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NDTransplant 07-16-2013 10:09 PM

Yet Another Wrangler/x-Terra PRO-4x Question
Hi guys- I posted this in the New Member Check-In Forum, but it was suggested I might get better results over here...

My wife and I both drive small, low-slung foreign cars, and are looking for something to handle gravel roads, fire roads, Arizona trails...'get away from it all' per se.

She thinks a Nissan X-Terra looks, well, more 'civilized', I guess. I'm open to either one, with some concerns about each....

The PRO-4X, because of it's high roof-line, is only going to fit in our garage with stock tires. That means no oversize tires, no lift of any type, if I want it to fit in the garage.

Jeep Wrangler's lower roof-line will allow a good solid four inches of bigger tire/suspension or body lift somewhere down the road. Which will almost surely happen at some know how that goes!

Want a Jeep answer, ask in a Jeep forum, I but do you think the locking rear diff in the X-Terra PRO-4X makes it a contender against something like a Wrangler Sahara?

If we purchase new, it would be PRO-4X vs a 2-door Wrangler; she says the Unlimited 'looks like a war vehicle', and I guess to be honest the price would be tough, as well. We'd be sacrificing a lot of cargo room getting a 2-door Wrangler.

Maybe the X-Terra/Wrangler comparison is not even a valid comparison...

No plans to do any rock-crawling, but we will do more than just graded gravel roads. I've learned from my dirt-bike experience riding typical Arizona trails, you really want to bring a gun to a gun fight- in other words- a machine truly suited for the ride.

X-Terra might end up being like a knife in a gun-fight. My boss told me the X-Terra is a nice chick vehicle, but don't let that stop you from buying one. lol

This vehicle will be my daily driver, as well...

Your thoughts appreciated.

whiteyjfm 07-16-2013 10:30 PM

My vote is for the Jeep, not just because this is a Jeep forum, but I think it is better. That been said, I saw a guy going up a class 4 trail with an X-Terra with only a mild lift and all terrain tires where guys in heavily modded Jeeps struggled.

At the end it is all about how you use your Jeep or SUV.

ohioviper 07-16-2013 10:31 PM

The 2 door JK has loads of room if you pull the rear seat out. If you have kids the 4 door is the way to go.The prox4 is close to price of a Rubicon if you shop around.

ahsumtoy 07-16-2013 10:35 PM

My Opinion
My next door neighbor bought one and he saw my Jeep and said we should go 4x4ing together. I have to admit, his Xtera looks pretty good. It came with some BFG T/A's. I have an unlimited 2013 Jeep. We went up to Sedona, Arizona and took some of the back roads. He had problems getting over many of the boulders, I didn't. Granted, mine is lifted with bigger and better tires. We backed out of there and went up north in the forest of Flagstaff. There was one area that had a tree laying in our way. I just drove over it. Again, he got caught up and I had to get out my tow rope and help him. I guess, if he lifted it a bit, he would not have the problems we encountered. I'm not saying his Xtera is a bad off-road machine. Oh, my Jeep only has Limited Slip in the back but it does come in handy some times. With a Jeep, there are so many options. Go with the Jeep. Jeep's even look better.

boon4376 07-16-2013 11:02 PM

I think you need to stop comparing the "specs" and go with the one you like better - for all intents and purposes, they are both very capable vehicles. Which speaks to you, and which one would the 16 year old inside you rather have?

The Wrangler is way cooler in my opinion, because I don't think any Nissan can have the heritage and instant cult joining factor of a Wrangler (we all wave to each other for crying out loud!). It's the soul of the Wrangler that attracted me to it. My Dad's 07 FJ Cruiser is a very capable off road machine, locking diff, off-road traction software, etc..... but it's still a Toyota (but probably the coolest toyota at that.. but the owners don't wave to each other haha).

If I was sitting in a nissan, I'd still get that envious feeling like I was missing out every time I saw a Wrangler.

But if the wifey is really adamant that the Wrangler is a war machine, might as well try out the new Cherokee Trail Hawk. FWIW I think they are better looking in real life than in photos.

Rocjeepn 07-16-2013 11:08 PM

Having owned both I would go for the Jeep. Don't get me wrong, the Xterra is a very capable machine. Ours had a mild 2" lift and was not the off road or pro4 x that they call it now. It went through everything we through at it. But the gas mileage was mediocre at best and it is for sure more top heavy when you get to leaning on the trails. I came real close to rolling it once! But the JK Wrangler is a whole different animal. I feel it is more capable off road and I feel much more confident when wheeling it. And the creature comforts of everyday use are on par with the Xterra as well. There is far more aftermarket support for the Jeep and most importantly, the camaraderie the comes with owning a Jeep can not even be measured! We are a big huge family... Come join us!

