When it was originally introduced in 1999, the Nissan Xterra stood out in a crowd of nearly 40 competitive sport utility vehicles with its rugged truck frame, purposeful styling and “everything you need, nothing you don’t” adventure positioning. Since then, the competitive field of SUVs has grown to over 70 models. Yet one thing remains unchanged – the Xterra still stands alone as a segment of one.
The enhancements for the all-new second generation Xterra, introduced in 2005, included more power, more roominess and more utility. The 2006 Xterra continues to offer excellent off-road performance, 265-horsepower* 4.0-liter V6 and a rugged, fully boxed all-steel frame. A new entry-level X model is available in 2006 and the Power Package becomes standard on S models. In addition, all Xterra models add a standard glove box lock, lamp and damper, available satellite radio and a new exterior color (Midnight Blue), and new interior color for off-road models (Charcoal).
“The Xterra is the ultimate adventure vehicle,” said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “With its powerful V6 engine and off-road systems, Xterra will physically get you to your destination, and with its utility-focused interior, Xterra will get all your gear there too.”
Powerful Exterior Styling
Key exterior styling features include large, flared fenders, a versatile roof rack with latchable lid and a rear bumper design with side steps for easy access to the roof rack. It also offers a large, powerful hood and headlights and Nissan SUV signature angled strut-style grille.
Xterra features a long wheelbase for a smoother ride and greater interior room, yet the overall length is very manageable due to a reduced front overhang – which enhances maneuverability in off-road hill climbing and trail situations.
Interior Designed for Adventures
The interior concept for the second generation Xterra is very similar to its predecessor: everything you need, nothing you don’t.
Xterra’s interior is spacious enough for four riders and their gear, with ample leg room, head room and cargo room. The interior is also highly flexible. The 60/40 split folding stadium-style rear seat is joined by an available fold-down front passenger seat, which creates added utility for hauling long recreational gear. The glove compartment is a double deck design with an added lock, lamp and damper for 2006. There is also additional instrument panel storage. The Xterra Off-Road model includes unique blue or charcoal seat fabric.
The cargo area is highlighted by an Easy Clean Cargo Area flooring and a total of 10 cargo area utility hooks – six on the floor/sides and four on the ceiling (floor hooks can carry up to 110 pounds). An adjustable channel system in the cargo floor, similar in design to the Utili-track system offered on the Nissan Titan and Frontier pickups, makes it easier to secure bike racks and other accessories or gear. There’s also an available built-in first-aid kit and space to securely carry up to one-gallon jugs.
“The Xterra’s combination of thoughtful cargo area features creates an extremely versatile space for hauling all the things that accompany active lives,” said McNabb.
Active lives also require an active sound track, so the Xterra is offered with an available premium 300-watt Rockford Fosgate®-powered audio system with nine speakers, steering wheel controls, mp3 capability and available satellite radio with choice of XM® or Sirius™ services.
A Platform that Welcomes Rugged Trails
From the beginning, Xterra has differed from many other similarly sized SUVs with its truck-based (rather than car-based) platform, a credential that adds to its proven off-road capabilities. The 2006 Xterra features a modified version of the F-Alpha platform developed for use with the full-size Nissan Titan pickup and Armada SUV.
Xterra starts with a fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame and adds a steel double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and solid axle leaf spring rear suspension. High-performance gas shocks are available with the Xterra Off-Road model. The new Xterra also features an enhanced ground clearance with a clean underbody to help protect components from off-road obstructions.
Powering the Xterra is a standard 4.0-liter DOHC V6, rated at 265 horsepower and 284 lb-ft torque. The engine is an increased displacement version of Nissan's VQ engine series found in the 350Z, Maxima and Altima. It features a longer stroke (than the 3.5-liter version) and has been specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications.
Like others in the VQ family, the 4.0-liter version includes such advanced design features as Electronic Throttle Control with secondary mapping in 4LO (4WD models), Continuous Valve Timing Control (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, Teflon®-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler, lightweight aluminum block and cylinder heads and 105,000-mile spark plugs.
Two advanced transmissions are offered with the 2006 Xterra. An available electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission is based on the transmission used in the both the Titan and Armada (with an emphasis on acceleration, fuel economy and shift quality). Also available is a 6-speed manual transmission, based on a 350Z design but tuned for driving performance and fuel economy.
The 2006 Xterra is offered in 4WD or 2WD configurations. The part-time 4WD system includes 2WD/4HI/4LO modes and electronically controlled transfer case. A Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system is also offered as standard equipment, along with other available advanced off-road capabilities.
Other driveline components include engine speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). Available wheels and tires include up to 17-inch wheels with 265/65R17 tires.
Advanced Safety Systems
Xterra’s list of safety features and equipment includes Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), which includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor, and 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners, load limiters and Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones.
Other standard equipment includes 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants, including the center rear position, and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system.
Also available are supplemental front-seat side-impact air bags, and available roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover protection for all outboard passengers.
A New X Model
The 2006 Xterra will be offered in a new entry-level X model in addition to the S, Off-Road and SE models. Each is offered with standard 4.0-liter V6 and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions (SE only automatic) and in 4WD or 2WD configurations.
For 2006, the Power Package is standard on the S model, which includes immobilizer with vehicle security system and alarm, remote keyless entry, power door locks, mirrors and windows, and cruise control. The Power Package is available on the new X model.
Available packages include a Utility Package with step rails, sunvisor, illuminated mirrors, cargo net, flat-fold passenger seat and first aid kit; Rockford Fosgate Audio Package with Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system, 6-disc in-dash CD changer and mp3-CD capable, eight speakers and subwoofer, steering wheel audio controls and speed-sensitive volume; Satellite Radio with choice of XM or Sirius providers; Side/Curtain Air Bag Package.
Xterra is assembled at Nissan's award-winning Smyrna, Tennessee manufacturing facility. Engines will be supplied by Nissan’s nearby Decherd, Tennessee engine facility.
* All horsepower ratings are per SAE J1349 JUN1995