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 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 (8 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best vehicle i've ever owned

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

Last year, I got a job that required a long commute, and had to get rid of my 2003 Xterra. I really miss that SUV, by far the best vehicle I've ever owned. The only maintenance that was ever required was the scheduled maintenance, I never had a single problem with it that required fixing. It drove smooth, and was surprisingly quiet for an SUV. The V6 engine was very powerful, as we towed and carried many loads across the US without even straining it, there was always more power than we needed. By the time I traded it in after 7 years of driving, the paint was still perfect, the suspension was perfect, the engine was perfect, and the interior looked brand new. I really miss that Xterra. :(




Fun and dependable!

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

I never owned a vehicle more than 1 yr prior to the x-terra. The X-terra has lasted me more than 5 years & it's been a fun ride. I recently got in a car accident and totaled my x-terra. I was barely scratched & it kept me safe during the ordeal. My next car... an 2009 x-terra!




Luv my xterra !

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

I am past the "soccer mom" stage and wanted something FUN to drive. My entire family drives, or has previously driven, Nissans so the choice was easy. I would only trade my 2003 Xterra for a new one. It is the perfect weekend and/or tailgate vehicle. The seats are a bit uncomfortable but the Rockford Fosgate stereo ROCKS ! You don't buy an Xterra for the mileage but it is as good or better than most SUV's. I highly recommend the Nissan Xterra !




Good suv if you like'm

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

All my ratings we're based off of the several SUV's and trucks that I've driven from an Explorer, Expedition, Tahoe, Denali XL, Jimmy, Ranger, F150, C1500, and CRV. The Xterra is its own vehicle and that's why it shines. The mileage and highway driving are not fun. I fear merging with this car b/c of the lack of power. But the sheer massive truck presence of the Xterra makes up for it. The hard engine sounds and road noise from crusing at 65mph sometimes does bother me especially when I see my gas tank meter drop. Going w/o a LSD was a big mistake. Interior is shabby but its a truck what do you expect. Overall a good performing truck however, I'm starting to realize I like small cars.




Big mistake

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

Thought I wanted an SUV. Picked Xterra based on looks. Hate driving it. Gas mileage is awful and it rides like the tires are made of metal.




Luv my blue xterra

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

Always loved the looks of the Xterra. Finally decided To get a Blue one for myself. Love the styling, Size, reliability. Didn't buy the 4X4 but it did great in this last ice/snow storm.



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