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Sell My 02 WRX For an Xterra? Why Are Xterras Cheaper Than Frontiers?

Hey gang. Its been a minute but my life is kind of collapsing in on itself here so Ive been busy. Im preparing to make some big life changes here. My Father has been not well after pancreatitis left Him with a colostomy bag in a bad spot and He is very dependant on my Mom for everything. Unfortunately my Mother has just been doagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer that is inoperable. I live in my Grandparents old house which my Mom, Her Brothers and my Cousin each have a 20% stake in and everyone but my Mom has wanted to sell it for the past decade. Ive been here for a couple years and it wasnt a problem when my Brother spent a decade here because He considered buying the house which kept my family at bay. Now that Hes moved out, I cant afford to buy a house and my Mother(the only one who wants to keep the house mainly for my sake) sadly doesnt have a lot of time left, it looks as though within a year or 2(maybe) I will have to move back in with my Dad to take care of Him and prevent myself from becoming homeless. I know this is a lot of backstory but its all about context here so bare with me.

I dont know how long my Dad can go on without my Mom and at that point I may end up really wanting to or needing to live in a vehicle. I am on disability after losing my leg and have a very small fixed income. I currently faily drive a 2002 Subaru WRX wagon which is a great car, but no room for me and my dog to sleep in back or have storage for cargo because Im 6'1". OK OK I know that was a lot of BS to read but heres the meat of the subject.

Ive always loved the Frontier crew cab and the Xterra but for whatever reason the Xterras are always much much cheaper with lower miles. Why is this? Do the Xterras have problems that the Frontier of the same years dont? Im thinking if I can afford one after selling my WRX, that Id like a gen 2 Xterra because theyre bigger. I was looking at minivans for a while but front wheel drive V6 is a pain in the butt to work on and Id like to know my car/home could go more places. I have an above knee prosthesis so I can only operate an automatic transmission now. I know the 2nd gens have the trans and coolant crossover pipe problem which I guess I could just bypass though I dont like removing performance or functionality of any kind like that. Heres my questions:
-Do the Gen 1 or gen 2 Xterra more reliable or have less problems?
-Why are Xterras always cheaper than Frontiers?
-Is there enough room in the gen 1 X for a tall guy and his medium sized dog to sleep in comfortably?
-I wont be doing much off roading and no crawling or bashing, so is there a better SUV or vehicle in general to use as a daily driver and stealth camper?
-How reliable are the V6s from both the gen 1 and gen 2 X? I love the KA24DE 4 banger used in the early Xterras because I had one in my 240SX and it was a dream. It was a pig, but a great reliable engine. How do the V6 engines hold up? Are the non interference timing CHAIN engines from te gen 2s that much better than the interference gen 1 engines with the belt?
-Any other info, input, insight or any other "ins" would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for reading through my ramblings.
 

Bigfnhammer

This could be anywhere
I've seen 2 3.3's let go after 230 (mine) and 250 thousand Kilometers. both suffered similar catalytic converter failures that led to the expansion of the cylinder walls in the failed bank, mine was worn 10 thou over spec and collapsed the rings.

I assume frontiers are more because pickups seem more desirable than SUVs.

I really like the first gens tight turning circle, frontiers have a huge one and I'm not sure about the xterra but I believe it to be bigger than the first gen as well.
the aftermarket support is starting to dwindle a bit for first gens where you have more options with second gens.

Not sure about sleeping in the back I cant see it being the best night sleep of your life but doable. especially if you were to build some sort of platform.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
As for the question of why Xterras are less expensive on the used market than Frontiers, this has nothing to do with the specific vehicle or make, it is because SUV's are always less expensive than pickups for some bizarre reason. You can see the same phenomenon with the 4runner vs. Tacoma, Explorer vs. Ranger, Expedition vs. F-150, Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon vs. Silverado/Sierra, etc. The pickup is ALWAYS more expensive for the same year and number of miles, and this is despite the fact that the SUV is usually in better shape, and has more desirable features.
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I think there are a number of reasons that could account for this. For one thing, pickups tend to be used harder and driven more which means that there are fewer low-mileage examples, as compared to SUVs which are typically 'soccer mom' cars or suburban commuter vehicles. Supply and demand then dictates a higher price. (here's an example from my own experience: Just last September I bought a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder that was pristine and had only 117,000 miles on it. Just TRY to find a 2002 Frontier with miles that low, if you can find one, the price will be astronomical because mileage that low on a pickup is so rare.)
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Another factor: People who are shopping for SUVs are typically 'cross shopping' for lots of other vehicles. In other words, the "pool" of competing vehicles for SUVs is very large, which tends to drive prices down. By contrast, people who are shopping for a truck want a TRUCK, PERIOD. An SUV will not do, they absolutely, positively, want a TRUCK and since the pool of competing vehicles is smaller, prices are higher.
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A third factor: Prestige. Brand new SUVs are often seen as "status symbols." That is, part of their "value" is the fact that they are new. Once they are no longer new, they lose that "status symbol" value which sends prices down. OTOH, pickups are normally valued for their UTILITY, and utility is something that doesn't disappear after a vehicle is a few years old. A 10 year old truck can haul furniture or equipment just as well as a brand new one and this keeps prices higher.
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Anyway, those are my theories as to why pickups are more expensive than SUVs on the used market. BTW, based on my experience above, if cost is a factor, you might want to think about adding the R50 Pathfinder to your list. They are as common as weeds (at least around here, in CO) and just about the same size as a 1st gen Xterra. From about 1999 on, they had a 3.5l V6 engine that is considerably more powerful than the 3.3 that was found in the Xterra and Frontier. It also has a timing chain vs. a belt in the 3.3.
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Sorry about your situation, it sounds like it's a tough one to be in. I wish you the best of luck.
 

