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2003 Nissan Frontier King Cab

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 400 Ratings for the 1998 - 2004 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10
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Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25

A Wonderful Truck!

By on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have owned this truck since new and it has done 280,000 miles of 95% city driving. It was purchased as a parts chaser and pizza delivery vehicle and has been used for these purposes for 9 years. The original clutch lasted 200k miles, and the starter went 270k. The original transmission had to be rebuilt at 245k miles and cost me $650 installed at a local transmission shop. Major flaws to look out for on this model include: leaky front crank seal. A $10 part that can destroy the A/C compressor clutch and harmonic balancer. One is $300, the other $200-part only. Typically, they go every 100k miles along with the rear crank seal which costs about the same. The shifter bushings tend to wear out and are under $10 at the dealer for the part (My truck is 97% owner serviced). The wiper transmission arm clips also tend to wear out every 75-100k miles at a cost of $14 each time. The sway bar end link bushings are a known failure point in the suspension. I replaced mine with a set of aftermarket endlinks from Energy Suspension at a cost of $20. I believe they are for a Chevelle. The rear drum brakes also tend to need adjustment every 5k miles at a cost of about 15 minutes of my time. The brake hydraulics and clutch hydraulics were all original until 278k miles when I needed to replace 1 caliper due to a bad seal. The steering box seals have also just failed, but the steering is still very tight. I have them on order at a cost of $30. I also had to replace the steering wheel due to wear at around 230k miles, and also did the driver's seat foam and upholsterey at that time with new factory parts. The white paint also started peeling at about the 7 year mark. I have since repainted it. I still drive it about 2500 miles a month and plan to do so until it gets to at least 400k. There is no reason to replace it when it is so much cheaper to run than it would cost to make a monthly payment."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

The ultimate mid-sized truck

By on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good value, great to drive on and off road"

Cons: "Poor acceleration, worse fuel economy."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"(2004 XE King cab 4WD 5spd manual) For the money, this is the best mid sized truck you can buy. Good looks, surprisingly rugged performance off road and even more surprisingly nimble in the corners. Great ride quality on the road. Soft and comfortable, but very agile for a truck if you get a little frisky in the corners. Bad weather or off road? Select 4WD high range in light snow or dirt and you can still corner at a high rate of speed even in adverse conditions. Throttle response and steering angle are good enough to allow some four wheel drifting. Deep snow, mud, rocks, or heavy duty pulling? Lock 4WD low range and be amazed at what this little truck can overcome. The excellent stock ground clearance coupled with Nissan's hearty four wheel drive make it downright hard to get stuck if you have any common sense as a driver. Even on all terrain tires this truck will out perform its competitors in a pinch. It even has all the gadgets you need, but none you don't. Power everything, tilt, cruise control, and a respectable sound system are all available from the factory and the interior is nicely laid out. Nothing fancy, but good quality and easy to clean. Now on to its only two real flaws: Horrible fuel economy especially when considering that it really doesn't make much power. At best I have averaged 17 mpg and the engine only makes 170 hp. In a straight line, the it is painfully slow even for a pickup, and the fuel economy is awful for a 3.3V6 built by the Japanese. If you add an intake, headers, a cam, and exhaust, the motor really wakes up (aprox 210hp) but you will need to get around emissions regulations to get it inspected. Also, the fuel economy will suffer even more. As for reliability, this is one tough machine. Mechanically it is superbly engineered, and with proper care will last well over 250k miles with no major problems. Lifter tap is an annoying characteristic of the motor, but a small price to pay for an all but bulletproof power plant. I have the 5spd Manual gearbox, and it is crisp and well geared. However, 5th gear is a bit of a stretch due to the long throw of the shift lever. As for the chassis, it does suffer from rust rather easily, particularly in the fasteners. If you are doing body work on one of these trucks, expect to snap one in every four of the small bolts you go to loosen. PB blast and WD40 are your best friends on any job. Overall I adore my Frontier. I have owned two prior Nissan truck models (D22 Hardbody 4cyl SE and 6cyl XE) but this is by far my favorite. Having one of these as a daily driver or even just as a utility vehicle will inevitably leave you very attached to the truck. No American made mid sized truck can come close to the standard the D23 Frontier sets and in my opinion only the Toyota Tacoma comes close in the import market. It is the quintessential Nissan: Well thought out, reliable, quietly brilliant and very under-rated."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Overall, a very good truck

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

"I bought this truck new about five and a half years ago and I've had no problems, routine maintenance only. I traded in a six cylinder Desert Runner with manual transmission, ( which I probably liked better ) because I was commuting a long distance and I wanted better gas mileage and no clutch to deal with in traffic. The only cons for this truck is the lack of power in those situations when you need it. You definitely have to hit the OD button if you're getting on the freeway or going up a hill or long grade. I don't think towing with this truck is really an option. Once you get up to speed it cruises just fine. The other problem is the steering wheel clearance. Even if you have the steering wheel in the highest position it barley clears your legs. It's something you get used to after a while, but when I first bought it I was always jamming my fingers into my legs when turning the wheel. I think if I were to buy another Frontier I would get a six cylinder."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great truck

By on Monday, December 07, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"had my 2004 for 4 years now , changed front tires at 130,000 miles rear tires at 133,000. This is a great running truck, nicely equipped. Haven't had any problems at all, if you can find one used buy it."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

good all around truck

By on Monday, December 15, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"i bought this truck used and it has never givin me any trouble. The 4 cyl was a bit sluggish but the 5speed made it a fun truck to drive. road noise was very loud on the highway although i think its the case with all Nissans. Even with checking tire psi daily and having tires rotated every 5000, at 47000 mi the tread came off the factory tire while i was driving on the highway. SURVIVABILITY IS EXCELLENT in this truck. when my left rear tread came off the truck immediately fishtailed to the left and ended up rolling 3 times. i walked away with only a black eye from the air bag. awsome truck that i wish i had back."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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