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Nissan Xterra Gets the Chop

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Nissan has announced that the Xterra SUV, which has been slipping in sales over the past several years, will not be coming back after 2015. The Xterra has been in production for 15 years.

2015 Nissan Xterra

2015 Nissan Xterra, going out to grass

The announcement that the Xterra would no longer be produced came almost as a footnote in lengthy press release detailing changes to the 2016 Nissan lineup. Later in the document, it was mentioned again with the words, “The Nissan Xterra has completed its current production cycle. After more than 750,000 Xterras sold since its introduction as a model year 2000 vehicle, the last Xterra will be sold in the fall of 2015.”

It would seem that Nissan doesn’t really want to talk about it, especially since the cancelled Xterra was, as Nissan put it, “one of the boldly designed vehicles that helped reinvigorate the Nissan brand at the beginning of the century.”

However, as Car and Driver pointed out, this hardly comes as much a surprise, since the Xterra’s sales had fallen by around 55,000 units last year from its peak back in 2005, when it was redesigned. However, after 2005, rising gas prices hit the fuel-hungry SUV, which at best only ever got a little over 20 mpg on the highway.

Even though gas prices have been dropping again, less than 20 mpg is something of a liability for a vehicle manufacturer, due to government regulations of manufacturer fleet’s average fuel economy. And, as Car and Driver pointed out, Nissan could use the space to help produce its new models.