I never really though of Nissan's Xterra being able to tow anything really, I just thought it was a mid-sized SUV that had decent off road capabilities and that was about it. After ding a bit of research though I found out that the Xterra's did possess a pretty decent towing capacity, depending on a couple of things.
Overview of the Data For the Nissan Xterra:
Engine Choices: Unlike some of the other vehicle manufacturer's towing charts, there were no engines specified in the towing charts for the Nissan Xterra's, so the engine you had equipped did not affect towing capacity at all.
2WD VS 4WD: In some of the Xterra's towing charts there were models that were broken up into 2WD and 4WD models and specific capacities listed for each type of vehicle. Normally, the data would be different in most cases but for the Xterra, the towing numbers did not change based on whether you had a 2WD or 4WD model.
Type Of Transmission: For Nissan Xterra's made from 2000-2003, the towing chart specified different capacity numbers for manual transmission models and automatic transmission models and the difference was a substantial 1,500 pounds!
Models that had an automatic transmission had a higher 5,000 pound max. capacity, while the models equipped with the manual transmission had the lower 3,500 pound rating.
Towing Capacity: From 2000-2015, the overall towing capacity didn't really change and it seemed to hover at around the 5,000 pound mark for all model years.
The exception to that would be for the 2000-2003 Xterra's that were equipped with a manual transmission and these vehicles had a dramatically reduced capacity of 3,500 pounds instead but other than that, they were all similar.
Some model years for the Nissan Xterra had the exact same towing specs and instead of listing the same charts for each model year, I grouped them together. If you see a single towing chart for many model years, the specs will be the same.
Nissan recommends using trailer brakes with your Xterra when your trailer is in excess of 1,000 pounds (2000-2005 models) and 3,500 pounds (2006-2015 models) and is clearly posted in the owner's manuals (image below).
The Nissan Xterra's made from 2011-2015 really didn't differ at all when it came to any tpe of towing specs, in fact they were identical in almost every way, from what I gathered.
The towing capacity for the 2011-2015 Nissan Xterra's was set at a maximum trailer weight of 5,000 pounds with a max. tongue weight of 500 pounds and a GCWR of 9,658 pounds (9,660 for 2011 models).
It is important to read the notes below the towing chart to get an idea of what was "assumed" by Nissan and how that relates to the maximum weight limits found in the towing chart.
The 2004-2010 Xterra's had nearly identical towing numbers to the 2011-2015 model years but the towing chart broke up the data by 2WD and 4WD models but none of the numbers changed.
The towing capacity for the Nissan Xterra's made from 2004-2010 was still set at 5,000 pounds max., no matter if you were driving a 2WD or 4WD vehicle.
A lot of the other data like tongue weight limits for the 2004-2010 models was still the same as later model years, coming in at around 500 pounds and the GCWR was a mere 2 pounds less, stating a max. GCWR of 9,656 pound rating for either 2WD or 4WD models.
The 2000-2003 Xterra's had a towing capacity of either 3,500 pounds or 5,000 pounds, depending on if you had a manual transmission or an automatic transmission equipped.
The towing chart for the 2000-2003 Xterra's does specify 2WD/4WD models and manual or automatic transmission towing numbers but the real difference came down to the transmission you had.
The tongue weight figures were equal to up to 10% of the trailer weight and the GCWR numbers were a little different from the other model year Xterra's we looked at too and worth taking a look at as well.
Resources For Nissan Xterra:
I gathered most of the owner's manuals from third party sources that had pdf copies of the different Xterra's model years because Nissan's website only had them for 2013-2015 model years.
It wasn't a problem though since the information I found is relevant and accurate and I posted the links as a sort of "quick resource" for those of you out there that want to dive deeper into some of the other towing related information.
- 2015 Owner's Manual
- 2014 Owner's Manual
- 2013 Owner's Manual
- 2012 Owner's Manual
- 2011 Owner's Manual
- 2010 Owner's Manual
- 2009 Owner's Manual
- 2008 Owner's Manual
- 2007 Owner's Manual
- 2006 Owner's Manual
- 2005 Owner's Manual
- 2004 Owner's Manual
- 2003 Owner's Manual
- 2002 Owner's Manual
- 2001 Owner's Manual
- 2000 Owner's Manual
- Images courtesy of nissanusa.com