I have always owned Japanese, but for some reason last year I thought it would be a good idea to get a Land Rover. What a mistake! Once I got used to the dependability, comfort, and performance of a Nissan, going to the Land Rover was like moving to a third world country where nothing works.
I got rid of my Land Rover and test drove 3 4x4s: Toyota FJ Cruiser, X-terra, and Toyota Rav. I had my heart set on the FJ Cruiser, but when I drove the X-terra nothing else came close. Visibility was 1000% better than the FJ, and the X-terra handles like a car. Supposedly the older X-terras were lacking in power. Not so with my 2006--the thing leaps forward if you breathe on the accelerator pedal.
The interior controls are nothing fancy--it's basically 3 controls in the middle and a radio. But it's nothing gimmicky either, they're more utilitarian than I've ever felt in other models. Nissan evidently spent time thinking about this car design--for example, they've put a step into the rear bumper to allow you to step up to reach the roof rack. It's a lifesaver! Another example--the back of the rear seats and the rear storage area are plastic. When you fold the seats down, which takes 5 seconds to do, you have an entire plastic bedded storage space where you can throw wetsuits, skis, dirty dogs, etc. and can be cleaned with a wet towel.
The truck rides nice and high so you don't scrape, and my off-road model has nice shocks that make driving over bumpy dirt roads a breeze. The only less than stellar thing about the x-terra is the mileage, but I don't drive during the week so it's not a concern for me. When you factor in the lack of hassel you will have with this car, it's still cheaper than many competitors.
I just can't say enough good things about the X-terra. It's not sexy, and there's nothing that's overly cool about it. But it just makes sense.