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 Four 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 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)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

I have just over 99,000 miles on my Xterra, and I have already had to replace a cracked exhaust manifold and the supercharger. Now I am being told that the head gasket is leaking. I love the styling and capability of the Xterra, but I have been very disappointed by the reliability. I don't know if the 3.3 liter engine was not properly designed for the stresses associated with the supercharger, but it has definitely not lived up to my expectations.




Loved my x!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

Great mom car! Back doors a little small, HUGE trunk area, great style. Built tough, I hit a deer going 60 mpg and had absolutely nothing wrong with it. No complaints about the look or feel of the car. My only single complaint was gas mileage, 16 hwy, 11 or 12 city. Just recently sold it because I couldn't afford constantly putting gas in it, but mine was super-charged so that didn't help. If you don't care about the gas mileage, then I would say go for it! Only had to be in the shop here and there for minor problems. Some day when I have more money, I will be getting another one, and I can't wait until I do! :) Just sold it a few weeks ago, already miss it like crazy!




Not impressed

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

My main complaint is the engine and transmission. Reliability is good, only replacing the exhaust manifold in 85,000 miles. But the engine is extremely weak (I have SC model), and the 4 speed auto transmission shifts very rough. Engine takes 15 minutes to "warm up" before the engine and trans are even acceptable for use. The supercharged engine only performs well in dry 60-70 degree weather. I live in Michigan, and we rarely have dry 60-70 degree weather. If I ride alone and temp is optimal, the car is fun to drive, but if i carry passengers, its sluggish at best. Gas mileage is unacceptable for a V6! I rarely get over 13mpg in city driving even when i baby it! Highway mileage is no better!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

03 nissan xterra se s/c

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

I bought my Xterra 2 months ago and I absolutely love it. I just happened to find an atomic orange one, at first I wasn't so sure about the color but after a little while it grew on me and now I even love the color.




Love my xterra

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

I really love my Xterra. The only fault I see with this truck is gas mileage! I have had all of my service done on time, but gas mileage continues to diminish. We drove this vehicle on a 500 mile trip and got 11 miles to the gallon highway. I hate to get rid of my truck, but I'm gonna have to. It has been parked for 2 months because of the gas mileage. It's hard to pay for something you can't afford to drive. The major problem I am having is finding something that I like as much or better than my Xterra. There's not much out there.




Sorry to see it go...

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Xterra SE S/C 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A)

but after 10 months, I just cant live with the crappy mileage. I fill the tank (39 bucks) and I get about 275 miles out of it. And now, Nissan says that the 05's are even bigger, with even worse MPG. I'm sorry to see the last pure SUV for real people go this direction. If it were'nt for the gas suck, I'd keep it forever. Rides nice, looks great, great offroad, etc. Just decided to go the other way. Honda Element, here I come!



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

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