2003 Nissan Xterra SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Xterra SUV

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

We found matches for you!

Nissan Xterra 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 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 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (25 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


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.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Mountain goat

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

I love this vehicle. Exterior silver w/brush guards, roof rack w/tray. Interior rare black leather interior w/heated seats. Kids love visibility from tiered second row. Rear compartment provides plenty of storage for baseball equipment, etc. Added Bilstein shocks to smooth ride. Adding catback & CAI to address substandard fuel economy & provide boost to slightly underpowered 3.3 liter engine. An issue, not a problem. Currently 20/17 mpg w/conservative use. Handles blizzards with confidence. Climbed NYC snowbank to create parking spot! Nissan should consider turbo diesel engine for this tree-climbing Billy Goat. Love it




Xterra

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

Our Xterra new in '03 had major mech issues right away. Dealer would not admit the engine knock until 20K when it got really severe. Horrible experience dealing with dealer and Nissan USA to get new engine approved, they held the vehicle for weeks before starting work even though parts were at the local distro hub. This turned me off from Nissan forever. Also had bearing in rear diff fail at 8k miles, replaced under warranty no prob, but weird to have this many issues. Since, the Xterra has been quite reliable to current 90k miles. Several leaks (oil pan, valve cover) which are due to the eng replacement at 20ku, but nothing severe. Looks and runs great now




Good enough to keep

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

Had some issues with the power windows and had them replaced under warranty. Still have occasional problems with it. Had a significant problem with the A/C, basically had it replaced only after 3 years. The first repair under warranty was poorly done by dealer. So, I had to pay out of pocket. I drive several hours at a time occasionally and would like to have a more comfortable seat. Fuel economy approaches 20 at 65 using fully synthetic oil. Needs a bit more highway merging power about 15-20% would do.




Great small suv

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

I bought it in Jan 2004, and have loved it ever since. The "stadium" seating in the back is great for passengers - it lets them see, plus it adds a cool exterior styling, which turned me on to the vehicle in the first place. The interior is pretty basic, but functional. I have had no major issues, with it, just a couple of things: I had a check engine light come on frequently, it ended up being my catalytic converter, which was replaced under warrantee. I also needed a front brake job at 35000 miles, which seemed a bit early. Other than that, the truck has been bulletproof. I only wish it had more power and better gas mileage.




Great suv

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

I bought this SUV to be able to get up the hills around here (VA) in the snow. Now have 91,000 miles on it, it has been great both off road, and in reqular use. Get 18.5 mpg in mostly highway driving. This truck is fun to drive with the 5-speed manual, and it does everything I expected. I have had no problems and would get another one in a heartbeat.



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

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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