2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Nissan Pathfinder - Consumer Reviews

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2003 Pathfinder Consumer Reviews

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Great Car, Great Value
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By catnip63
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I've always been a Nissan Pathfinder fan, till now ( I hate the new body style) I've owned my 2003 for 5 years now. I live in Utah and it's the best 4 wheel drive I've owned. I've had a 1989, 1990, 1997 pathfinders and now the 2003. I have never had it strand me or had any expensive repairs. I do all the recommended maintenances though. The gas mileage would be my only "con" but I wouldn't trade better gas mileage for the power it has. I do love the power and control this car provides. I think for the money this is a solid, reliable, well built car. I see lots of 2003 Nissan Pathfinders with over 200,000 miles. I think that says a lot.


Favorite Features

Reliability, 4X4, Power.


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Very good vehicle
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By davidh11
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I originally had a used 2000 Pathfinder and put over 170K miles on it and never had a problem with it. I traded it in (only because I wanted something newer and sportier) on a 2004 Maxima which turned out to be a piece of crap car! I went back to a Pathfinder this time buying a used 2003 Pathfinder and love it so far. The only real issue so far has been a cosmetic one; I believe the paint quality is poor. Keep in mind it has 130k on it but I've never had a vehicle's paint chip like this one does. Besides that, I have no complaints other than of course the sh-tty gas mileage but fortunately it does not require premium unleaded.


Favorite Features

Strong engine, nice looks, 4X4 comes in handy on the beach here in Florida, very reliable, and a all around solid SUV. Take good care of it and it will last a very long time.


Suggested Improvements

needs better gas mileage and a better quality paint job.


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Solid Vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mrcarp
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Purchased used from a work aquaintance in 2006 with only 17,000 miles. Now has 58,000. So far, so good. Same issues, CD skips when cold, leather around seat adjusters cracked a bit, heat shield rattle, evap leak - check engine light has been on for about 4 years now. For those with same issue, I would try a new gas cap for a potential fix. Also, use Maguire's leather treatment - works great & eliminates the golden retriever smell. Had new oil pan, etc. installed in December 2011 for about $1,000. So far cost of ownership is as expected - we live in Vermont & the winters are brutal on vehicles.


Favorite Features

Comfortable on long journeys. Dog loves riding in the back seat. Decent truck space. I am a mobile DJ so I am constantly loading & unloading equipment. Easy to install DVD headrests. Killer roof rack. I have put easily 150 lbs. of outdoor gear, bags, etc. in a cargo box with out issue...just don't drive above 60 - 65. Towing...for a small SUV this thing can tow. I have towed 6,000 chippers, many...many tons of wood pellets in a trailer...a really old & heave fiberglass boat. Just make sure your hitch is oversized, that way you are limited by the vehicle & not the hitch...use a class 4. It's old and has lived in Vermont it's whole life...couldn't ask for more from a vehicle.


Suggested Improvements

Increase the open height of tailgate. Rear seat cramped, expecially for a child seat - seats have become enormously large due to increased safety requirements. I think the newer design is bigger in all aspects.


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Homerun
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By doodoobrown
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I've always loved the pathfinders since seeing the first one back in the late 80's. my wife and i needed an suv but without the nightmares we had when we owned a jeep. We purchased a 2003 SE with 54K on it. As of today 5/25/11, it has 124,000 miles on it. Gas mileage SUCKS. i'd be lucky to get 17mpg mixed overall, but the vehicle weights over 5000 lbs. Aside form routine maintenance, and a few ware/tare part replacements, the vehicle has been a sound performer. It's not big, but its comfortable to drive. It's been through hell and back the past 4 years, but it keeps on ticking.


Favorite Features

comfort, styling, build qaulity


Suggested Improvements

better AC


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7 Year Review (LE Model 2WD)
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ses3699
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder LE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Bought new in sep'03 and have 120,000 miles. Comfortable, dependable, good power. Replaced one front wheel bearing, battery, brakes at 60,000 miles. Dealer fixed catalytic converter at 70,000 miles under warranty. Replaced front struts, shocks at 110,000 miles and belts at 50,000 and 100,000 miles. Original bridgestone tires replaced at 35,000 miles. Went to Michelin and replaced them at 105,000 miles with Michelin. Get 19 mpg driving from stop-and-go to 80 mph every day to work (40 miles each way). Cd skips when cold. Driver seat leather getting rips near controls. Steering wheel radio controls are becoming finicky. Cup holder lid hinges.Towed trailers on several 2000 mile trips


Favorite Features

Power, styling, towing capacity, leather interior, vehicle dynamic control, radio controls on steering wheel. Seats fold easy. For size of vehicle has good roominess. Roof rails for hauling plywood, etc. CD changer and radio. Next time I will go with XM radio. Has drain plug on transmission pan.


Suggested Improvements

I do most of my own maintained so wish accessibility under hood was better. Type of differential fluid is not published and dealer would not tell me what to use. Probably will not replace with a new Pathfinder (dealer, styling and mileage). Will look at them but sure fuel mileage will rule them out.


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It's ok
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By NICOLE
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I purchased my 03 pathfinder a year after the new body style came out. At the time I didn't need the 3rd row seat but now wish I purchased that instead. shortly after purchasing I brought it back in because I had a heat shield loose and exhaust leak. My service engine light is always on, I have it shut off and after driving anywhere from 60-200 miles it turns back on because an evap leak. I recently had a smoke machine hooked up to it and was able to find the leak near the gas tank. I have removed almost all the heat shields and replaced my muffler twice and had it fixed once.


Favorite Features

Leather, 6 disc, 4wd


Suggested Improvements

Heat shields, exhaust and service engine light


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My two cents.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Vitaliy
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Owned a previous model 98 same problems as with new. At 75,000 replace exhaust. At 78k front wheel bearings and belts. Good in the snow, cramped seats in the back. Overall never left me strangled anywhere but keep in mind check engine light will come on once you hit 75k Evap system leak just like my old one. Nissan just cant get that system right. Gr8 for carrying stuff from home depot (sheet rock, plywood etc...) not the best for long trips as seats are not comfortable especially in the back. I don't know how those people are claiming to average 24 mpg hwy and 20 city the best I manage is 12 mpg city and 17 mpg hwy. Transmission is going at 84k and front suspension needs work again.


Favorite Features

Got loads of power but not too much. 4WD, big cargo area once folded the seat.


Suggested Improvements

How can you improve something thats not made anymore. But here it goes, seat comfort, gas mileage, Evap system finally get it right, and please do something about the new design its utterly hideous with accompanying mpg in the single digits. Overall Nissan lost my business.


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Tough rig
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By swmiller
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I drive my cars til they die. I'm 50 years old and this is my favorite vehicle. Whether driving around town, going skiing or heading out camping this is the best rig. Of course I wish it got 25 MPG, but I'll settle for 19- 20. Seats are great. Hate the 2006+ models..uncomfortable. Powerful engine. I've had it five years, drive 25k per year and very few issues.


Favorite Features

Comfort, power, no issues


Suggested Improvements

Only issues are motor for rear wiper went out and left speaker wire went out. Otherwise best care I've ever owned


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So far pretty good
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Steveo
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

This is vehicle steeped in its own tradition, one that has ebbed and flowed stylistically and mechanically with the various SUV trends. Simply put, it is a very well-built, reliable vehicle that has had a few sputters along the way - in 03-04 it was a bit of an identity crisis, with two main flaws: poor fuel economy and bad rear seating. However, it makes up for it with excellence in other areas. Recently I passed a semi-truck on a snowy road at 120km/hr, something I just wouldn't do with every vehicle - it's got plenty of zip, traction, overall quality. Just think twice about how much that back-seat is used by adult passengers, and be willing to pay 20% more for gas than a car.


Favorite Features

Power, four wheel drive quality, overall quality, reliability, tradition, non-trendiness, quietness, heats up nicely


Suggested Improvements

Rear seating is not adequate for most adults; fuel economy is below average; has a bit of a bumpy ride


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Not pleased with my purchase
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By me
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I traded in a 95 Cadillac and a 99 Tahoe. Iím really disappointed with this vehicle, not even a week after I bought it, I had the a.c. compressor go out and there was an exhaust leak. Now when I accelerate it still sounds like thereís an exhaust leak and lacks the get up when I step on the gas. The other thing with it there's something loose that rattles when I'm driving. The driver seat is really uncomfortable, the room in this vehicle is very limited to what I'm used to when I had my Tahoe, even my Brougham had more room than this Pathfinder. I'm regretting this purchase would not purchase another one, I should've gone with the Toyota 4Runner at least its reputation is a heck of a lot better.


Favorite Features

None


Suggested Improvements

Fuel economy, the seating improve your exhaust problem. It's nice to have a Bose system but if you want to replace it cost way too much. And a 2003 to have the A.C. go out at only 5 yrs is not good.


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