Snap Judgment: Should Nissan Resuscitate the Xterra?
While it's not particularly shocking news that the market for body-on-frame sport-utility vehicles is shrinking, due to concerns related to fuel economy, we were surprised to hear that Nissan's Xterra SUV might fall victim sooner rather than later. Is it a good idea for Nissan to abandon the Xterra nameplate, though?
The Xterra was launched in 2000 as a bare-bones re-approach to the tried-and-true SUV formula. Based on the same platform as the Nissan Frontier pickup, the Xterra was a welcome entry in the dwindling segment of capable off-roaders. The second-generation Xterra added some creature comforts, grew in size and price, but remains a solid entry against rear- and four-wheel-drive competition from the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota FJ Cruiser.
With pressure mounting on Nissan to improve fuel economy figures, however, the Xterra might be the first of Nissan's SUVs to go. Nissan has presented a case to save the larger Pathfinder, but slow sales in 2010 might mean the end for future Xterras.
Should Nissan give new life to the nameplate, with a different approach, as Ford did with the 2011 Explorer? Or is it time for Nissan to move on, and accept that the market has spoken?
Today's Snap Judgment:
Should Nissan resuscitate the Xterra?
Let us know what you think over the weekend, in the comments section.