So here it is, in its faded plastic, four-spoke wheeled, bug-eyed glory. It’s the greatest car… in the world. It has a longitudinal 3.3L V-6 hooked up to a proper 4×4 drivetrain (it has 4L of course) bolted into a sturdy body-on-frame chassis sitting high off the ground on big big tires. The engine’s good for 170 hp and 200 ft-lb of torque and the gear is selectable using a 5-speed manual. Since the Xterra has 4H and 4L, does it mean that it’s a 10-speed car? With reverse gear, that would make it a 12-speed. Maybe that’s how it works..
The solid rear axle, minus a limited slip diff, is on leaf springs and independent torsion beam suspension holds up the front. It’s as simple as it gets. Front disk brakes (yay) and rear drum brakes (boo) make the car stop. The go pedal is connected by a cable (old school) to the throttle body, and spark is delivered via distributor cap (really old school).
On top, there’s a roof rack with a cool cargo basket up front. In the back, a tow hitch. Inside, lots more cargo space with a tall ceiling over the trunk. The rear seats fold down completely once the seat bottoms are removed. And with the front seat pushed all the way forward, the space is long enough for me to sleep in. Adventure awaits!
In addition to all the cool and rugged features, the Xterra has a cool name. Xterra. It sounds tough and adventurous. It sounds as though it’s ready to explore the face of planet Earth. Its name also provides opportunities to make exterra bad puns. Ha!