000 miles yearly, you can get about 13 to 15 years of problem-free performance from the vehicle with diligent maintenance and careful use.
How Many Miles Can You Expect From a Nissan Xterra?
The mile that any vehicle can deliver is subjective. It depends on regular servicing and following the proper maintenance schedule.
With the Nissan Xterra, you can expect up to 200,000 miles in mileage.
Based on our research, an auto dealer reported that a lot of Xterras that come into his shop for repair have an average of 225,000 to 300,000 miles.
He also clarified that proper maintenance coupled with routine oil change is essential to the longevity of the Nissan Xterra.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Nissan Xterra?
Just as it is for a lot of vehicles, rusting is also one major issue for the Nissan Xterra. This is one problem that made Nissan issue a recall of Xterras from 2002 to 2004.
Regardless, it takes about three to four years before rust or corrosion surfaces on the Xterra.
This is independent of the type of climate the vehicle is in. It should, however, be noted that rust will occur quicker if the Xterra is often exposed to the elements by often parking it outside. Failure to wash the vehicle regularly, especially if you drive on salted roads or live near the coast, can also promote rust.
How Long Do Nissan Xterras Last Compared to Similar SUVs?
Below, we compare the Nissan Xterra with similar SUVs:
Nissan Xterra vs. Ford Escape
Comparing the mile coverage of the vehicles, the Nissan Xterra has the upper hand. You can expect it to cover an average of 200,000 miles before any major issue, while the Ford Escape can only provide the best service for 150,000 miles before it’ll need a major repair.
The two vehicles both have a 4.0 out of 5.0 RepairPal reliability rating.
However, when other factors like an unscheduled visit to the repair shop and severity of repair are considered, the Escape is positioned at the 16th place on RepairPal’s list. The Xterra stands two positions below as the 18th out of 26 compact SUVs.
In terms of maintenance cost, the Xterra is cheaper to maintain, with a difference of $86. It has an average annual maintenance cost of $514, while that of the Ford Escape is $600.
Nissan Xterra vs. Honda CR-V
The CR-V can last as long as 300,000 miles with regular maintenance and proper use. This is 100,000 miles more than that of the Nissan Xterra’s 200,000 miles.
The CR-V is also more reliable and sits at the 2nd position for all compact SUVs with a RepairPal reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. The Xterra is at the 18th position with a 4.0 out of 5.0 RepairPal reliability rating.
The Honda CR-V is also the cheaper vehicle to maintain. It costs an average of $407 to maintain the CR-V annually while the Xterra costs $514.
Therefore, we can argue that the Honda CR-V is a better investment than the Nissan Xterra.
How Reliable Is a Nissan Xterra?
RepairPal gives the Nissan Xterra a 4.0 out of 5.0 reliability rating. The website rates the reliability and durability of vehicles based on maintenance cost and frequency and severity of their unscheduled visit to the repair shop.
The Xterra has an annual average maintenance and repair cost of $514, with a 0.3 annual unscheduled visit to the repair shop. Only 14% of these visits are because of major issues and severe repairs.
Another trusted rating website is the J.D. Power. It gave the last edition of the Nissan Xterra a 79% rating for quality and reliability.
The Best and Worst Years for Nissan Xterras
The Nissan Xterra suffered few issues in its lifespan. The most common issue of the Nissan Xterra is the transmission problems.
According to CarComplaints, the 2005 to 2007 Xterras have an issue of leaking coolants into the transmission. This results in transmission failure that costs about $3,500 to repair.
The 2005 model year had this issue the most and had a total of 6 recalls based on this problem. This makes the 2005 model the worst year for Nissan Xterras.
In 2015, before its discontinuation, Nissan corrected many of these issues and added a lot of technology to the vehicle. This made the 2015 Nissan Xterra the best year for the Xterras.
What About Recalls for These Models?
Before its discontinuation, Nissan recalled the Xterra 27 times. The Xterra recalls were mostly because of problems in the front wheel bearing hub assembly and corrosion in the steering column joint.