Dollar 07-16-2013 11:10 PM

Granted this was 2008, so no Pentastar.

It all comes down to what you want to do. The Nissan is extremely capable off road in stock trim. It's silly to compare it to a lifted Jeep. I can link you dozens and dozens of instances where a Nissan pulled a Jeep out of a bind and Nissans with stickers that read "Jeep recovery vehicle". And yes, I owned a Pro 4X. There are others on here as well. I'm no Jeep snob.

I had a 2012. The Fosgate radio blew my 430N out the water, and now they have a sat unit available. I hate the new rear headrests (too big). Seats a little flatter that my Jeep. That Nissan motor is known to be fairly bulletproof.

There are pros and cons to both. What exactly do you want out of it? If I didn't want a convertible that I wanted to be able to modify to my hearts content, I would have kept the Nissan. Mod ability and open top is why I switched.

Lowerumble 07-16-2013 11:41 PM

Not sure what the pro-x model is like, but ever since they came out I have always considered the xterra to be the first "disposable" suv. I am sure the newest ones are a lot nicer than the ones I am thinking of. Lets put it this way, I'll bet no one will ever say something along the lines of "nice xterra", and you will never get a jeep wave...

NFRs2000NYC 07-16-2013 11:43 PM

If you are cross-shopping the JKU, I would either look at the Grand Cherokee or the 4Runner. I wouldn't look at the Nissan offerings available in the US market. I am not saying that it's a bad vehicle, however, I would prefer a Toyota over a Nissan, all other things being equal. Very capable rigs when done right.

Dragonscape 07-16-2013 11:49 PM

which one can go topless

StarBrite 07-16-2013 11:50 PM


Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC (Post 3970599)
If you are cross-shopping the JKU, I would either look at the Grand Cherokee or the 4Runner. I wouldn't look at the Nissan offerings available in the US market. I am not saying that it's a bad vehicle, however, I would prefer a Toyota over a Nissan, all other things being equal. Very capable rigs when done right.

Ever since I found out that Nissan considers motor mounts (on a freakin' murano!) in the same class with windshield wipers and tires I decided I'd never own another one and try to make sure no one else does either! :D

HK_Runner 07-16-2013 11:53 PM

The Pro-X is pretty nice. That and the 4Runner would be the two I'd look at, outside of the Wrangler. I have a V8 4runner but it's a 2005. 85,000 miles, zero issues, and drives/looks new. Two of my buddies have the Pro-X...surprisingly capable and I'd easily own one. Both have 33s now. One upgraded from an old X with over 200K and basically zero issues except for a wheel that shot its bearings. So even though you are on a Jeep forum, for what you want to do, those are probably slightly better choices and arguably much more reliable. They just have less cool factor though. Hard to beat the looks of a Jeep, and hard to modify anything like you can a Wrangler. If you are the sensible type, go for the X.

HK_Runner 07-16-2013 11:54 PM

Nice 4Runner. Is that Demello's personal 4R?

NFRs2000NYC 07-16-2013 11:59 PM


Originally Posted by HK_Runner (Post 3970641)
Nice 4Runner. Is that Demello's personal 4R?

No clue, just a pic pulled off google. As for your previous post, like I said, all things being equal (assuming they are both equally capable), I go Toyota over Nissan everytime. They are simply built better. I believe the 4 Runner is roomier though.

HK_Runner 07-17-2013 12:09 AM

Yeah, I think it is his 4R. He pulls this ridiculously heavy trailer with it too. Funny timing because I was thinking of modding my 4R (also a white V8) and was looking at some of his stuff.

traitor08 07-17-2013 12:10 AM

Here is how I break down vehocles when I look at them. Really simple.

If I see a vehicle with ifs, I think of light duty wheeling or fast desert trophy truck scenario's.

When I see a vehicle with a solid front axle. I see true offroading. Lots of articulation, possible swapping of heavy and extremely heavy duty axles. Look at what offroad runs with solid axles. Monster trucks, pulling trucks, rock crawlers. There is truly an axle for every caveat of 4x4.

But with ifs, there are a lot of limitations. This is iust the short run down of my opinions. So what are you planning on doing. Coming from a almost useless car faction, most 4x4's will be above and beyond your expectations.

NDTransplant 07-17-2013 01:06 AM

Wow- appreciate the quick responses!

I agree- many factors to consider, but hard to duplicate the character of the Jeep.

Anyways, tests drives are in order, I guess...will keep you posted.

COLOUJK 07-17-2013 01:24 AM

Of course your going to get Jeep as the best option here. But what you need to do is talk and decide what will be best for what you need. If you are comparing an xterra to a 2dr wrangler your comparing apples to oranges. There is not going to be a "right" answer.

