Yet another old school body-on-frame SUV will be going under the executioner’s axe. According to our friends at Edmunds, Nissan will discontinue production of the Nissan Xterra after 2015, ending its 15-year production run.

Edmunds says the decision was made because of regulatory reasons. Continuing production after this year would have required expensive and significant alterations to both safety and emissions equipment, and because sales for the Xterra have been so slow in recent years – just 16,505 units in 2014 – the business case to keep it around could not be made. Fuel mileage is also pretty abhorrent by current standards: just 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway in two-wheel-drive specification and 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway with four-wheel-drive.

Based on Nissan’s F-Alpha truck and SUV platform, the Xterra is the most recent victim in the flight from truck-based, body-on-frame chassis to car-based crossovers and unibody chassis. Both the Ford Explorer and Nissan’s own Pathfinder adopted unibody chassis with their latest generations, while the Toyota FJ Cruiser was axed altogether.

The Xterra will be getting a few minor upgrades for its final year of production, including the addition of NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, a USB connection for iPods and a new SolarFlare Yellow exterior color.

Click ’Continue Reading’ to learn why Nissan decided to discontinue the Xterra.

Why it matters

We recently dinged the Xterra for its dated looks, but considering the second generation was introduced way back in 2005, that’s somewhat understandable. Under that boring bodywork is a capable, purposeful, functional off roader, and as our Kirby Garlitos pointed out, the Xterra doesn’t really care how it looks.

In might be a dinosaur in some regards, but SUVs that can actually perform off-road are an endangered species (don’t even bother looking into aftermarket lift kits for unibody SUVs). If you’re looking for a tough, versatile SUV and the hardcore Jeep Wrangler is a little too unlivable for your tastes, you might want to pull the trigger on a new Xterra while you still can.

Nissan Xterra</h3
2014 Nissan Xterra High Resolution Exterior
- image 542043

Source: Edmunds

James Wolfcale
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