Nissan Executive Hints the Xterra Might Come Back
The update coming to the Frontier pickup might produce an off-road SUV counterpart.
Nissan’s little off-roader that couldn’t might be making a comeback. The Xterra SUV was discontinued in 2015 due to declining sales, lousy fuel economy, and an unwillingness from Nissan to keep it up to date with safety and emissions standards. Although it was a slow seller in the shadow of high-volume stablemates such as the (more boring) Rogue and Murano, the rugged Xterra found a niche of off-road enthusiasts who wanted something other than a Wrangler.
An interview by WardsAuto with Nissan North America senior vice president of product planning Michael Bunce reveals some good news for the dozens of you who really miss the Nissan Xterra. After asking a few questions about the availability of a V6-powered Titan (which is still up in the air) Bunce said Nissan is looking at getting back into the off-road SUV segment “very, very closely.”
“We know (via research) the Millennial male, through devices they’re becoming more isolated,” Bunce told WardsAuto. “And they want to reconnect with friends, family, outdoors. And a vehicle is an expression, a way to do that. We’re doing a lot of work in the space to understand that customer very well.”
Marketers are really hung up on the idea that Millennials love camping. Regardless of how true that is, SUVs and crossovers are hotter than ever with no signs of slowing down with new concepts like the Toyota FT-AC and FT-4X and the all-new JL Jeep Wrangler building lots of hype. Not to mention the return of the Ford Bronco which we still don’t know much about, but we’re hoping has some semblance of the classic off-roader we know and love.
The Xterra might have been a bit of a Wrangler knockoff, but it was a legitimately capable off-roader. Also, you meet a lot of ladies driving an Xterra. With a new Frontier pickup truck finally confirmed by Nissan, an SUV version of the new truck would be a fun addition to the Nissan lineup.