Nissan's lineup of Sport Utility Vehicles and Crossovers is comprehensive, with a vehicle for nearly every segment. The Nissans are distinguished by a real unity of design -- the Crossovers share many styling cues, and the SUVs are extremely close in appearance and features. Here's brief guide to the Nissan SUV and Crossover lineup, with links to reviews and photo galleries.
The latest addition to the Nissan lineup, the Nissan Rogue made its debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. The Rogue is like a baby brother to the Nissan Murano Crossover Vehicle, filling a gap in the Nissan lineup. It should compete with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Base prices start at $20,220. Built on the Nissan "C" platform, the Rogue is a front engine vehicle available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Rogue is equipped with a 2.5 liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Nissan touts Rogue's "aggressive, performance-oriented exterior that redefines the small utility with sleek, masculine styling with dynamically arched forms and powerful rear shoulder lines." Rogue gets Nissan's Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) as standard equipment. Rogue will be assembled in Kyushu, Japan. Rogues will be offered in two configurations: The Rogue S and the Rogue SL, each available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
After spending some time with the Nissan Murano, I think I finally get it -- the Nissan Murano is the future. This is what people will be driving in the 21st Century, one car that can do it all. The Nissan Murano looks like a cross-training athletic shoe -- I mean that as a compliment. This is definitely one of those "love-it-or-hate-it" futuristic exteriors. I love it. Murano comes with a CVT, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, a 3.5 liter V6 that produces 265 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. Base prices start from $27,680 to $37,260 depending on equipment and specifications. A makeover for 2009 has not changed the essential character of the Murano, it has simply refined it. In a quirk of manufacturing, there was no 2008 model Murano.
SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES
Perhaps the most extreme SUV on the market outside of the HUMMER lineup, the Nissan Xterra is a dart aimed directly at the heart of Generation X. Xterra first hit the market in 2000, and has only gotten bigger and more chiseled since then. Like a ballplayer on steroids, Xterra is still recognizable, just beefier through the hips and shoulders. If you're a fan of Mr. Universe pageants, you'll like the look. Xterra's sheet metal is stretched to emphasize every dimension -- great big fenders, a bulging nose, a tall greenhouse. Xterra's most recognizable feature is a lump in the tailgate that accommodates the storage of a first aid kit (included) inside the cargo hold. Xterra's 4.0 liter V6 does a very good job of motivating the SUV down the road with 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque on tap. For a rugged vehicle, Xterra's got some high tech standard features: four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle dynamic control, speed sensitive rack-and-pinion steering, front driver and passenger airbags and tire pressure monitoring system. Base prices range from $22,310 to $27,340.
Right in the middle of the SUV lineup, Pathfinder is still big, but more of a tailored fit in a one-size-fits-all world. For a vehicle that started out as a two-door in 1986, the Pathfinder has come a long way. The 1986 Pathfinder would hardly recognize the current edition. Powered by a 4.0 liter V6 that cranks out 270 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque, the Pathfinder is sufficiently powered and even spirited. Considering the nearly two and a half ton curb weight (4859 lbs), Pathfinder's five-speed automatic transmission does a good job of keeping the engine in the powerband so that it never feels overmatched. Handling is surprisingly good, with four-wheel independent suspension and electronic stability control. Base prices range from $25,600 to $36,000. Available in rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE Off Road Test Drive and Review.
The Armada is the flagship of the Nissan SUV lineup. The Armada is big. There's no two ways about that. It's big, even for a large SUV. At 79.3 inches wide (without mirrors), 207.7 inches long and 78.0 inches high, the Armada casts an impressive shadow. There are distinct family resemblances to Nissan's other SUVs and trucks. As with the Nissan Xterra, Pathfinder, Titan and Frontier, the Armada's styling is going to be a "love it or hate it" issue for most people. The 5.6 Liter V8 under the Armada's hood pumps out 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque, and does a great job putting the 5,593 lb SUV through its paces. The Armada can tow up to 9100 lbs; an optional $650 tow package is available with a lower final gear ratio to give more access to the grunt. 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS haul the Armada down from speed, and vehicle dynamic control helps keep the wheels on the road. Base prices range from $36,130 to $43,980.