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Top 10 Cheapest SUVs
With the growing crossover segment, the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market is slowly dying. Still, it’s got life in it yet and no cute-ute can replace the pure utility of a go anywhere, do anything body-on-frame Sport Utility Vehicle.
If you’re in the market for one and the Cadillac Escalade is a bit out of your budget, AutoGuide has compiled a list of the top 10 cheapest SUVs available today. True, they’re not all strict SUVs. Nonetheless, these are all seriously capable machines.
With Nissan‘s Pathfinder making the jump from truck based sport utility to soft roader for 2013, it has left many pondering the future of the Xterra, since from 2005-12 both vehicles shared the same, rugged, F-Alpha truck architecture, used on the Frontier and also the full-size Titan pickup.
Given that the Pathfinder has traditionally been positioned as the more mainstream of the two vehicles (despite its higher price point), it logically makes sense to turn it into a three-row crossover, as that will likely broaden its appeal significantly.
However, while the Pathfinder might be trading its Kamik boots for Hush Puppies, Nissan has said no such strategy is planned for the Xterra, which for now will remain the hardcore off-roader’s choice, with gutsy V6 power, transfer case and washable interior.
That said, it will be interesting to see when a next generation Xterra materializes and exactly what kind of features it incorporates, as well as Nissan’s pricing strategy for it (Starting out as the brand’s entry level SUV, the Xterra has morphed into an increasingly expensive and more specialized machine over the last decade).
[Source: Car & Driver]
Nissan is set to recall 605,000 vehicles over defects with the steering system and vehicle batteries. The recall will comprise of 303,000 Frontiers, 283,000 Xterras and 18,500 Sentras from the year 2000 to the year 2010.
The affected vehicles reside in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, with 85 percent of the cars being sold in the United States.
The steering defect can result in a cracked steering shaft due to possible corrosion, while the battery problem exists in the positive cable on Sentras, can can lead to difficulties starting the car or driving at low speeds. No injuries or deaths have been reported in relation to the recall.
The Nissan Xterra may not have long to live hints Nissan product boss Larry Dominique. In a recent interview with Ward’s, Dominique commented that Xterra segment is, “falling apart.”
According to Ward’s internal data, the mid-size SUV category in which the Xterra fits totaled just 211,042 vehicles last year, compared to an all-time high of 1.65 million in 2000. Back then Nissan sold 88,578 Xterra models, while so far this year it has managed to move just 12,186. Surprisingly, however, there seems to be a mini-boom in the SUV segment as of late with that number up 42% over a ear ago.
Dominique did comment that execs at Nissan are big fans of the SUV and plan to keep it in the product lineup or as long as possible. But, “With (new U.S. corporate average fuel economy rules) Xterra’s going to be a tough vehicle to keep around.”
The plan is to exceed the upcoming 34.1 mpg fleet fuel economy standard for 2016 with high-volume Sentra and Altima models, however, Nissan already has to overachieve in those areas to make up for the Titan’s it sells.
Dominique did reassure ans of the Frontier and Pathfinder that those models are safe. Nissan currently sits at third in the compact pickup segment with the Frontier and with Ford preparing to axe the Ranger, Frontier sales are likely to spike. The truck has already seen a sales increase that’s up 48.5 percent so far this year. (The Toyota Tacoma currently leads that segment).
As for the Pathfinder, it will “live on,” although, “How it will live on, wait to see,” says Dominique, perhaps hinting that the big SUV will follow Ford’s Explorer and be transformed into a car-based crossover.
Nissan is debuting four new commercials designed to show off their new tag line “Innovation For All”.
Showing off a raft of future ideas, like controlling your car’s climate system with an iPhone, and some more recent (like boasting about brake over-ride systems being installed since 2004), Nissan is pushing the new campaign hard, and teasing enthusiasts with an early glimpse at the 2011 Quest minivan.
There are four ads in total, all available after the jump. We’re still partial to the Van Halen-infused 300ZX commercial though.
Nissan is preparing to recall 48,700 trucks and SUVs for issues relating to the suspension on the U.S.-built vehicles. Some of, but not all 2010 Nissan Armada, Frontier, Titan, Pathfinder, Xterra and Infiniti QX56 models are expected to be involved in the recall. No official recall has been issued yet, however, as Nissan awaits information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The issue with the trucks and SUVs involves a lower suspension control link that may not have been welded properly and as a result cause the bushing collar to crack, creating a rough and noisy ride. The potential recall isn’t so much a safety issue as a driveability issue and no accidents have been reported.
In the wake of the Toyota recall crisis, NHTSA has also been under increased scrutiny, issuing an alarmingly high number of recalls.
[Source: Associated Press]