While The northeast offers beautiful fall foliage, and the northwest offers endless lush green forests, the fact is that by the time October nears its end and the cold touch of winter creeps upon the land to tell of colder things to come, even the most avid of outdoor adventurers is ready to hang up their vibram fiver finger shoes and head inside until spring. This is what makes the rugged, scarred, and of course very hot wilderness of the great American desert bloom in the minds and reality of the millions of Americans who call it home(or dream of doing so), as the ideal home base for even the most low key outdoors man or woman.
The Phoenix Valley area serves as both a population and cultural capital of the American Southwest. Nestled amidst vast volcanic mountain ranges on all sides, and a short drive to deep desert canyons, snow capped peaks, or lush riparian habitats, the Phoenix Valley area offers quick and easy access to some of the most beautiful and dramatic wilderness areas on the planet. Of course, in order to launch your adventure in the safest and most effective way possible, it is necessarily to have the right vehicle.
Perhaps we can regularly revisit this subject on Vroom, taking a closer look at the best outdoor adventure vehicles with specific mention of Arizona landscapes, but today we will stick with the one that most sticks out in our minds as the most well rounded all terrain adventure vehcile available in the Phoenix Valley area today, the Nissan Xterra.
The angular proportions of the Nissan Xterra scream masculinity (or at the very least, a lot of testosterone contained within the design team), and the prominent roof rack leaves no question that this vehicle was built for expedition. Sticking to a less is more philosophy, the interior, while comfortable and offering an impressive factory installed sound system, can easily be described as minimalist.
The Xterra’s powertrain is a 4.0-liter V6 producing 261 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 281 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. If you like more control than cruise, Nissan has shown itself thoughtful enough to offer a six-speed manual transmission across the entire Xterra model range. The big V6 also accelerates hard when you ask it to, with a manufacturer-claimed 0-60 mile per hour time of 6.7 seconds.
Outside of receiving a face lift in 2009 with more options and colors, leather seats on SE models, and roof mounted lights on off-road models, the Xterra has remained remarkably consistent since the second generation was unveiled in 2005. The design team at Nissan is sticking with the idea of not fixing something that is not broken.
For those Phoenix Valley outdoors enthusiasts looking for a rugged and high preforming off road vehicle, the Nissan Xterra offers just that, and at a budget price as well. Nissan offers three different packages, starting from between $24k to $29k.
Phoenix Valley outdoors and automotive enthusiasts can view and test drive the new 2012 and soon the 2013 model Nissan Xterra at their local Phoenix Valley Nissan dealer.