Ask Nathan: Possible Nissan Xterra Return and Subaru Solterra Blues?

Owner battery issues and exciting rumors about the return of a renowned off-road SUV

In this week’s post:

  • The next generation Nissan Xterra may be on its way.
  • Major issues with my Subaru Solterra.
  • What happened to the new Hyundai Santa Cruz?

The first question comes from a fan who caught wind of a possible restriction of the next generation Nissan Xterra.

Q: (Via Nathan, I think the next generation Nissan Xterra might happen!  

Finally we’re hearing others talking about the generation Nissan Xterra! I am a huge Xterra fan who has owned three [a 2000 4 cylinder with a stick and a 2004 3.4 and a 2011 4.0] and I would have thought about another one if they built one. I was so mad that Nissan walked away from the Xterra and went the soft road way.

You can’t replace a true off roader with a car and that’s what it looks like Nissan did. I can’t believe what they sold with the Rogue and Murano. Just look at the Nissan Pathfinder! It took years just to make it a little better after ruining it!

Can you let me know if you heard anything else about the Xterra?

– Titan_Log2

A: There has been a lot of hype about the next generation Nissan Xterra for years.

Sadly, Nissan has done their best to avoid the topic, or ignore it altogether. At least – publicly. As I have reported on several occasions, Nissan has struggled to reengage their Xterra fans. Just recently, there was even talk about an electrified Nissan Xterra. They are fully aware that Jeep, Toyota and others are building off-road-capable vehicle to great fanfare.

There’s a good reason why Xterra fans are chomping at the bit. For one thing, the idea of selling an off-road-capable vehicle that’s affordable is becoming a rarity. Seriously, you’ll have a hard time buying a Jeep Wrangler Sport (Unlimited) for less than $40,000. Realistically, you’ll be near $50,000 before getting one that’s well equipped.

We’re expecting the upcoming Toyota 4Runner to hover around the same price point. If Nissan is smart, they will reinvigorate the budget-minded off-road enthusiast with a less expensive option. Essentially bringing back the idea of the original Xterra.

Good news, courtesy of Autoblog

In a recent story, Autoblog interviewed Nissan Americas Senior Vice President and Chief Planning Officer Ponz Pandikuthira about a possible return for the Xterra. While he did not say that the Xterra itself would return, he did say some compelling things, including that it’s being “very actively considered” and “it’s got to be authentic”.

On a final note: we recently caught wind of a patent (U.S. patent 11,866,100) that showed a Nissan Frontier with lots of intriguing goodies, making it into something that feels like a modern Xterra. If Nissan is serious about this truck, they need to act quickly. We are on the verge of getting a new Land Cruiser, 4Runner and other vehicles that it will compete against.

Check out the video below!

– N

The last question comes from a fan who is having a horrible time with his 2023 Subaru Solterra.

Subaru Solterra Premium Tesla Model Y Performance
The Challengers: The Subaru Solterra and the Tesla Model Y. [image: TFL]

Q: (Via: NathanAdlen@Twitter X) Howdy again, Nathan! Today, I’m writing to you about our 2023 Subaru Solterra Touring and the lack of support from Subaru.

We have owned 6 EVs and currently own a 2017 Bolt in addition to the Subaru. Being early adopters, my spouse and I are very familiar with the challenges that are often associated with new products.

This is a lack of product support by a manufacturer, not just growing pains. Subaru has not taken responsibility for the broken promises, and instead, they push back claiming, user error, environmental issues, blaming everyone, and everything except the one thing that deserves blame, their poorly built product. We’ve tried to remedy these issues with Subaru through numerous trips to the dealer and correspondence with the North American executive team only to be forced to prove our complaints validity time and time again ultimately being told our expectations exceed their promises. To date, most of our documented complaints have not been satisfactorily remedied. Due to its many shortcomings, this vehicle is unsuitable for the use case for which we purchased it. And due to all these issues, the car only has about 4,500 miles since new.

I’m linking some videos you may use/share documenting charging issues/electrical failures, one that required a flatbed ride back to the dealership. In addition, we have numerous correspondence regarding the problems. We are also aware of numerous other Solterra/BZ4X owners who are having similar challenges with their cars and manufacturer (lack of) support.

I’m very disappointed in Subaru, and I wish they cared more about their customers’ satisfaction and safety.

Thanks Nathan.

– ThePreparedRanch

A: I’m sorry you’re going through this.

Note: There was a lot more in the message, but I am keeping my response centered on two points.

I have heard and witnessed some of the issues with the Solterra/BZ4X. So far, I have yet to hear about a fix for the battery issues; however, they have stated that many of these issues have been solved with the 2024 models. I have no official confirmation of any meaningful fixes, especially from Subaru as they do not communicate with our company.

On the other hand, Toyota recently sent out a press release noting a few improvements for their 2024 model. That includes a dual-voltage charging cable, which is now standard on all grades. It is supposed to offer a portable option for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Also, Toyota adds better charge information on Multi Information Display for range and charging times estimates.

That’s it. No mention of severe issues with charging, like your video illustrated.

I doubt a new cable will fix what appears to be an internal issue with your vehicle, but I could be wrong. In addition, there are supposed to be some OTA and in-garage updates to solve some of the glitches the Toyota’s are dealing with. Once again, I’m not sure if this is what Subaru is offering with their product.

It may be time to look up your local Lemon Law requirements and act.

Each state may have different requirements regarding the Lemon Law, but most seem to agree that a vehicle that is defective should be covered in some way. Per ArizonaLemon.US:

“The Arizona Lemon Law protects consumers of cars, motorcycles, other “street legal” motor vehicles, and motor homes.** The Law protects a consumer when his/her vehicle exhibits a defect or condition that negatively affects the vehicle’s use, value, or safety. You are entitled to Lemon Law protection when the vehicle has been in the shop for an unreasonable number of repairs or an unreasonable amount of time. Even if the vehicle is presumably fixed by the last repair visit, the unreasonable repair history and headaches you suffered are not just simply erased; you still have a right to recovery.”

I wish I could provide an easy solution to your problem, but I am grateful that you reached out.

Keep me updated!

– N