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Nissan Wants In On The Off-Road Game With A New Xterra

2015 Nissan Xterra - Image: Nissan
2015 Nissan Xterra - Image: Nissan

The rugged, off-road segment is exploding; every truck or crossover now seems to have some sort of either legit off-road trim, or at least one appearance package inspired by ruggedness. From Chevy’s Activ trims to Ford’s Raptors and Toyota’s TRD-Off and upcoming Trailhunter trims, it’s a booming business. Not everyone has been cashing in on the off-road boom. Nissan has been one of those brands, but according to Autoblog, the Japanese automaker wants in.

While you can get the Nissan Frontier in 4X4 trims and add NISMO accessories, there’s no legit, full-blown, off-road trim. That may soon change. Nissan is said to be considering a revival of the Xterra so it can play around off the beaten path, too. Autoblog spoke with Nissan Americas Senior Vice President and Chief Planning Officer Ponz Pandikuthira, who detailed what a new Xterra would have to have to be taken seriously: legitimate off-road chops and an affordable price.

One of the chief criteria he listed was that “it’s got to be authentic,” and that it has to be a “serious truck.” Basically, it can’t be just a Rogue with all-terrain tires, but something with real truck capability. He also noted that it would both need to be relatively inexpensive, as well as incorporate some modern design details.

Both of those sound refreshing in a world of extremely expensive and retro-styled off-road rigs. Furthermore, that would seem to line up with something that Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Global Design Alfonso Albaisa told us about how he sees the opportunity now to have retro designs that are more subtle and allude to past design cues without being restricted by them.