Bob Bestler

Loving the Xterra, but it’s obvious few others did

By my count, there are four residents in my small village who own Nissan Xterras.

I’m one of them, and like the others, I love my little SUV.

My 2015 Xterra meets all of our needs better than my previous pickup truck did.

It pulls our camper easily, lets me carry my golf clubs safely and has a luggage rack on top for our kayak.

It allows room for the grandchildren and their mom and even a dog named Wasabi.

It comes equipped with a first-aid kit hidden in the rear door, a kit that has, fortunately, never been opened.

Unlike earlier models, mine has NissanConnect with Mobile apps and USB connections for iPods.

And the gas mileage is better than my former pickup – and frankly better than the EPA says it should be.

So what’s not to like?

The day I bought it, the salesman asked how long I planned to keep it.

I didn’t hesitate to answer: “Til I die,” I said.

It wasn’t the answer he expected but I meant it. No, I didn’t mention my advanced age.

Lest you think I’m here to urge everyone to go and and buy an Xterra, forget about it.

In fact, I guess I got one of the last ones, because the Xterra was discontinued after 2015.

AutoBlog said it was just a matter of economics. Nissan did not want to pay for costly re-engineering of the Xterra’s emission and safety specs to meet market standards, given the relatively small consumer interest in the SUV.

Forget about the four happy Xterra owners in McClellanville. AutoBlog notes that in 2014 only 16,505 Xterras moved off dealers’ lots, a 7 percent drop from the previous year. The comparable Toyota FJ Cruiser also bit the dust while recording even fewer sales than the Xterra.

Meanwhile, AutoBlog said, “king-of-the-hill Jeep Wrangler almost matched that annual sales number each month in 2014; it moved 19,235 in May alone.'”

Actually, I think the lack of interest in Xterra goes beyond customers. According to the literature, the company and its dealers never showed much interest, either.

We liked the look of the vehicle, but it wasn’t until our third visit to a dealer in 2015 that we found one. The others did not even have one on the lot.

I’d be unhappy about the prospect of never buying another Xterra after this one blows up or something, but I’m really not.

As I said when I bought it, I plan to keep it forever. Or until Nissan retools the Xterra and puts it back on the market. I’m not holding my breath.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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