I've owned my 2003 Xterra since new in 2003 and I can't say enough good things about this vehicle. Eight years of ownership, driven every day, long trips, short trips, on light trails and pavement. Knock sensor went bad at 92,000 miles. That's it...........my only repair. Of course there is the standard replacements, like air filter, oil changes and brakes, but the knock sensor has been the only mechanical failure. Oh yeah, I got 74,000 out of the front pads and the rear pads still look great at 105,000 miles.
My daughter is turning 16 in a few months and this will be her vehicle. I feel very confident that this vehicle will provide her with safe, reliable transportation for years to come.
If your looking for raw power.....get something else. Engine lacks pickup but pulls my loaded trailer very well. My favorite about my xterra:
-Very tight cabin. No rattles or squeaks even at 105,000
-Stereo is very nice, and I'm an audio freak
-Suspension is fantastic. Those short, choppy breaking bumps on dirt roads......you don't even notice them
-Braking is fantastic for such a large, heavy vehicle and pads/shoes have lasted forever!
If I had to make an improvement to this 2003 Xterra it would be more power from the 3.3L engine. Like I said before, it has plenty of low end torque for pulling........but no acceleration.
Maybe a little more room on the drivers side.
Gas milage? When I bought it gas milage wasn't a big issue. 18 mpg was fine. 8 years later I still get 18 mpg which is a compliment to the vehicle, however, now at 3.79 a gallon........I wish it was better.
Overall, I couldn't ask for a vehicle to serve my family better. I have no complaints at all. It'll be in my family until I have no choice but to let it go. Thanks Nissan.......you've earned a lifelong customer!