Notes: The 2003 Nissan Xterra doesn't seem to have any problem trends. The only thing prospective owners should be aware of are the less-than-perfect (but acceptable) crash test ratings.

There are a very few transmission complaints, but nothing like the huge defect that shows up starting in with the 2005 model year.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,990 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Nissan Xterra body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 162004

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,980 miles


On the way to the beach traveling 55 mph in my 2003 Nissan Xterra, my surf board flew off the roo track into the middle of route 1 in Delaware. The traffic behind me managed to avoid hitting the surfboard that was situated in the left lane of traffic. More importantly, there were no accidents caused by the incident hence the police were not involved. After removing my surfboard from the highway and inspecting damage to it and the roofrack crossbars, I noticed the plastic clasp on the crossbar had snapped, causing the surfboard to fly off the roofof my Xterra. The following Monday, the dealership evaluated the situation and acknowledged that the rack had "broken from stress/fatigue" and is replacing it under warranty. However, my surfboard is completely destroyed and neither the dealership nor the Nissan Consumer Affairs will reimburse me for the cost of the surfboard, stating that damage to personal property is not covered under warranty.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 282003

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ticking noise coming from top rear of driver door (seal) and head-liner right above driver's seat.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

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