Nissan has good news for anyone weeping about the fact that the 2013 Pathfinder has abandoned its body-on-frame ways. The company isn't completely ditching legitimate SUVs for the crossover crowd. According to Car and Driver, the Nissan Xterra will continue to shun a unibody design for the conceivable future. The magazine spoke with engineers familiar with the development of the Xterra who said the vehicle will share its DNA with the Nissan Frontier for years to come.

That means buyers will still be able to enjoy the vehicle's truckish charm and legitimate off-road chops. Those who want something a little softer or smaller can turn to the automaker's Rogue, while the 2013 Pathfinder will now offer mall-goers a suitable alternative to the Ford Explorer. The times may be changing, but for now, the Xterra isn't.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      Paul P.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's nice to see the Xterra remain true to form. Especially since it's a perfect size SUV for both on-road and off-road duty. I hope they also decide to hang onto the manual transmission option.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, if they are going to keep the Xterra alive then it makes far more sense to keep it as a traditional SUV. The market is already overflowing with CUVs as it is, so going that route would just be flat out stupid. As it is Nissan has at leas 5 that I can think of off the top of my head, the Rogue, Morono,Juke, Cube, and now the Pathfinder.
      Wisdom Seeker
      • 2 Years Ago
      This makes sense. The mid-sizers (Pathfinders etc.) rarely are used off road - mainly family haulers. The smaller sized (short-wheelbase SUVs) are more appropriate for rugged trail conditions.
      ShutoSteve
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really cannot wait for the Rogue to be redesigned.
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      maybe they can ditch the goofy plastic bumper, or atleast offer a steel one.
      Justin Campanale
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is just another one of the reasons why Nissan is tied with Subaru as my favorite Japanese car maker. They aren't afraid to continue producing very good vehicles which are just being abandoned in general due to the lack of demand. When everyone else discontinued their sports coupe, Nissan reinvented it. When everyone else switched from BOF SUVs to much less capable cuvs ( yes, I'm looking at you, GM and Ford), Nissan kept the XTerra so that people could use it. If it weren't for the Infiniti G/Nissan Skyline, the 3 series wouldn't have been so good since it would have much competition. If it weren't for the GTR, Porsche would still be using older tech, and Chevrolet might never developed the Corvette ZL1, and Ferrari and Lamborghini would be slacking off. Hell, the Maxima created the budget sports sedan market after the demise of the RWD Buick Regal, and continues to excel to this day. Dear Nissan, a great big thank-you goes to you for not kicking the car enthusiasts to the curb,and for continuing to produce a model in a segment that everyone but Toyota and Jeep have deserted entirely. Now give us a nice 4 cylinder and a diesel in the next gen of this vehicle so that the XTerra can finally get respectable mileage.
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Totally agree about everything that you just stated. The Nissan Z has had no real Japanese competitors other than perhaps the Honda S2000 since 2003. Nissan really doesn't abandon customer favorite cars like Toyota did by discontinuing the Celica, Supra, MR-2. The only Nissan sports car I can think of that they dropped recently was the SX/Silvia, but the Z still remained at least.
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        *3 series wouldn't have much competition." AB, the lack of an edit button is really annoying. Do us a favor and get with the times. Hell, even the primitive Motortrend forums have an edit button feature.
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Glad they are keeping the Jeep eater alone. the boxy looks are a nice in a Land Rover Defender way.
      BMW ROCKS!
      • 2 Years Ago
      good. now, make it less ugly, please.
        rmkensington
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BMW ROCKS!
        It is looking a tad aged, but its still decent looking.
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BMW ROCKS!
        It still looks better than the Toyota FJ Cruiser, IMO. Even after all of these years it still looks good. I hope that Nissan keeps the rugged design for the next generation Xterra too.
        Roy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BMW ROCKS!
        Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder... Looks 10 times better than the CUVs people buy these days.
