Should You Take the 2007 Nissan Xterra Off Road?

The standard 2007 Nissan Xterra can handle a fair bit of off-roading—but it’ll take a few upgrades to tackle tougher terrain.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Nov 21, 2022
Nissan Xterra
, one of the coolest 4x4 vehicles of the 2000s, was a solid SUV for on and off the roads. The 2007 model is no exception. Even today, the 2007 Xterra is a capable choice for virtually any excursion. 
If you’re itching for adventure, having an off-road capable vehicle makes it easy to seize any opportunity to hit the trails. Plenty of SUVs talk the talk—but how many can walk the walk?
Lucky for you,
compiled all the specs of the 2007 Nissan Xterra so you don’t have to. As the
super app
and all-around car expert, Jerry will hit all the important deets, including ground clearance, torque, and good alternatives if the Xterra doesn’t live up to your off-road dreams. 

Can the 2007 Nissan Xterra go off road?

Yes, but it’s not exactly in the same ballpark as more serious offroaders like the
Jeep Wrangler
. In fact, the 2007 Xterra comes in a trim specially named “
Off Road
” for when the base trim isn’t hardy enough. 
The base Xterra S model has an average market price of about $5,916, but you can find the Off Road trim for around the same price—which may be a better option for rougher roads. If you’re in the market for a casual off-roader, the
trim should work perfectly. 
Let’s go through all the details of what makes the 2007 Xterra a decent off-roader. 

Ground clearance

When you’re looking for a viable off-road companion, ground clearance is one of the most important numbers to look at on a vehicle. The standard 2007 Xterra has a ground clearance of just 8.3 inches, barely making the cut for off-roading capability—but the Off Road trim is set with 9.5 inches of ground clearance. 
Ideally, vehicles fit for off-roading have a ground clearance between 8.8 and 10.8 inches. Higher ground clearance means you can tumble over rocky terrain without worrying about damaging your car’s undercarriage. 
To put it into perspective, the Jeep Wrangler has a ground clearance of 9.7 inches. If we’re looking at the base trims of the Xterra, their 8.3 inches don’t leave much room for serious off-roading. However, the Xterra Off Road trim holds its own against the big dogs of the trail


In most cases, people focus on horsepower when choosing a vehicle, but when it comes to off-roaders, it’s the torque we need—specifically low-end torque. This just means a higher amount of torque at a lower rpm, giving the engine more turning power—making it more suited for wild backroads. 
Even the base trim of the 2007 Xterra was fitted with a V6 engine, capable of 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. Low-end torque is considered to be between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm, so the Xterra isn’t the most powerful. That being said, it’s plenty of torque to tackle the trails with ease. 


The right tires are crucial for off-roading. The 2007 Xterra comes standard with P265/70R16 all-season tires, which make the SUV perfect for life on paved roads—but they won’t get you through much more than average weather conditions. 
If you’re itching to take your Xterra on more intense adventures, you’ll want to replace the all-season tires with
all-terrain tires
, or A/T tires. These types of tires are designed specifically for a mix of off-roading and highway driving. They aren’t the best for everyday commutes as they’ll wear down quicker on paved roads—but their grooves provide more traction, which is ideal if you hit the trails regularly. 


The 2007 Xterra’s standard drivetrain is rear-wheel drive, which won’t do you many favors on unpaved roads. Four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is a necessity if you want to take your Xterra on any adventures—and luckily, all-wheel drive is optional on every trim of the 2007 model. It’s also the standard drivetrain for the Off Road trim.


A vehicle’s off-roading potential is heavily determined by its angles—the approach angle and departure angle, to be exact:
  • Approach angle: the maximum angle a vehicle can climb without interference 
  • Departure angle: the maximum angle a vehicle can descend without interference
The 2007 Xterra has an approach angle of 33.2 degrees and a departure angle of 29.4 degrees—which are solid measurements for a casual off-roading vehicle. These angles will get you through the average backroad trail, but we don’t recommend hitting any heavy-duty boulders or mountainsides.
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Off-road rating: Rough and ready

Considering all of these numbers and info, we’ve evaluated the 2007 Nissan Xterra with
super-official DIRT rating system:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
The 2007 Xterra gets an R rating: while you can get through some pretty tough spots with the base trim, it’s more suited to casual off-road settings. If you need a tougher ride, you’ll need to add modifications—or upgrade to the Off Road trim, which gets a solid T rating

The best off-road alternatives to the 2007 Nissan Xterra

If you’re in the market for an affordable and capable SUV, the 2007 Xterra will come through for you. If you’re not sold, though—or if it doesn’t quite fit your needs—you have plenty of other options. Here are a few alternatives to consider:
Average Price
Best cheaper alternative
2006 Mercury Mountaineer
Save a thousand dollars by opting for the Mountaineer, which is comparable to the Xterra in nearly every category.
Best updated alternative
2012 Jeep Liberty
The 2012 Liberty is newer, so it comes with better tech and safety features than the 2007 Xterra.
Best heavy-duty alternative
2010 Jeep Commander
The Commander comes with a V8 engine producing 357 hp, making it a more powerful option compared to the ‘07 Xterra.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

The 2007 Xterra is an all-around catch, so you’ll need a
car insurance
policy that’s just as robust. Used cars often come with cheaper insurance—but off-roading vehicles are at a higher risk of being damaged, so that may bump your rates up. 
To make sure you aren’t overpaying on your insurance,
is here to the rescue. As a
licensed insurance broker
, the Jerry app will provide you with customized rates from over 50 top providers to make sure you’re getting the most affordable choices—all in 45 seconds after signing up. 
Jerry wants to save you time and money—in fact, the average Jerry user saves $800+ on annual coverage. You could put that chunk of change toward a sweet lift kit or new A/T tires!
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