I feel like the new wranglers will compete against any SUV out there in comfort. With the hard tops they are extremely quite and the road manners on a stock rig are amazing. Offroad, nothing will compete. A stock wrangler will beat every other SUV out there with the same skill driver.

Figure out what you guys can live with and buy it. A topless/doorless wrangler is a very addicting feeling. So like the rest My vote is the wrangler.

traitor08 07-17-2013 08:45 AM

Just throwing this out there. We were looking at an Xterra for my gf. She drove a JKU, we got the jeep. She liked it better.

uhfive 07-17-2013 09:54 AM


Originally Posted by NDTransplant (Post 3970857)
Wow- appreciate the quick responses!

I agree- many factors to consider, but hard to duplicate the character of the Jeep.

Anyways, tests drives are in order, I guess...will keep you posted.

A while back my wife had a nice Altima and once I got my Jeep (prior to the one I have now) she started asking to drive, take the top off, and to take every dirt road she saw. Eventually she came to the conclusion that she needed a Jeep. Although she had driven off road and riden in mine a lot, I tried explaining that it wasn't going to be the daily driver she was expecting. I tried everything to talk her into a 4-Runner or X-terra because of the daily drivability, she wanted a Jeep for the wave and cool factor. So, needless to say my wifes Jeep (11' JKU) phase lasted less than a year and she was back to an Altima, "because it was a smoother ride". It is not that the Jeep has bad onroad manners...but at the end of the day it is a Jeep. You have to be prepared for the days that you wake up with 4" on rainwater in the floorboards, soaking wet seats, and a radio that no longer works because you forgot to put the top back on (or your top just leaks like mine).

So when you take a test drive keep this in mind. The 4Runner and X-terra are DD's with off-road capabilities. The Jeep is an off-road vehicle, that is able to be a DD.

My vote goes to a Wrangler hands down. When I traded in my old TJ for a "more practical DD" I teared up. I craved the summer days with a top down, the ability to go places that none of my friends could in there cars, I MISSED THE WAVE, I missed the community of people that see another Jeep pulled over on the side of the road and stop just to offer help because they saw another Jeep, I miss the online forums where you can get any and every question answered, I missed every aspect of my Jeep and the Jeep community. So I bought another (13'JK). Sure gas mileage isn't great, I have a leak in the top, and I can't go 100+mph, but I still smile ear to ear everytime I see her, and look over my shoulder just to get another glance when I walk away.

smohr33 07-17-2013 11:03 AM

I came from a Titan Pro-4x to a JKU. Had the Titan 3 years, got the Jeep a couple weeks ago. Had a family member with an Xterra and drove it lots, so I have a pretty good idea of what the Frontier is like to drive. FWIW I never go off road, the most "off road" use my trucks get is snowstorms, so I can't help you there. I assume the jeep would have been better off road, the Titan had a very long wheelbase and IFS. Frontier is also IFS and a decently long wheelbase.

The Jeep is my 3rd car, so the ability to have a "convertible" for the summer, and something that is great in the winter was a plus for me. If it were my only car it would be even more of a plus, kind of like having two cars in one.

I just didn't enjoy driving the Titan/Xterra, the Jeep feels alive, while the Nissans just feel like big mushy pickups. The frontier also gets pretty poor MPG, probably worse than a 3.6 JK. The only thing I enjoyed about the Titan was its towing capacity, and the ability to haul tons of crap around. Otherwise, the Jeep is a much more enjoyable truck, I'm glad I made the switch.

WininUtah 07-17-2013 12:31 PM

When I started to look for a replacement for my LJ I considered a Pro4-X. I very good friend just got one, all decked out with leather etc. I really liked it but a couple of weeks later he had some minor complaints, basically some quality issues. My brother sells Nissan and had told me that his mechanics really praised the XTerra as trouble free. So minor quality issues but good mechanics were OK.

My wife made me come to my senses, we have a Pilot and don't need another SUV. Having owned a Jeep I knew that's where my heart was, anyway. I think most people would be happy with an Xterra, they're pretty well thought out but Jeeps are a bit smaller and a I'd guess even a Sahara is a bit more capable.

Tough decision, drive both.

TOK 07-17-2013 02:50 PM

One of my buddies traded his XTerra (actually the second XTerra he owned) for a JKU. He's happier with the Jeep, but the XTerra is a great SUV, body on frame, good power, available rear locker. The IFS probably hurts it for hardcore offroad, but it is definitely focused on its market.

You were comparing it to a JKU Sahara, and the XTerra is every bit its match for what 98% of those two vehicles are used for.

The convertible thing and aftermarket support is of huge importance to me, you can get pretty much every cool offroad thing made for a JK. Manufacturers seem to pick and choose more when it comes to support for the XTerra, 4Runner and FJ.

