r50 vs 1st gen xterra

ATXzombie

Observer
I am leaving nyc in a couple months and need another vehicle. I am torn between r50 pathy or 1st gen xterra. I know the ease of lifting an xterra and the limited lifts for r50, I was curious to what one was better as far as being reliable and better for camping
thanks
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
Depends what kind of camping you want to do.. Rough trails etc? If both are 4WD they should both be okay on moderate stuff. More room in the Pathfinder though I'm thinking.....

Are planning to sleep in it, tow a trailer, roof top tent?

I had a 2003 Xterra SC. I liked the vehicle but would avoid the supercharged V6 if I could do it again. Mine blew the head gasket after 2 months of ownership. (bought used with with 125,000 miles)

Apparently the naturally aspirated V6 are more reliable.
 

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docwatson

Adventurer
I need a vehicle to leave
Well then I would purchase the cleanest, best condition vehicle in your price range, X or R50. The Pathfinder is definitely more road oriented, stock and the X, "outdoorsy". Looking at this thread though I would hardly consider the Pathy unfit for modification.
 

ne_dan

New member
Didn’t R50 have a major rust problem on the front strut housing that basically rotted the strut mount away.

Where are you moving to, either buy a car there or get one shipped up from someplace outside the rust belt.
 

MTGunner

MTGunner
Rent a car to get out of NYC. Look for a Pathy or Xterra in Arizonaor New Mexico. If you can find one that has spent its’ entire life in either state it will have little or no rust. I have both and enjoy both. The Xterra is body on frame whereas the Pathfinder is unibody. Both great platforms, but Xterra is a little more rugged. Albeit, the Pathfinder is lighter and fuel mileage better. Where are you moving to? MTG
 

ATXzombie

Observer
Rent a car to get out of NYC. Look for a Pathy or Xterra in Arizonaor New Mexico. If you can find one that has spent its’ entire life in either state it will have little or no rust. I have both and enjoy both. The Xterra is body on frame whereas the Pathfinder is unibody. Both great platforms, but Xterra is a little more rugged. Albeit, the Pathfinder is lighter and fuel mileage better. Where are you moving to? MTG
Richmond virginia
 

paulforeman

Member
I am leaving nyc in a couple months and need another vehicle. I am torn between r50 pathy or 1st gen xterra. I know the ease of lifting an xterra and the limited lifts for r50, I was curious to what one was better as far as being reliable and better for camping
thanks
Heyo. I've driven both of these vehicles you're considering - the R50 is a much smoother ride with the coils. The suspension components are all much smaller and so if you're planning on doing any big mods (larger tires, lot's of hard wheeling, etc), I'd go with the Xterra. If you're going to do more dirt roads and not a lot of mods, I'd go with the R50 - it's got more power and pretty easy to drive too! I think it has more useful storage space too (in my opinion, although it's been a minute since I was in the back of an R50... I could be remembering incorrectly). PLUS, if you really want to go in style, find a nice QX4 - factory heated seats and a bunch of other nice luxury features that you won't be finding in the Xterra (for that generation anyways).

Good luck!
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
R50 has the more powerful engine if you get a newer one with the 3.5 V6. I owned a 2002 R50 5 speed and loved it. Very nice interior, super fun car to drive. Only reason I got rid of it was that I already had a tow vehicle for our trailer and I realized it made no sense to have two vehicles.

The pathy was a fun vehicle, zippy and powerful and had a lot of nice features that I'm not sure 1st gen Xterras had - things like steering wheel audio controls and automatic headlights.
 

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paulforeman

Member
R50 has the more powerful engine if you get a newer one with the 3.5 V6. I owned a 2002 R50 5 speed and loved it. Very nice interior, super fun car to drive. Only reason I got rid of it was that I already had a tow vehicle for our trailer and I realized it made no sense to have two vehicles.

The pathy was a fun vehicle, zippy and powerful and had a lot of nice features that I'm not sure 1st gen Xterras had - things like steering wheel audio controls and automatic headlights.
Hard to find with a 5-speed! I test drove one once but didn't end up buying that one. And yes, that 3.5 is awesome - aluminum block, forged crank, etc, and it's super nice to have the extra torque in 4 lo off-road over the 3.3 in the Xterra. If you decide on going with the R50, see if you can find one with a manual transfer case. That's the way to go over the electronic one if you plan to use it off-road a lot. The one I was driving was an electric one, which worked fine, but it was sometimes picky on when it would engage, and it was kinda slow... the manual ones are so simple and reliable, it's hard to beat.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Hard to find with a 5-speed! I test drove one once but didn't end up buying that one. And yes, that 3.5 is awesome - aluminum block, forged crank, etc, and it's super nice to have the extra torque in 4 lo off-road over the 3.3 in the Xterra. If you decide on going with the R50, see if you can find one with a manual transfer case. That's the way to go over the electronic one if you plan to use it off-road a lot. The one I was driving was an electric one, which worked fine, but it was sometimes picky on when it would engage, and it was kinda slow... the manual ones are so simple and reliable, it's hard to beat.
Yep, that's what mine was. 5 speed and stick transfer case.

Mine was an '02 so it had the Xterra-style wind deflector and luggage rack, which I thought looked great. I bought it in 2016 and it only had 125k miles on it. Sold it a year later with maybe 130k (I pretty much only drove it to work and back, or around town on weekends.)

I sometimes wish I could have kept it. It was one of those weird things where it was the absolute perfect vehicle - but not perfect for ME. When I listed it for sale people were coming out of the woodwork to buy it. The people who ended up buying it tried to lowball me on the price. When I turned down their lowball offer I showed them my phone which had been blowing up with people wanting it and said "OK, think about it if you want to but I won't guarantee that it will still be available tomorrow." They changed their minds real quick.

Honestly, I should have asked more for it but that's OK, I still feel like I got a fair price for what was then a 15 year old vehicle. Listed it at about 4:00 on Friday afternoon and had it sold and gone by 10:00 Saturday morning.


2017-12-01 13.07.41.jpg



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Pretty much the only upgrades I had to make were tires and a stereo that would connect to my iPhone (which I installed myself via Crutchfield.) It needed nothing else, but of course I didn't really "off road" with it either since I already had a lifted Suburban on 33's (yet another reason to sell it, I didn't really need another 4x4.)
 
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