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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,000 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 012004

Xterra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,000 miles


Parking brake failure and undetermined engine noise - on 2 occasions, the parking brake hold became loose and caused the vehicle to roll backward. It was repaired twice in less than 6 months, both times saying the some type of washer that holds a cable had become loose. The parking brake tension would become very loose before the failures. There is an additional engine noise issue that has not been resolved after 4 visits to the dealer while under warranty. The noise sounds like a loose belt squealing or a constant squeaky noise, especially when the engine is cold or the outside temps are lower than about 60 degrees. Dealer claims they hear the noise but are unable to locate the problem or repair it. It still squeaks and is no longer under warranty.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

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