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Hardware02 11-12-2012 05:09 PM

Nissan Xterra vs. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Mrs. Hardware is thinking about trading the Nissan Rogue in on a new SUV. We're very happy with the Rogue and it's been 100% reliable (only routine maintenance so far).

What we want the new vehicle to do better than the Rogue:

- larger rear cargo area for our two labs;

- increase in power;

- slightly larger tires and more robust truck based suspension (local roads suck and the Rogue feels like it takes a lot of abuse even though we don't drive it hard);

- better rearward visibility (the Rogue's notorious for its huge rear blind spots) and higher ride height;

- ~5000 lb towing capacity; and

- primarily rear wheel drive with part time four wheel drive.

She's always liked Wranglers and we've considered buying one before. Now with the new Pentastar engine it's back in the running.

We'd be looking at buying new and in terms of trim levels, it's down to either the Unlimited Sahara or the Xterra S.

Any personal experience with either, good or bad would be appreciated.

Hannda 11-12-2012 05:33 PM

Neither, get the Pathfinder.

broncobowsher 11-12-2012 05:35 PM

Xterra. More civilized on the street where you will do most of your driving.

Doc.Snyder 11-12-2012 05:38 PM


Originally Posted by Hannda (Post 20030467)
Neither, get the Pathfinder.

Are you serious??

Hannda 11-12-2012 05:41 PM


Originally Posted by Doc.Snyder (Post 20030510)

That crossover thingy isn't what I had in mind. Up through 2012 they were on the same chassis as the Titan and Frontier. No, I wouldn't get that new one. But I liked the size, especially inside, of the >2012 Pathfinder over the Xterra.

broncobowsher 11-12-2012 07:20 PM

I do like the '12s. With the '13 out you should be able to get a decent deal on that old, outdated '12. You just can't get it with a stick shift (at least here in the states).

a1fa 11-12-2012 07:35 PM

My brother in law has a diesel Pathfinder with 5speed manual transmission, and 4x4.

wibornz 11-12-2012 08:48 PM

You are aware that the jeep wrangler has the Highest resale value of just about any vehicle.

Deuce 11-13-2012 12:50 AM


Originally Posted by wibornz (Post 20031823)
You are aware that the jeep wrangler has the Highest resale value of just about any vehicle.

And shitty reliability. Xterra beats the Jeep hands down. We had the same dilemma two years ago. Tested both. The Jeep felt cheap, was totally gutless and was not worth the money they were asking. Xterra was miles ahead in ride quality, power, and quality of workmanship. Plus it's made in Amurica for all you patriots. We bought the Pro4X model with 6 speed manual. Comes with Bilstien shocks, bash plates etc. Did the McGruder Corridor with it last year. So glad we didn't buy the Jeep. We have put 50k kms (30k miles) on it in just two years. Nothing but regular maintenance and service.


oomis 11-13-2012 06:54 AM

FWIW, as the OP pointed out, the new 3.6 Pentastar motor is heads and shoulders better than the old 3.8 V6. Torque is up slightly, HP is WAY up from ~205 - 210 hp to 285 hp, mostly in the mid-range and top end, and fuel economy is better by about 10%.

I have a 6 speed manual sahara with the 3.6L, and I love it. However, the OP was looking for something that could tow ~5000 lbs, and IIRC the Wranglers, even with factory tow packages, are limited to a max of about 3500 lbs. The reading I did said that this is due to the way the tow bar is connected to the frame, rather than the ability of the motor and brakes...

For anyone considering a Jeep as a daily driver and comparing it to an SUV, they're really apples and oranges for the most part. The Jeep is... well, it's a Jeep. You give up creature comforts, and not all the amenities are there. If you don't look at a Jeep, get into one and drive it and think "Man, this is cool" then you probably shouldn't own one. If owning a giant Lego set on wheels doesn't appeal to you, there are better choices.

Personally, I think there are huge comparisons between riding a motorcycle and driving a Jeep. The lack of refinement, the utilitarian nature, the function over form, and the fact that I can take the top off and not look like a bear stuffed into a Miata all appealed to me... most SUV's are boxes on wheels and don't have much character to me. The Jeep oozes character, and after I checked all the boxes that were important to me, the character piece was what put it over the top when compared to other choices I could have made.

Your mileage may vary.

Crocker 11-13-2012 07:08 AM

huh, I got 125k miles on my 05 unlimited with nothing but normal maintenance. Sold it for $9,000. Only regret I had was selling it. Unless towing 5000 lbs is mandatory, I'd go with the jeep.

Grainbelt 11-13-2012 07:32 AM

Loved my Pathfinder of the era that spawned the XTerra. Have friends with Xterras, universally loved.

Perhaps more practical and less fun, but the packaging is done well. If I ever decide a real SUV is required again, they will be my top pick. For now, city boy rolls in a hatchback. :lol3

GP640 11-13-2012 07:34 AM

Nobody has mentioned the tow capacity of the Jeep.

3500lbs. It won't be too happy doing that very often either. The handling with 2000lbs behind it
isn't stellar.
Noisy too. I know "it's a jeep" but for what they ask for them, they could insulate the hard top.

sealsam 11-13-2012 08:03 AM

Noisy-Yep! MPG that sucks-Yep! Narrow crapy seats-Yep!

Underpowered-Yep! Ours is a 2010, they have upgraded the powerplant. While at highway speeds, one must really put your foot into it and experience the constant "down shifting" while the Jeep try's to maintain speed. I have a new 4000lb travel trailer, the Jeep can't move it.

BUT, it's my wife car and she loves it. We remove the T tops, and it really is kinda fun. I have used it on all kinds of dirt crap here in the southwest.

Will we get another one? They wife says she'll always own a jeep now. Me; with more power and better seats, yes, we'll keep a jeep in family.

Pic taken in the Anza-Borrego State park in CA. You can guess which one is my wife's.

Jordansdad 11-13-2012 09:17 AM

I drive a 2010 X-Terra OR and my wife drive a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited, so I can give you an honest opinion on both. I absolutely love my Xterra, best vehicle I have ever owned. I folded down the rear seats the day I bought it and put cushions in the back for the dogs and the seats have never been back up. It's quick, comftorable, handles well and goes through snow like it's not there. Great all around vehicle but I have never gotten over 17mpg.
My wife loves, and I mean loves her Jeep. With the pentastar engine it has plently of power and she generally gets 20mpg with it. It however, is a Jeep. Rides very rough, a ton of road and wind noise, and even with the seats folded down is not compatible with our big dogs, therefore we use the Xterra whenever we go out as a family and the Jeep is her daily driver.
So far both have been stone reliable with nothing but regular oil changes. Unlike the Xterra however, the Jeeps mirrrors don't fold forward and someone bumped one at the airport and broke it. Seems minor but a little thing like that still cost a couple hundred bucks.
Anyway, I very much prefer the Nissan,she prefers the Jeep, but as a daily driver I don't think there is any comparison and her Jeep stays in the garage whenever we go out as a family.

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