It looks almost the same, but the 2005 Nissan Xterra is all new. And it's better, on paved roads and off. It's safer, more powerful, more sophisticated, and more capable. First introduced in 2001, the Xterra was simple, functional and largely unrefined. The original Xterra was really just a pickup truck chassis with a utility body, accessorized with racks, bins and cargo hold-fast items. It was truly useful, but it rode and handled like a pickup truck, and it was flawed by conflicts between the base platform and the accessories that were tacked on. Still, it was unique. It was a great adventure vehicle. And it was Cool. Taking full advantage of the opportunity to re-design the Xterra for 2005, Nissan has made the new Xterra more modern, but still rugged and functional. Features and options are better integrated into the package. Conceived as a multi-function SUV, Xterra eschews luxury do-dads, but can be configured for varying combinations of utility and convenience. With the 2005 Xterra, Nissan has resolved the equipment conflicts, and properly integrated the features packages. They did all that, and somehow kept The Cool.