Difference Between Nissan Xterra SE & Xe

by Dan Wiessner
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The Xterra is a compact SUV manufactured by Nissan since 2000. Now in its second generation, the Xterra has consistently featured a raised rear roofline and humpbacked rear gate. These features, along with roof racks and a generally rugged look, have allowed Nissan to gear the Xterra toward outdoor enthusiasts. Since its inception, the truck has been offered in standard XE and luxury SE models, set apart mainly by aesthetic features and not by engine performance.

Exterior Differences

The SE offers a range of exterior features not available on the XE model. These include 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a moonroof, a front tow hook, dual power side-view mirrors, splash guards and black body side moldings. The XE is equipped with 16-inch steel wheels.

Interior Differences

Both the XE and SE models are equipped with power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, storage nets and removable rear seat cushions. The SE offers a number of extras including a sun visor, front map lights, an in-cabin air filter, four ceiling hooks and two side hooks and an Easy Clean cargo area. The SE also includes a first aid kit and adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support.

Engine Performance and Driving

Both the XE and SE offer a 4.0-liter DOHC V6, 261-horse power engines with Vehicle Dynamic Control, active brake limited slip and four-wheel anti-lock braking systems. The SE, however, offers a six-speed manual transmission while the XE only has a five-speed automatic transmission. Both models feature power steering and identical front and rear suspensions. An SE with an automatic transmission gets the same gas mileage as an XE, while the manual transmission gets slightly better city mileage. The SE weighs a few more pounds than the XE because of the add-ons.

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