The 2008 model has the highest recall of seven and is followed closely by the 2002 and 2005 models, which were both recalled six times. Below is the list of all recalls for Nissan Xterras.
- 2012: 2 recalls
- 2011: 1 recalls
- 2010: 5 recalls
- 2009: 4 recalls
- 2008: 7 recalls
- 2007: 2 recalls
- 2006: 5 recalls
- 2005: 6 recalls
- 2004: 3 recalls
- 2003: 3 recalls
- 2002: 6 recalls
- 2001: 5 recalls
- 2000: 5 recalls
Nissan Xterra Model Year List
Below is a list of the Nissan Xterra model years:
|First Generation (1999 to 2005)
|2000 Nissan Xterra
2001 Nissan Xterra
2002 Nissan Xterra
2003 Nissan Xterra
2004 Nissan Xterra
|Second Generation (2005 to 2015)
|2005 Nissan Xterra
2006 Nissan Xterra
2007 Nissan Xterra
2008 Nissan Xterra
2009 Nissan Xterra
2010 Nissan Xterra
2011 Nissan Xterra
2012 Nissan Xterra
2013 Nissan Xterra
2014 Nissan Xterra
2015 Nissan Xterra
Are Nissan Xterras Expensive To Maintain?
Nissan Xterras are not expensive to maintain. With an average annual maintenance and repair cost of $514, these SUVs are cheaper to maintain compared to many other competitors.
The repair cost falls below the $521 average maintenance and repair cost for all compact SUVs and $652 for all vehicle models.
RepairPal reports that the Nissan Xterra has an annual unscheduled visit to the repair shop for an average of 0.3 times with 14% of these visits being a severe repair or major issue.
Comparing this with the 0.4 times for the annual unscheduled visit for all vehicle models, the Nissan Xterra is not only cheap to maintain but also not prone to frequent repairs.
Here are some of the common repairs on the Nissan Xterra and their corresponding cost range, according to RepairPal data:
- Air Conditioning System Leak Inspection: $53-$67
- Battery Cable Battery Terminal End Service: $26-$33
- Suspension System Inspect: $70-$89
- Battery Replacement: $167-$174
- Brake Power Booster Unit Check Valve Replacement: $33-$40
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
You can expect the brakes of the Nissan Xterra to last between 30,000 to 40,000 miles, though the longevity depends on the driving habit of the driver.
The brakes may not last 30,000 miles if you engage them aggressively, especially for those frequently commuting in huge traffics.
Experts advise people that drive in this type of environment to inspect the braking system regularly to ensure maximum longevity.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
You can expect the tires of the Nissan Xterra to last up to 60,000 miles.
The tires can last over 60,000 miles in proper conditions and or give up as quickly as 10,000 miles in bad and extreme conditions.
Physical conditions like wear and tears can affect and reduce the longevity of tires. Conditions like bad roads, extreme climate, and poor driving habits can also reduce the tire lifespan.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The Nissan Xterra’s transmission can last up to 200,000 miles before getting any major issues. Getting this high mileage requires proper usage of the vehicle. Overloading the SUV and using the transmission to stop the vehicle may lead to serious problems.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Nissan Xterra’s spark plugs can last about 100,000 miles before there will be a need for replacement.
It is important to inspect the spark plugs at intervals to ensure they are in a good condition to get the best engine performance.
A faulty spark plug cannot ignite the fuel to create the combustion reaction the engine needs to work properly.
What About Insurance Cost?
The insurance cost for an average Nissan Xterra is $78 per month, according to The Zebra. Note that factors such as the vehicle’s age and mileage, your age, credit history, location, and driving record can influence your insurance rates.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Nissan Xterra
Some of the essential maintenance tips to prolong the life of your Nissan Xterra are:
- Servicing the engine regularly without neglecting the maintenance schedule.
- Replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles.
- Changing the engine oil and its filter every 5,000 miles..
- Rotating the tires every 5,000 miles.