Used 2003 Nissan Pathfinder Consumer Reviews - 167 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Nissan Pathfinder - Consumer Reviews

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167 Total Reviews

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I love this vehicle! 2003 Pathfinder
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Noah P
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder LE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I can't say enough good things about my Pathfinder. I purchased this vehicle two years ago and it has been one of the best economy SUVs I have ever driven, and despite the hell I've given her, she has treated me spectacularly. It's certainly not the nicest, nor does it have a lot of bells and whistles, but it has grown on me in a way no way any other vehicle has. I got lucky, and after totaling my last vehicle, a family friend sold this car to me for practically nothing. It currently has 278,000 miles (yes, two hundred thousand), but boy, did this engine get taken care of. No out of the norm replacements engine-wise and the transmission is insanely smooth. No strange sounds or weird misfires, just the sweet sound of 6-cylinders combusting fuel. I have had one major repair since I bought the vehicle, but at this mileage, I can't complain. (it was the fuel pump, not very expensive) The engine is POWERFUL for the mileage. When I say for the mileage, really, just in general, this car is pleasant to drive. This engine gets up and goes with a 3.5 V6. I absolutely admire the acceleration! I ride to work every day on the interstate going 85mph, and it has no problem getting up to high speeds. It barely fights me to even surpass 100mph, and for an SUV with this mileage, that is wonderful. It handles marvelously, and sometimes I forget that I'm even driving such an old vehicle. Quiet interior, well-kept. I love that the seats in the back fold down for extra cargo space. Slap some blankets down in the back and its great for camping. It's not the roomiest vehicle in the world, but it gets the job done, and has never left me stranded or worried that something may break. I have taken several road trips that attest to its reliability, and it never runs hot even when being driven for 4+ hours. On the same note, I had a venture 1 year ago involving getting it stuck knee deep in water and mud, water in the cabin, and I have had no issues following the incident. (except a cumbersome mildew smell for a few weeks...) In fact, we pulled her out and went right back to mudding afterward. My only complaint would be poor exterior paint quality. The paint is tremendously faded, and it chips very easily. The MPG may also be a deal breaker for some, as I average about 12-13 MPG. However, I have test driven a lot of new vehicles recently, and haven't quite found a rugged SUV with the smoothness and power that this vehicle offers. I test drove a 2016 Toyota 4Runner, and I was honestly disappointed with the lack of power and ride quality that it provided. (dashboard MPG was reading at about 12 MPG on the interstate on top of that) In all honesty, I may keep this vehicle and just restore the paint and add some aftermarket features. Ultimately, I would recommend this vehicle to anyone looking for a used vehicle with an excellent ride. If me assigning my car a gender in any way attests to the fact that this vehicle will grow on you, I have done my job here. Kudos to Nissan for manufacturing such a great vehicle, I sure wish the market would return to the SUV glory days. Pro Tip: fill her up with premium gas and you will see a huge difference.


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One owner. Garage kept
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By John Bosselli
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Has new battery, new suspension, tires about one year old. 84,000 miles. very clean no pets or kids. back seat hardly sat in.


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Great Car, Great Value
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By catnip63
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE Rwd 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I've always been a Nissan Pathfinder fan, till now ( I hate the new body style)
I've owned my 2003 for 5 years now. I live in Utah and it's the best 4 wheel drive I've owned. I've had a 1989, 1990, 1997 pathfinders and now the 2003.
I have never had it strand me or had any expensive repairs. I do all the recommended maintenances though.
The gas mileage would be my only "con" but I wouldn't trade better gas mileage for the power it has. I do love the power and control this car provides.
I think for the money this is a solid, reliable, well built car. I see lots of 2003 Nissan Pathfinders with over 200,000 miles. I think that says a lot.


Best Features

Reliability, 4X4, Power.


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Very good vehicle
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By davidh11
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I originally had a used 2000 Pathfinder and put over 170K miles on it and never had a problem with it. I traded it in (only because I wanted something newer and sportier) on a 2004 Maxima which turned out to be a piece of crap car! I went back to a Pathfinder this time buying a used 2003 Pathfinder and love it so far.

The only real issue so far has been a cosmetic one; I believe the paint quality is poor.
Keep in mind it has 130k on it but I've never had a vehicle's paint chip like this one does.

Besides that, I have no complaints other than of course the sh-tty gas mileage but fortunately it does not require premium unleaded.


Best Features

Strong engine, nice looks, 4X4 comes in handy on the beach here in Florida, very reliable, and a all around solid SUV. Take good care of it and it will last a very long time.


Worst Features

needs better gas mileage and a better quality paint job.


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Solid Vehicle
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mrcarp
on

Vehicle

2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Purchased used from a work aquaintance in 2006 with only 17,000 miles.
Now has 58,000.
So far, so good.
Same issues, CD skips when cold, leather around seat adjusters cracked a bit, heat shield rattle, evap leak - check engine light has been on for about 4 years now.
For those with same issue, I would try a new gas cap for a potential fix.
Also, use Maguire's leather treatment - works great & eliminates the golden retriever smell.
Had new oil pan, etc. installed in December 2011 for about $1,000.
So far cost of ownership is as expected - we live in Vermont & the winters are brutal on vehicles.


Best Features

Comfortable on long journeys. Dog loves riding in the back seat. Decent truck space. I am a mobile DJ so I am constantly loading & unloading equipment. Easy to install DVD headrests. Killer roof rack. I have put easily 150 lbs. of outdoor gear, bags, etc. in a cargo box with out issue...just don't drive above 60 - 65. Towing...for a small SUV this thing can tow. I have towed 6,000 chippers, many...many tons of wood pellets in a trailer...a really old & heave fiberglass boat. Just make sure your hitch is oversized, that way you are limited by the vehicle & not the hitch...use a class 4. It's old and has lived in Vermont it's whole life...couldn't ask for more from a vehicle.


Worst Features

Increase the open height of tailgate. Rear seat cramped, expecially for a child seat - seats have become enormously large due to increased safety requirements. I think the newer design is bigger in all aspects.


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