2003 Nissan Xterra Consumer Review: Not impressed

2003 Nissan Xterra SUV - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

159 Total Reviews

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Build Quality
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2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Not impressed
By Paul99 on


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!

Best Features

Exterior styling, waterproof seat covers, roof rack, Rockford stereo is OK, gunmetal colored wheels on SC model, handling and ride is good, driver seat position, off-road abilities... Overall I love the looks and functionality and ride of this car, just hate the mileage and lack of performance...

Worst Features

Engine, 4-speed transmission(on auto), performance, gas mileage. Why didn't Nissan allow the V6 used on Pathfinder as option on Xterra? Sounds like the '05 and up models have fixed these problems, but I don't like the interior or exterior styling. Looks like this will be the last Xterra I own...
Recommend (2) (1)

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