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Want a tough, capable but pretty compact 4wd that’ll go just about anywhere? Then Nissan’s Xterra might be exactly what you’re after. It’s based on their popular Frontier Ute, which is a favourite with off-roaders, so for rough ground performance it’s a big step up from a lot of the crossover-style wagons out there. It gives a lot of capability at a reasonable price – but it’ll give you a lot more if you add the right accessories.

The fact is most Xterra owners will never take it off road, so Nissan supply tools and accessories to fit that market. Look at the standard jack, for example. It’s great if you’re changing a wheel on hard standing, but isn’t going to help much when you need to get the front end out a patch of soft sand. An Xterra straight from the showroom will handle rough tracks pretty well but with a few extras you can turn it into a real go-anywhere expedition wagon.

The best place to start is with the recovery kit. We already mentioned the jack; it’s worth hanging on to, but if you’re going to head into the bush you’ll need something a bit gutsier. One of our exhaust jacks is a good solution; it works on the softest ground, and the engine will do the hard work of lifting the vehicle for you. Nobody should go off road without a couple of snatch straps, and sand tracks are also an essential – they’ll get you out of soft patches, and if you’ve been checking the ground ahead of you they can stop you getting bogged in the first place.

The Xterra has a lot of space inside but you wouldn’t want to sleep in it. No problem – just mount a Tough awning on the roof bars. Our awnings are some of the biggest on the market and come with LED lighting as standard. Add a tent kit or mozzie nets to create a huge living space beside your Xterra.

The Xterra’s high roof makes it a very comfortable vehicle but it can increase the risk of gear flying around in rough ground. Protect your passengers – and gear - with a cargo barrier net to keep everything in its place. Or move heavy stuff up top with a roof tray.

A stock Xterra has a lot of potential, and it doesn’t take much to unlock even more of it. At Tough Toys our mission is to help you get the most from your 4wd so you can enjoy Australia’s scenery as much as we do.

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