      Andrew L
      • 2 Years Ago
      I will probably get flamed for this but I totally forgot they made the Xterra and man it looks REALLY dated, its in dire need of an update.
        Carlos
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        I would argue it's the last proper looking SUV on the market. Everything has become way too bloated or not at all capable off road.
        Jaclock LaGlock
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        If I'm not mistaken the XTerra was twice Motor Trend's SUV of the year. I'd say it has good chops for those who are looking for a pure Ute.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        Sadly, it is only "dated" in the sense that it is a small, off-road capable SUV, rather than some bloated, mall-crawling behemoth, or jelly bean shaped CUV. I swear, people use the term "dated" far too loosely on this site.
        Andrew L
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        Very true, It just looks extremely dated since it was introduced in 05 and hasn't really changed
        rem
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        I think if they tried to 'update' it, they'd probably end up with something like the Vehicross. It may look dated, but it's not competing with Escapes and CX5s and CRVs - the only real competition for the Xterra is the Wrangler, and that's not exactly a 'fresh' new design either.
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 2 Years Ago
          @rem
          I would consider the FJ Cruiser an Xterra competitor even more-so than the Wrangler is.
      mylexicon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unibody is not a legitimate SUV design? So the best off-roaders in the world are nothing more than glorified sedans b/c they don't use body-on-frame? We are living in a strange world.
        Roy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        The only offroad capable "unibody" SUVs are so heavy they almost defeat the purpose of unibody in the first place. LR3/4, RangeRover, previous gen Cayenne / Tourage, Jeep GC, and maybe new ML. All between 5300 - 5900 lbs, heavier than previous gen Suburban! In addition, they're all expensive and required complicated electronics to achieve offroad ability (i.e. simulated articulation)
          72CJ5driver
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Roy
          Yes, but the legendary Jeep cherokee XJ was a light unibody SUV. So was the 1st nad 2nd generation Grand cherokees. (Well, all grand cherokees really, but those 2 were more adept off road than the subsequent generations) And the first generation Pathfinders. Plenty of extremely good unibody 4x4's in the past.
          Greg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Roy
          What is it going to take in order to make a competent off-road unibody SUV? Extensive carbon fiber frame construction? new aluminum? 5,300 - 5,900 lbs. is way too much for any unibody SUV. Unibody trucks/SUVs should always be lighter than BOF trucks/SUVs.
      viperbono
      • 2 Years Ago
      How this product has ever sold and is still currently on the market in its current form is very odd! Just another soccer mom wanna-be never seen off-road vehicle.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        You obviously don't actually go off roading yourself nor own a vehicle capable of doing so. Lots of these get utilized off road. I think it's a great vehicle. Nice there's still an option or 2 for people who want an SUV they can actually take off road and get dirty. Not a car based crossover with AWD for a little bit of snow. By in large I don't have a problem with most SUV's going to crossovers, but nice to see people will still have an option if they actually want to utilize theres for off roading. When I was new vehicle shopping this is the only SUV I considered, everything else I looked at I would have been afraid to get dirty. Ended up getting a Tacoma though.
          viperbono
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          Sorry disappoint you but I have a 92 Wrangler street legal that I use in Moab, UT off road/on the rocks annually. This is not including the times I take off road local to my home. Sorry I buy vehicles what they are intended for, My truck=pulling/hauling, My Jeep for off road and around town, My Thunderbird for every day use, my Harley= for everyday and enjoyment. I was just stating that 95% of these vehicles will never see off road and are driven by wanna-be's. Plus they are not attractive, Path Finder was at least decent in looks.
        Holly
        • 2 Years Ago
        @viperbono
        I am a 30+ mom who lives in the middle of a cornfield. I own a 2011 Xterra that I take through the muddy fields, the creek when we go kayaking, and the Ozarks when we kayak the river up there. I use my 4-wheel drive at least 3 times a month! I have always gotten compliments on it's looks. I love my Xterra! The reason why you never see soccer moms off-road in them is because they are OFF-ROAD!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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