Nissan is contemplating a comeback for the Xterra; insisting on authenticity

Update: As part of their press conference outlining their overall strategy, Nissan released a teaser video showcasing various upcoming designs. The video features a few already revealed models such as the Sakura kei car from the Tokyo show and the Kicks from the New York show. A brief glimpse in the video reveals a boxy vehicle with distinct features reminiscent of the Xterra, such as tubular roof rails, a vertical tail, and truck-like lights. We believe this could indicate the return of the Xterra. The screenshot from the video is provided at the top, with the video itself included below. The text has been updated to reflect this new discovery.

The trend of reviving classic off-roaders like the Defender, Bronco, and Land Cruiser has been well-received by consumers and profitable for automakers. Nissan, however, has not fully capitalized on this trend, especially with the absence of the Frontier-based Xterra since 2015. Nissan Americas Senior Vice President and Chief Planning Officer Ponz Pandikuthira hinted at a possible revival of the Xterra during discussions.

While Pandikuthira did not officially confirm the return of the Xterra, he mentioned that the idea is actively being considered. He emphasized the importance of authenticity and the vehicle being a serious truck with true off-road capabilities. Additionally, affordability and modern design elements were highlighted as essential criteria.

A possible modern Xterra would likely be based on an existing truck platform, possibly the Frontier’s, to maintain authenticity and appeal to fans. While some retro cues might be present, they are expected to be subtle rather than overt. Nissan’s recent concept designs, like the Hyper Adventure concept, may provide inspiration for subtle design cues.

Based on available information, a new Xterra seems plausible given the market demand, potential cost-effectiveness of using an existing platform, and the interest from Nissan executives. Overall, the revival of the Xterra appears promising and a worthwhile endeavor.