The midsize Xterra is a back-to-basics SUV that's outclassed by many other truck-based models and certainly most car-based crossovers. Since the Xterra’s part-time four-wheel-drive system must be manually engaged it’s not as useful under most circumstances as would be an automatic full-time system. The vehicle’s ride can get downright bouncy at times with the steering becoming unnerved over rough roads. Consumer Reports says it “feels crude” and lags the competition in terms of performance. It gets low marks for initial quality and design/performance from J.D. Power and far below average residual value from ALG.
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