2003 Nissan Altima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Altima Sedan


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Nissan Altima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 175 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Nissan Altima

  • Once a frumpy wallflower, the Altima is now a car to be desired.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sports car power in a midsize sedan body, high level of features, explosive V6 engine, distinct styling.

  • Cons

    Shabby interior materials, overboosted steering, no stability control.

  • What's New for 2003

    After last year's debut to critical acclaim, Nissan's midsize sedan receives minor changes for 2003. Two new exterior colors, Sonoma…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (424 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sporty and reliable

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Daily driver for 10 years now. 190k, original engine and transmission. Still looks good, performs well, and still fun to drive. 4 doors means extra utility and lower insurance. The 4-cyl from this era have major engine problems... go with the V6.

Nice car, "service engine soon",

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I just bought this car used, yesterday and I love it. It is very fun to drive. I traded in a Mercedes Benz 240C, which was powerful, but drove like a tank or a boat. The only issue is that the, "Service Engine Soon", light came on before I even got it home from the used car dealership. I brought it back today and they said it was indicating "High Idle Speed". Well at 82,000 miles I hope that this is all that is wrong with it. I will keep you posted.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

My 2003 nissan altima

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I just felt the need to give special props to my 2003 Nissan Altima that is not at (372 THOUSAND MILES) yes I had to spell it out so no one would think it was a typo. She needs a new catalytic converter, but other than that she is still the greatest money maker I have every had. I drive 172 miles a day, 5 days a week. I have tried reading online to see if anyone else was running with this many miles, but it saddens me to see some have not been as lucky. A mechanic not long ago told me mine car must have came off the line on a Wednesday. I tried looking that up with no sucess.

4 of 45 people found this review helpful

Loved this car intill.....................

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

bought this car used in 2005 with 21000 miles on it was evrything i wanted loved my car praised it was black on black with leather 6 years later still turnning heads flawless inside and out took the best care of the car nothing but synthetic oil changes every 3000 miles nothing but premiume 91 76 gas and last week discovered no oil in my engine with only 82000 miles had read up on it about a year ago and called nissan and they said it has to do with how you maintence your car so i thought would not happen to mine but i was wrong no one took better care of a car then i did nissan needs to do something will never buy another nissan and will tell anyone who will listen getting rid of my baby

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

'03 altima 2.5s a drivers

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I got my altima with 38k. the previous owner, a relative, never had any problems with it. I now have 58k and it runs like a dream. I did have to replace the crank position sensor at 57k. However, although the 'ses' light was on, it never gave me problems. If your looking for a cushy ride,look elsewhere. The Altima is definitely a drivers car.sturdy frame, firm ride. handling is excellent. Very little body-lean when buzzing around roads. holds road very well The engine is responsive. quick off the line. open road acceleration impressive; especially for a 4cylindar engine. stunning exterior, and a roomy, comfortable, interior. some cheap plastics inside; no big deal. to sum up,love this car

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Every manufacturer has their bad

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

My 2003 Altima, had a number of issues. Excessive oil use, random start up problems top of the list. The crankshaft position sensor a major player but not the sole solution. Dollar for dollar, amount of money I spent on it I'd probably have spent on an American make that wouldn't have given me the same mileage. That 2003 was the fifth Nissan I purchased new. My philosophy, 200,000 miles or ten years, which ever comes first. I never made ten years before a new one. I took best care of this Altima than all the other Nissans I owned and it gave me the worst repair record. I don't understand why the whole fleet wasn't recalled for repair. Buying my sixth new Nissan since 1973, a "2011 Rogue".

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 Nissan Altima Review

What's New for 2003

After last year's debut to critical acclaim, Nissan's midsize sedan receives minor changes for 2003. Two new exterior colors, Sonoma Sunset and Crystal Blue add pizzazz to the wardrobe. There's a new charcoal seat fabric, padded cloth front center armrest cover (genuine leather on leather-equipped vehicles) and bright titanium interior accent colors for all models to spruce up the interior. The 2.5 SL receives a standard automatic transmission, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors and simulated wood trim. For the 3.5 SE, there is a Sport Package, which includes a sunroof and spoiler, and a Sport Package Plus, which includes sunroof, spoiler, Bose audio system and HID headlights. The 3.5 SE Leather Package now includes a Bose audio system, sunroof and heated seats, while the Leather Sport Package adds a spoiler and xenon headlights. Finally, a new 3.5 SE Premium Leather Package sports all of the above plus throws in fake wood to boot. How can you go wrong?

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