outback97

Adventurer
...
I dont know how long my Dad can go on without my Mom and at that point I may end up really wanting to or needing to live in a vehicle. I am on disability after losing my leg and have a very small fixed income. I currently faily drive a 2002 Subaru WRX wagon which is a great car, but no room for me and my dog to sleep in back or have storage for cargo because Im 6'1". OK OK I know that was a lot of BS to read but heres the meat of the subject.

I was looking at minivans for a while but front wheel drive V6 is a pain in the butt to work on and Id like to know my car/home could go more places. I have an above knee prosthesis so I can only operate an automatic transmission now. I know the 2nd gens have the trans and coolant crossover pipe problem which I guess I could just bypass though I dont like removing performance or functionality of any kind like that.

Heres my questions:
-Do the Gen 1 or gen 2 Xterra more reliable or have less problems?
-Why are Xterras always cheaper than Frontiers?
-Is there enough room in the gen 1 X for a tall guy and his medium sized dog to sleep in comfortably?
-I wont be doing much off roading and no crawling or bashing, so is there a better SUV or vehicle in general to use as a daily driver and stealth camper?
-How reliable are the V6s from both the gen 1 and gen 2 X? I love the KA24DE 4 banger used in the early Xterras because I had one in my 240SX and it was a dream. It was a pig, but a great reliable engine. How do the V6 engines hold up? Are the non interference timing CHAIN engines from te gen 2s that much better than the interference gen 1 engines with the belt?
-Any other info, input, insight or any other "ins" would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for reading through my ramblings.
I don't know a lot about the Gen 1 vs Gen 2 Xterra comparison, as I have only owned a Gen 2. I can tell you they are quite a bit larger, the engines and transmissions are considered pretty tough but do have the transmission cooler weakness (easily fixed) that you mentioned. Some Gen 2's get timing chain guide wear that you can hear as an RPM dependent whine. For info on all things Gen 2 definitely go to thenewx.org.

I know you're wanting something more capable, but if you expect to spend any more time sleeping in the vehicle than just recreational camping, I would think a van would be a much better choice, offering more privacy and comfort.

There's a whole thread on the 2nd Gen Xterra forum about sleeping inside. Many of the older photo links are broken but you can read the posts from the last couple years and have plenty of pics. I am 6'4" and can sleep in my 2nd Gen for camping. It is very comfortable as I have a continuous flat area when I put an 8GL action packer in the rear passenger footwell.



It's not really "stealth" camping as you have a lot of windows, not much room to change clothes in, etc. Yes it could be done but I think long term would be rough.

Sorry to hear about the family health issues. Hope things turn around and your situation improves.
 

MNCarl

The Moose
2nd gen Xterra's can be purchased at very good prices.
This is my layman attempt as to why.
1. Nissan quit manufacturing the Xterra.....in 2014 ? or was it 2013 ? or maybe it was 2015..
2. Most people buying SUVs are buying uni-body / crossover type , not rugged body frame / truck like SUV's
3. The gas MPG on a 2nd gen Xterra is not good , but it sure is nice when you have all that power to merge or pass on the freeway or going off-road up a steep hill.
 

broncobowsher

Adventurer
2nd gen Xterra gets better mileage (and has better power) then 1st gen. The VG33 in the first get is the V6 that has the power of a 4-cylinder while getting the gas mileage of a V8. The 2nd gen is several MPG better. They were built all the way up until 2015

The 2.4 I4 in the 1st gen was 2WD only and is rather rare to find.
 

Nd4SpdSe

Adventurer, eh?
Ya, I agree with Martinjmpr. Pick up trucks are more expensive because they're just that, pick up trucks. It's a different market with a different use, and technically has much more function over an SUV thanks to it's bed, and thus holds it's value

The Xterra, while truck based, gets classified as a people-mover with all the other fuel-efficient crossovers, and this makes the Xterra look bad in comparison. Unless you like to tow or go off-roading and actually need a rough/tough SUV, it can be a hard sell.

I'd say gen1's are marginally more reliable, but now they're starting to get quite old and long in the tooth. They're more mechanical and simpler, so they have less issues in that regard. The gen2 was available longer, you can get upto a 2015, and yes they're bigger with more power and with better fuel economy and compatibility along the line (Titan, Armada, Xterra, Frontier and 05-12 Pathfinder)

Gen2, if it's not long enough, there was the option of the fold flat passenger seat, and your pup would have room beside you.
 
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