For 2007, the Nissan Xterra receives some upgrades: an MP3 capability is now standard in the SE model, and is added to the Rockford Fosgate Audio Package; a leather-wrapped wheel, sunglass holder, and side and curtain airbags are standard in Off-Road trim; and there’s a new exterior colour, Pebble Beach.

The Xterra is based on Nissan’s F-Alpha platform, also used for the Armada, Pathfinder and Titan. All Xterra models use a 4.0-litre V6 with six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive with a part-time, two-speed transfer case.

Features on the S include the six-speed manual or optional automatic, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rack, heated mirrors, privacy glass, tire pressure monitoring system, air conditioning, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, tilt column, variable intermittent wipers, rear wiper, four power outlets, eight-way manual driver’s seat, 60/40 folding rear seats and CD stereo. A package of side and curtain airbags can be added for $700.

The Off-Road trim line uses the six-speed with optional automatic, and adds side and curtain airbags, Bilstein off-road shocks, skid plates, fog lamps, BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires, first-aid kit, and six-CD/MP3 stereo.

The SE uses the automatic only, and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, trip computer, cargo net, aluminum tubular step rails, and leather-wrapped wheel.

The Xterra is a beefy vehicle, with handling that’s more truck-like than the car-like characteristics of some of the competition. But that’s not a bad thing: the Xterra is at home on pavement, but is equally comfortable on a steep mountain road or hauling a trailer, something not all the competitors can easily manage.

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