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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
198,618 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 022011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 500,000 miles


The car doesn't seem to be accelerating properly due to something wrong with the fuel system or gasoline delivery there is a vibrating sound and vibration coming from the gas pedal. And the gasoline smell is terrible. The gas pedal is very loose and I don't feel safe driving my car at this time.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Dec 072010


  • 93,700 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that when applying the brakes at low speeds the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into the house. The driver was injured and was not transported to the hospital. A police report was filed. The vehicle was then towed to an independent mechanic with the insurance Agency. The failure will be diagnosed pending an investigation. The failure and current mileages were approximately 93,700.

- Tremonton, UT, USA

problem #1

Feb 182003

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,155 miles
A newly purchased Nissan Xterra 2003 went out of control and did a 180 degree turn at 60 mph on a dry day, when the brakes were lightly applied.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

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