DallasWilly's 07-17-2013 03:33 PM

I've had both. The Pro 4X is a great vehicle. I ran 2.5" coilovers and 33's. The Rockford Fosgate radio was pretty good and much better than the Jeep. The ride quality on the 4X is much better than the Jeep. With that said I wanted another Jeep and like modding my vehicles. The aftermarket support for Xterra is almost non existent with bumpers taking 6+ months to arrive. The cargo room of the Xterra is awesome actually with the front seat folded down. The Jeep looks 100X cooler and taking the top off is awesome. The 4X is more civilized, but its not a Range Rover. The locker works great on the 4X. The Jeep is way more fun than the 4X, but Nissan makes a great product with a great engine. I know I would pick the Pro 4X over the 2 door, but the 4D Jeep over the 4X.

yjswampthing 07-17-2013 03:57 PM

I've had 2 - 2 doors that I loved more than any of my other cars. I now have a 4 door that I love more than both of my 2 doors.

To me you can't really compare a 4door SUV with a 2 door wrangler if you need it for daily driving, grocery getting, trips to home depot, etc. That 2 door will get on your nerves for anything other than driving in my experience and opinion. They just don't have much room for anything. I would go with the Xterra if you're stuck between those two. *Pause for attack from 2 door owners...

That being said... I would consider getting a used 4 door over a new 2 door. 12 and later if at all possible to get the better powerplant.

I'm too lazy to get out there and compare prices and all that but I have a hard time believing that the $ a top of the line xterra will cost you will not buy a jeep that will outperform it on the trail (Rubicon,anyone?) That being said I know little about the market and prices of those so I could be completely wrong. It's happened before

tontwins 07-17-2013 04:41 PM

I was in the exact same boat as you. Pro-4x vs wrangler 2 door... I went with the jeep. I've been pretty happy with my choice but if its going to be a daily driver I'd consider a bigger car then the 2 door jeep. yes I love driving it but get annoyed ny the lack of space, no stock roof rack, the swing out hatch is a pain with a bike rack... I think a 4 door if built right can look cool otherwise meh... I've seen people get 4 door sports for 26k pout the door just have to work hard to get a dealer to dance

HK_Runner 07-17-2013 04:56 PM

The 2-door can be a pain. I have one but I bought it for the tight trails here and I have my 4Runner too. I also wanted that tight turning radius. If it is your DD, it will be inconvenient. There is barely enough room to fit two people and 6 rabbits.

viperx6x9x 07-17-2013 05:15 PM

If you get an xterra, have it undercoated. My wife had a 2000 model, whatever v6 they had at the time, pretty much base model. Drivetrain was rock solid, we never managed to hurt it. However, the underside rusted so bad that at one point it literally snapped a leaf spring in half going over a rough spot in the road.

Granted this vehicle came used from the heavily salted, and whatever else they use for ice, roads of Maine. It was at a disadvantage to corrosion in the first place. But seriously, a leaf spring on a paved road?

It could go anywhere we needed it to go, we weren't trying to crawl rocks or anything crazy like that though.

Don't know anything about the newer xterras, but that one was slow, and not great on mileage either. But jeeps are the same way so no big loss going either way.

dwilly 07-17-2013 05:19 PM

I am a big Nissan fan. I had the '07 Xterra Off Road. I had a 3 inch lift and 33s. I was able to do just about anything I wanted trail wise. Biggest trails I tackled was Poison Spider, Hells Revenge and a few local black diamonds here in stock form (including factory tires). The limit is how far you want to take it. I wanted to tackle bigger and wilder things than what an IFS was capable of doing. To get a Xterra where I wanted it would have cost me about 10 grand in mods, including SAS. There is also the factor of after market support for Nissan. There almost isn't. Sliders run about $600. A front bumper will run at least $1K. Power, torque, and MPG are all very close. If I could go back I probably would have purchased a Jeep in the first place. I did not know I would get the wheeling bug this bad and feel I needed a solid axle for some of the trails I want to do these days. Just think about what you want to do with it, and what might want in the future.

My .02

YJmaddness 07-17-2013 05:25 PM

I have a 13 Ruby Unlimited and my mother has a 13 X Terra 4x. I talked her into coming down to Moab during Jeep Safari this spring and maybe try and get her on the trails. We're both have stock suspension soI picked an easier trail to do. We ended up parking her Nissan at the trailhead because it was so low to the ground we worried about ripping her mud flaps off. Then just last week we went out to go do another mountain road, And did the same thing. Its not that i do a lot of hardcore rock crawling (yet) but to get up to some of the old mountain roads you need a little more clearance otherwise you're going to end up replacing your oil pan. For off-road practicality purposes the Jeep is a no brainer to me.

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