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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,500 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 #4

Jan 082016


  • 98,000 miles


Nissan Xterra frame rusted beyond any safety justification. Oil leaks from engine up two 2 quart a day lead to engine seized up without warning.

- Long Valley, NJ, USA

problem #3

Mar 222015


  • 122,000 miles
Called roadside assistance to change a tire. The spare tire rubber was burned in three or more places from the heat spreading under the vehicle, and the char/melting/burning went through the vehicle body from the bottom of the vehicle outside to the floor inside. The man changing my tire suggested it was a fire waiting to happen and that there could be a recall for this sort of issue. I checked and do not see anything listed. My tired is now damaged from the heat melting the rubber, and my vehicle is charred in places.

- Canon City, CO, USA

problem #2

Jun 112012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • miles
Radiator is falling out of truck, due to serious rust on framing, hood latch is starting to break free hood could fly up onto windshield.

- Florida, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 162010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I drove the vehicle on a freeway under construction with one finished new pavement lane. When I was changed the other old lane to the new one, the wheel suddenly got out of control and spun from one lane to the other and ended in the midium bumped into barriers. Lately I contacted with Nissan and question if this is associated with the recall R1037. They denied.

- Allen, TX, USA

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