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Average User Score
4.4 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 18 reviews
2003 Nissan Xterra Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 18 reviews
The 2003 Nissan Xterra is no pretender. It looks like an SUV and acts like an SUV, in an era when such vehicles are becoming increasingly emasculated and suburbanized. The compact SUV built on a truck frame seeks lovers of an active lifestyle need something that can take the surfer across sandy beaches, the mountain biker up unpaved inclines, or the skier through a snowstorm. For 2003, the Xterra adds more options to improve performance in such conditions, such as a new tire pressure monitor, and optional traction and stability control. These go with the already standard ABS brakes and dual front airbags.
The 2003 Xterra comes in XE and SE trims in either rear-wheel or 4WD. The XE comes with a choice of a 143-hp 2.4-liter I4 engine (2WD only) or 3.3-liter V6 rated, getting a horsepower boost this year to 180-hp. A supercharged version is also available, hitting 210-hp. The SE comes standard with the naturally aspirated V6, but the supercharged engine is optional. A 5-speed manual is standard on the XE, and a 4-speed auto tran on the SE. Other new additions this year include 16-inch alloy wheels and step rails on the XE, previously only available as an option. The SE also gets a limited slip differential to help with off-roading performance, which is truly possible in the Xterra due to low-range gearing in the 4WD. New cargo nets in the headliner and 44-cubic foot cargo area add to the storage already provided by the adjustable roof rails and built-in basket.
Even though it's more rugged than the Pathfinder, you won't miss out on comforts such as power features, cruise control, a 6-CD player, leather-wrapped wheel, keyless entry, and steering wheel-mounted controls. All of these are standard on the SE and optional for the XE. Drivers love that they can take the 2003 Xterra off-road and that the storage (66 cubic feet with the seats down) is big enough to carry everything they need for outdoor fun. The sporty styling is also a big draw. Downsides are its underpowered engine choices, low fuel economy, uncomfortable seats that need more cushioning for the truck-like ride, and the plastic-looking interior materials.
What's your take on the 2003 Nissan Xterra?
Nissan Xterra Questions
2003 Xterra Does Not Start Then Later Will Very Perplexing
This has happened three times. Daughter get home in her 2003 Exterra. next day it will not start, jumped it still no start. Car at for two days we then started. The next week same thing, but did not ...
My 2003 Nissan Xterra Died While Driving I Thought It Was The Battery,repla...
I Have A 2003 Nissan Xterra & I Was Driving & The Car Cut Off & Now It Wont...
Just got an 03 xterra and on the backside right above the rear window there is an empty hole. In looking at pictures online it seems like there should be a rubber stopper or antenna there. I was won...