Ask Nathan: Nissan Xterra EV, Honda Element and Where Do You Get These Questions?

Image via: AutoEvolution and Enoch Gabriel Gonzalez

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will they build a Nissan Xterra EV?
  • I want a Honda Element!
  • Where do your questions come from?

This first question comes from a fan who saw a few images on Reddit and Pinterest depicting (what he thinks is) a Nissan Xterra EV.

Q: ( Nissan Xterra EV anyone?

Did you see this image of a Nissan XTerra EV on Reddit? There were others on Pinterest and Instagram too. It’s like every few years people want Nissan to try and build a next generation XTerra. I never thought much of the XTerra and through the Toyota FJ Cruiser was way better.

Do you think Nissan will try to bring it back?

– DD

A: Good question.

Before I respond to the possibilities of an EV off-roader that Nissan might build, let me say this about the original Xterra – it was excellent. I think it was easier to live with than the FJ Cruiser, and it was just as capable. Many years back, when I bought my third-gen Nissan Pathfinder, I was seriously tempted by the Xterra. Passenger space, towing and a better ride compelled me to stick to the Pathfinder, but the Xterra was terribly tempting.

I doubt Nissan will return to a truck-based Xterra in the United States. They discussed it back in 2021, but nothing has transpired. Sure, there is a modern Nissan Xterra overseas, but it’s nothing like the original, and it’s not coming here.

Will we see a Nissan Xterra EV?

Other than the images you’ve seen on the internet, there is next to no new chatter about the Xterra retuning. Sorry.

I could be wrong, and maybe Nissan will bring back the name at a later time, perhaps in an EV? That’s why I added images of the Nissan Hang Out concept. Something tells me, this is the direction Nissan will go – to a certain degree. Maybe Nissan will make a more off-road worthy version of the Ariya, and make it look cool?

We’ll see.

– N

The next question comes from a Honda fan who wants to buy a Honda Element.

Image: Honda

Q: (Via:Twitter@NathanAdlen) I want to buy a Honda Element!

This will be my third Honda. I crashed my 2004 CR-V last weekend and I’m sad. So now I want to look at the Element. Do you know if you can find a manual will four wheel drive? What do you think of the Element?

– Curious VR9

Image: Honda

A: What a cool ride!

Yes, there were Honda Elements that came with a manual transmission and all-wheel drive. There weren’t that many of them around, so finding one will be difficult. I believe they stopped the production of Elements with manual transmissions in 2009. The Honda Element was discontinued in 2011.

The five-speed did wake up the powertrain a little bit, but it was a far cry from being “sporty.” Still, all Honda Elements were a hoot to drive, and they are remarkably utilitarian. I managed to get a friend’s sports bike inside using its clever seating and super low floor.

Keep in mind: there are two issues that some people truly disliked about the Element: access to the second row, and only having seating for two in the back. Part of the problem were those clam-shell-opening rear doors. You could not open the back doors unless the fronts were open.

Speaking of “open,” the front and rear diffs are always open, and there is no center locking provision, as far as I know. In snow, the AWD system works, but the rear is slow to kick in when the front slips. They are pretty low to the ground (for a crossover), so beaching one in the snow is a real possibility. I did it once.

I hear there can be a few issues with the used Honda Elements. Latches, locks and door hinges seem to pop up here and there. Some transmission issues were reported, but no more than the equivalent Civic. Being that they stopped building the Element in 2011, most will have a ton of miles too.

With that being said, I think the Honda Element was a loveable oddball. Let me know if you get one!

– N

The last question comes from a viewer who wants to know where the questions for “Ask Nathan” come from.

Q: (Via: My brother, so it’s paraphrased. I also removed a few complicated words)…How do you get these questions?

I honestly don’t know.

– My Older Brother

A: There are several different places from where I receive questions.

Messages are sent to me via email, which is, or Several questions go to my Twitter account, which is Twitter@NathanAdlen, while others may show up on our TFLcar, or TFLtruck accounts. Many questions and comments are taken from YouTube, and a few from Instagram.

I also respond to questions in person, like the one I’m answering now.

One of the things I like to do is hold off on answering questions we’ve already addressed on our websites and YouTube channels. Also, contacting automakers for viewers/readers to air grievances is a no-no for me. In addition, I tend to dismiss anything that looks like it may be pushing a political, social or religious agenda. We try to avoid as much of this as possible.

You may have noticed, I like to use future product questions to lead each post. That’s because, over two decades in this industry, I love trying to figure out what automakers are up to. I’m lucky enough to have some well placed associates here and there, who can help with some investigating too. Sometimes, I’ll hold on to these questions for several weeks, just so they can be featured later on.

Hope that helps!

– N