The rugged Nissan Xterra will not live long enough to see its next generation according to the latest reports from Ward’s Auto. One of the few remaining SUVs that has stayed true to its body-on-frame design, the Xterra faces slumping sales and a substantial threat from looming federal fuel economy regulations.
Recent sales of the Xterra have fallen sharply compared to its heyday a decade ago when they flew off dealer lot’s like Bristol Nissan. Back in 2000, Nissan sold 88,578 Xterras, which is a far cry from the 12,186 units Nissan has sold this year through the month of July.
The Nissan Xterra was praised for its “everything you need, nothing you don’t” attitude when it was launched. In 2005, the Xterra saw a complete redesign, but has since struggled to maintain its luster against the more car-like, and more efficient, crossover vehicles and can still be purchased by off-road purists at Nissan CT. However, the Xterra is still one of the few true off-roaders left on the market. As a result, its demise would likely cause quite a stir among this small niche.
Although the fate of the Xterra remains in question, similar models like the Frontier and Pathfinder, which are currently available at Nissan Dealer VA, are unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon as both cater to a slightly different demographic. According to vice president of advanced product and product planning and strategy, Larry Dominique, the “Pathfinder will live on… how it will live on, wait to see. There’s no reason to get rid of a three-row crossover or SUV.”