When the Nissan Xterra first hit the market a little more than a year ago, we were intrigued. At the time, Nissan was trying to fight its way out of a slump that had lasted most of the past decade, and then suddenly there was the Xterra; stylish, cutting-edge...cool. We knew that Nissan built good, reliable vehicles that created strong brand loyalty, but it just seemed unable to connect with the public imagination. The Xterra was a well-deserved home run.
Almost immediately, we began talking to Nissan about getting one of its new SUVs off road to test its limits and to play around a bit. The company was more than accommodating. Unlike some of the players on the SUV stage today, Nissan is not afraid to see its vehicles pushed a bit. It promotes the Xterra as nothing more than what it is: a well-built, reliable SUV that's capable of reasonable off-road excursions. So be it.
Like us, a lot of people saw greater potential in the Xterra's off-road abilities and began looking for ways to expand the vehicle's horizons. However, the aftermarket was a little slow to meet people's demands for hard-core off-road parts, so we have been watching and waiting for the change to come.
Finally, we're starting to see some solid off-road equipment hitting the market. The ARB Bull Bar is about as hard-core as you can get when it comes to real off-road equipment. When we heard that Nissan had built a prototype based on the Australian Navara, which basically has the same front end, we knew this would be a good starting point.
The Bull Bar is one of the best designed, stoutest bumper setups around. Each one is designed for a specific vehicle, so you get a product that fits perfectly every time. Each piece is laser-cut, CNC-machined, and then mandrel-bent for the highest levels of quality control. The pieces are then MIG-welded to produce an incredibly strong bumper. Wrap it up with black powdercoating, and you have a bumper that is good looking, too.
An integral part of the Bull Bar design is the winch mount. The winch sits down inside the bumper, where it is completely protected from rocks and branches when you're out on the trail. And because of this positioning, the winch in no way interferes with airflow into the engine bay, so cooling is not an issue.
Because of ARB's commitment to detail and its extensive R&D, the Bull Bar for the Xterra is a simple bolt-on installation. We went to 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers in Santa Ana, California, where the staff had the new bumper installed in less than two hours. So follow along as we walk you through the process, and keep checking in as we continue to introduce the latest in hard-core off-road parts for the Xterra.