2003 Nissan Frontier Reviews

2003 Nissan Frontier XC 4 cylinder from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance82000 miles
Previous carSubaru Outback

Summary:

A very sturdy, fun truck to drive, great on gas, but still gets the job done

Faults:

All belts need to be replaced at 70k (normal wear).

Front dash power point fuse keeps blowing, had to route power to a different power point in the middle console.

General Comments:

I've owned my Frontier for almost three years now. I bought it my senior year of high school in November, and I'm now a junior in college.

The Frontier I own is 2WD, with no extra features besides a CD player and automatic transmission.

I drive 300 miles from the central valley in California to the North Eastern corner of the state to visit my family at Christmas, and sometimes during the summer. To get there, I have to navigate Donner Pass, which seems to ascend into the heavens for miles. The transmission and engine keep up nicely, but not without a couple quirks. If I want to go the same speed as a V-6 or V-8 going up the pass, I have to make sure that I'm going under 65 before flooring the gas, then leave the pedal floored. If it's 66 or above, the overdrive won't kick on. This sometimes means that I pass someone, then on the hill they pass me, which just means I'll have to pass them later on in my trip.

The design is very nice, and makes the Frontier a unique looking truck. Nissan sometimes does bold work on their designs, and this time it really did work out for the better. I like the fact that the tailgate is so easy to remove, making runs to the dump a since when I load the bed with grass or leaves. I like that I can lock the tailgate when I have the canopy on. It keeps my mind at ease knowing that I can leave sound equipment back there and go into McDonald's without having to constantly look over my shoulder.

The inside of the cabin is cozy, yet more spacious that I would have thought. The middle console was designed very well, I love the removable (and washable) cup holders, the additional flip-top compartment to store phones and iPods out of view when I leave my truck in the parking lot, and the extra storage compartment at the bottom of the middle control console. The only complaint that I have about the design is the location of the cigarette lighter. Having the main power-supply in a location where you can't plug anything in without it being in the way of the shift lever is... slightly stupid in the least. I ended up re-routing main power to the power point in the back cab as the main power source, then getting a power strip from target to plug my gadgets into.

The A/C started giving me problems around 80k miles, but that took a simple belt change job (normal maintenance) to fix that issue. I HAVE had to get a few cables in the transmission adjusted (this is just what the dealer told me) to fix a problem with joltier-than-usual transitions from the 1st to 2nd gears.

Gas mileage is still topping out at a whopping 27mpg, though most of the times it's around 23 on the highway, 21 in the city. I get the 27mpg when traveling from Visalia to Fresno late nights on a 55mph highway with hardly anyone around to get in my way, so I can keep the pedal at 50-55 most of the way there.

My only complaint to Nissan is not installing cruise control as standard now. The model year is 2003, and vehicles have had "cruise control" since the early 1900s (granted it was a metal lever back then). I'd think that in the day and age we are in now, cruise control would be a standard just like airbags and seat belts. That's my personal opinion, however.

To finish, I am very happy with my truck. It's a great city truck for using to get to and from school and work. I would not recommend this for those who deal with snow and ice. I have had a few near heart attacks because I have lost control going 25 mph. A small rear wheel drive truck just doesn't have enough guts and gumption to get you where you need to go if you're on a slippery surface.

I still give this truck 5 stars, though I will probably buy a 4x4 model when I do upgrade to a second generation Frontier.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th June, 2009

2003 Nissan Frontier from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Automatic
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

Nissan does not stand behind their vehicle

Faults:

Rear bumper on truck started to rust two years after I bought it. Four years later the rust is all over the bumper. Nissan would not cover this under there five year warranty on rust.

General Comments:

I went all the way to the east coast regional manager for Nissan for help with the warranty coverage. She basically told me too bad. The rust has to be caused from a defect in manufacturing because the rest of the car is perfect, no rust at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th April, 2008

2003 Nissan Frontier SE Non SC from North America

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Non SC Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired43000 miles
Most recent distance48000 miles
Previous carChevrolet S-10

Summary:

Frontier SE CC Long Box

Faults:

Some faults- Gas mileage is not great. Power up high is lagging. However, with some performance upgrades you can get more out of the truck.

Air Intake

Cat Back Exahust

Lighter Wheels

All of these give better performance and better gas mileage

General Comments:

This truck is better than the competition. My previous truck was S10. A pile of metal if you ask me. Here is how they compare.

Frontier's frame is beefier, seats are nicer, lots of electrical outlets, you can get a crew cab with a 6ft bed, the SE has a LSD standard, the sound system is good/excellent w/6cd changer and 9 speakers, bed extender is awesome, acceleration is similar, 4x4 is reliable, easy to work on bearings, it stays aligned, interior is comfortable for 2 adults and 2 kids, lots of options.

Think about a frontier and not an S10

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2008

2003 Nissan Frontier King Cab 3.3 Gas from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.3 Gas Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance53875 miles
Previous carJeep Cherokee

Summary:

Best truck I have ever Owned

Faults:

I have only had one thing on this truck and that's when it rains really hard water drips really slowly through the back window. I love the truck other than that.

General Comments:

Love the truck, 4-wheel drive has always locked when I have needed it so far.

I would buy another one, because its ride is excellent for a truck.

Pulls my boat, and hauls my 4-wheeler fine, and I have the confidence to go anywhere I want to go in this truck because I know it will make it home!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2006

2003 Nissan Frontier xe king cab 2.4L 4 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.4L 4 Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired5 miles
Most recent distance33000 miles
Previous carChrysler Town and Country

Summary:

I would may buy it again

Faults:

So far the windshield motor failed at 20,000.

General Comments:

This car handles O.K, but nothing great. The seats are comfortable but low.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2005

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 5 reviews