2003 Nissan Frontier King Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Frontier King Cab

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Nissan Frontier Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/19 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).

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (37 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great light duty pickup

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I test drove all the light duty trucks before I bought this in 2007. Tacoma was small, lower to the ground, and more bouncy. Mazda felt loose, Ranger couldn't touch the interior space. The Nissan is stable, feels larger than others, has great towing capacity (3000#), and I get 27 mpg. For the size, it has power you wouldn't expect. Best of all, it has had no major problems, and that's at 175,000 miles.




Too many issues

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 Desert Runner Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

My previous truck was a 95 Nissan Hardbody XE V6 ext Cab. I traded it in on my current truck and only had to replace the fan belt when it broke at about 100k. Loved that Truck. I have had numerous issues with this one however. I have had to replace the clutch and the AC compressor at 62k. The speed sensor had been on its way out since before then, and finally quit outright at about 85k. Now at 95k and need to replace AC comp again. Nissan dealer installed it.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great truck

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 Desert Runner Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

I've had this truck now for over a year. And with 90,000 on the odom. Ive given it 1 full engine and tranny tune- up. It cruises on the hiway at 2500 rpm's doing 70 mph. And Idle's Smooth as glass. I give it 4 out of 5 Starz




Are ya kidding

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab Standard Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I just bought a new tundra, (let my wife take it over). Took over her frontier for work. It's a tuff little truck that can take a beating and gets great gas mileage. 4 cyl bear basics does the job, been getting 24 mpg driving across New Orleans. Pot holes, railroad tracks, ya name it, handles it all. Be my work horse till she wears out, gets wrecked, flooded or stolen. 29k on it.




So far so goog little

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab SC-V6 Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 5M)

Bought this truck used in May 2006. Inside is comfortable. Outside is nice. have taken couple of trips of 300+ mile and it was a comfortable ride. cab is quite in highway speed. turning radius could be better. horrible gas milage (15 city, 17 highway)!! I pulled a boat and a trailer with a combined weight of about 4200 lb from LA to Las Vegas. the truck had no problems except going up hill (it could only go 50 mph up hill!!)




Enjoy the ride!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I LOVE this truck! I have almost 45000 miles on it now and not a single problem. The interior does not have the cheap look and feel that the Toyota has. The interior is also extremely user friendly. Once you get rid of those horrible BFG rugged trail tires for a real All Terrain tire, I suggest the Yokohama Geolander A/T+II's, the off-road ability is amazing. I had NO wet road traction with the BFG's and the Yoko's solved that problem. I ordered mine with the 5spd manual which has a 4LO crawl ratio of nearly 40:1. Gas mielage is good for a 4x4... I average 20mpg on the highway and 15-16 in town, also while towing my '72 240Z on the hwy (3300lbs w/trailer) I averaged 16mpg @ 65-70mph.



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.

Talk About The 2003 Frontier

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs