2003 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Xterra SUV


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Nissan Xterra Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Nissan Xterra

  • A truck-based compact-ute for those who actually plan to use it like it's featured in Nissan's TV commercials.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Rugged looks and the off-road capability to match, lots of room inside.

  • Cons

    Poor on-road ride and steering, four-cylinder and normally aspirated V6 lack power.

  • What's New for 2003

    Though the Xterra was updated just last year, Nissan has made further changes for 2003. Mechanically, the V6 has received a slight…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (152 total reviews)

I hate this car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I bought the car in December with 71,000 miles. I just put it in the shop for something (not sure yet), it was loosing power and slipping. It has NO power and the 4WD sucks. I got stuck in my driveway in 1 inch of snow for 30 minutes one day, and the tires are good on it. It's gotten stuck other times too. I've had nothing but problems with the car since I got it, and I did my research on it before I bought it, no mechanical issues before. It has none of the benifits of an SUV. Also, it is very difficult to shift gears. I have to force it into first, second, and reverse a lot of the time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

One of the best suvs

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

Exceent SUV, if you take a little care of it: First of all change to Bilsteins - it will change your driving experience 180 degrees. Second, if you over 100K change timing belt, all other belts; watter pump, termostat. Third, make sure your brakes are good. Now you have a fantastic car - you have to invest a bit - but then you have a true 4x4 that will go anywhere, will start any time, and will drive and feel like brand new. Or much better than many brand new cars, suvs in the $20K range. My wife wants me to change my car to twice more expensive and more cool - I love this SUV - I put some sweat to it and it is perfect now! Love it!

Cant wait to get rid

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

Nothing but trouble! For starters, the a/c sucks! I blow cooler air then my Xterra. We have had the a/c charged & it made the issue worse. It also doesnt blow hard enough for my kids in the back seat to even feel it at all. The sunroof leaks. Ive replaced the starter, battery, connector cables, timing belt, and radiator multiple times & we still get stranded. It doesnt crank 50% of time. Was told it has mechanical issues. Im waiting on it to catch fire!The front grey bumper fades & chips & looks awful! & the sad thing is, we just now hit 103,000 miles. The window motors are going out & the seal on windows leak and make lots of air noise when driving. I hate this thing! My kids hate it too!

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 Nissan Xterra Review

What's New for 2003

Though the Xterra was updated just last year, Nissan has made further changes for 2003. Mechanically, the V6 has received a slight increase in power, and a stability control system (Nissan's VDC) will be a new option. Also for 2003, Xterra XE V6 models come with standard 16-inch alloy wheels and tubular step rails, and four new exterior colors are available, including Atomic Orange and Camouflage (limited and late availability). Inside, a driver seat-height and lumbar adjuster has been added to V6 models and a new roof headliner net (on nonsunroof models) and luggage side net have also been added, along with new metal ceiling tie-down hooks. A "rugged" leather package is now offered for the SE trim. Other refinements include a 300-watt rating for the Rockford Fosgate-powered eight-speaker audio system, an available tire-pressure monitoring system and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. A heavy-duty alternator and dual 12-volt power outlets located in the engine compartment are also standard on SE trim.

Talk About The 2003 Xterra

2003 Nissan Xterra Discussions See all Started By

I'm LOVING the looks on the new Xterra (and also the new Pathy) and am contemplating purchasing another one sometime this summer. I just can't decide if I want to stay with the Pathy or step (a bit?)...

titan, and murano, and with the pathfinder, xterra, and frontier due a redesign for 2005, they will have the most extensive and fresh product lineup on the market. each redesigned or all new vehicle ...

top, 10 additional horsepower for Frontier and Xterra V6 models, and available satellite radio for all Pathfinder models....