2009 NIssan Xterra

With the introduction of the new, car-based Nissan Pathfinder, fans of its Xterra sibling don’t need to worry that it, too, will morph into a soft crossover. Engineers for the company have confirmed that the Xterra will remain a body-on-frame truck for many years.

When the Xterra launched for 2000, it was Nissan’s entry-level ute, with the company intending to keep a fully loaded model’s price below the Pathfinder’s starting point. Since then, the Xterra’s price and features have increased, but the Frontier-based SUV has retained a rugged, truckish image and the off-road capability that go with them. Shoppers who want raised seating and five doors but not the abuse of a truck can now buy a Rogue—and they do in droves. We imagine that while a small number of hard-core off-roaders (and people who are hard-core about looking like they go off-roading) will be disappointed that the Pathfinder is no longer ready to tackle exotic locales, the Xterra should meet their needs just fine.

2012 Detroit auto show full coverage

By Justin Berkowitz