2003 Nissan Frontier Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Frontier

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Nissan Frontier Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power Info is not yet available.
  • Fuel Economy 14/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Nissan Frontier

  • With a variety of body styles, engines and trims, the Frontier should cover just about every compact truck buyer's needs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Wide variety of body configurations and trim levels, many safety and convenience features.

  • Cons

    No third door on King Cabs, cramped rear seats for Crew Cabs.

  • What's New for 2003

    Nissan's compact pickup rolls into 2003 with many new enhancements. Most interesting is a power-operated retractable top. The "Open Sky" top -- essentially a giant sunroof -- is optional on Crew Cab models. For safety, Nissan has added standard dual-stage front airbags for Crew Cabs, standard LATCH child seat anchors on King Cabs and Crew cabs, an optional stability control system and an optional tire pressure monitoring system. Other changes for 2003 include 10 more horsepower for normally aspirated V6 models, a driver seat-height adjuster and standard Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). King Cabs now have standard ABS, a new storage bin and a new first aid kit (V6 only).

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Love my nissan

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 4dr Crew Cab SC-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

Great truck. Bought 1 year old with 9800 miles. Better styling and performance than the Toyota costing about $3K more. 3 years and 64K miles later, still enjoy this truck. Some minor problems encountered, including A/C high pressure hose replaced twice, power steering pump leak and some unexplained rattling underneath the driver. Dealer has been generally cooperative. The supercharged engine delivers great torque but at a cost of barely 14 mpg around town. I now drive my wife's car during the week due to having to fill up every 4-5 days. All in all, a great truck and very reliable and still looks great for a 4 year old.




Not all it cracks up

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 4dr Crew Cab SC-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

i got the truck on a friday, by the following tuesday i didn't want it anymore. at 200 miles the transmission started shifting real hard and iratic, to the point of when you get on the hwy it literally slams you around. another problem is after running the truck for a while when you stop at a stop light it runs rough and shakes. Another thing when fueling the pump doesnt sense the tank is full and keeps pumping and gets gas all over(bad valve in tank). Lastly occasionally when cornering the right side speakers cut out.



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Full 2003 Nissan Frontier Review

What's New for 2003

Nissan's compact pickup rolls into 2003 with many new enhancements. Most interesting is a power-operated retractable top. The "Open Sky" top -- essentially a giant sunroof -- is optional on Crew Cab models. For safety, Nissan has added standard dual-stage front airbags for Crew Cabs, standard LATCH child seat anchors on King Cabs and Crew cabs, an optional stability control system and an optional tire pressure monitoring system. Other changes for 2003 include 10 more horsepower for normally aspirated V6 models, a driver seat-height adjuster and standard Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). King Cabs now have standard ABS, a new storage bin and a new first aid kit (V6 only).

Introduction

Nissan has been building trucks for the U.S. market since 1958. Now in its seventh generation of pickup offerings, the company's 2003 Frontier-badged model is the result of constant improvement since the last major redesign in 1998. This year, Nissan has focused on safety, as well as fun. A stability control system is available, as is a tire-pressure monitor. Both are industry firsts for a compact pickup. A wide variety of bodies, features and trim levels are the Frontier's best attributes. The lineup ranges from a basic (and inexpensive) two-wheel drive King Cab to the supercharged Crew Cab long bed. The supercharged S/C trucks are pricey, which is perhaps why Nissan offers value versions (the SVE trim) for the King Cab and Crew Cab. If your compact pickup needs are quite specific, the Frontier might be your truck. But we certainly recommend shopping around. The Toyota Tacoma, in particular, is another compact pickup you'll want to consider.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Frontier is highly configurable to better match your particular needs. There are two main body styles: King Cab and Crew Cab. The King Cab is Nissan's extended-cab pickup. It has front bucket seats and additional seating for two passengers in fold-down rear jump seats. Available trim levels include the no-frills standard truck and four-cylinder XE, the V6-powered XE and SE and the supercharged S/C and SVE. The S/C is the most feature-laden. Those looking for power and a smaller price tag should consider the more reasonably priced SVE. Four-wheel drive is available on most of these models, but if you just want the tough look of a 4WD, Nissan offers the Desert Runner, 2WD King Cab featuring the same heavy-duty chassis, ride height and stance as the 4WD Frontier.

Compared to the King Cab, the Frontier Crew Cab has a larger cabin with expanded rear-seat accommodations. Rear forward-hinged doors offer improved access to seats. The V6 (normally aspirated and supercharged) is the only engine available, and trim levels are the same except that there is no standard Crew Cab. In the past, the Crew Cab only came with a truncated 56.3-inch cargo bed, but last year Nissan began offering the Crew Cab Long Bed.

Powertrains and Performance

A supercharged 3.3-liter V6 is the most powerful engine, and it makes 210 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque when mated to the four-speed automatic transmission (the five-speed manual drops the torque rating to 231 lb-ft). There's also a normally aspirated V6 worth 180 hp and a 2.4-liter four that produces 143 hp. If you want to tow, our suggestion is either V6 and the automatic transmission. This configuration gives the Frontier its maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive is available on V6 trucks only.

Safety

Nissan has upped the safety ante for 2003 with the addition of optional Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and an optional tire-pressure monitor. ABS is standard on all trucks. The NHTSA has given the Frontier Crew Cab very good crash test scores. The IIHS, however, has indicated that the Frontier fares poorly in frontal offset crashes, as shown by its test of a 1998 Frontier regular cab.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Frontier's cabin is one of the better ones available in the compact pickup class. A common complaint for the Crew Cab since its introduction, however, has been its cramped rear seat. A shortage of rear legroom is the major culprit.

Driving Impressions

Nissan likes to tout that its supercharged V6 offers the most horsepower in any V6 compact pickup. While true, we've found that real-world results are a bit disappointing. The supercharged engine has great off-idle responses but runs out of breath quickly. Off-road performance is about average for this class of truck.

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Talk About The 2003 Frontier

2003 Nissan Frontier Discussions See all Started By

ciaman
ciaman
09-24-2003
Hello Nissan owners, If you have a S/C Frontier pickup truck and you here a KNOCKING noise from the engine. Your going to be replacing your s/c. I just bought this new 2003 Frontier truck, I have 300...


ecalono
ecalono
08-22-2010
if anyones willing to read this; what type of oil can be used for a nissan frontier 2003 supercharged ?...


tnt8
tnt8
09-26-2003
I am eager to get a vehicule money burning in my pocket! almost bought a nissan frontier 2003 close out! now I am up to upper 20's for an isuzu ascender. Should I wait for Armada? I need cargo during ...



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