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 5-speed Manual
  • 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 (17 total reviews)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The last nissan i'll ever

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

First let me say that I am meticulous about upkeep and basic maintenance (oil changes, etc.) My Altima, with 139,000 km's (100,000 miles) on it absolutely self- destructed over the past two weeks. For no reason that I or any mechanic can find the engine suddenly (over two days) burned out all of it's oil and then scored the cylinders so badly that it needs to be replaced. I never really enjoyed this car. It looked great, but handled like a girls car. It was always sort of "dainty" and overly sensitive to steering inputs. Also, the plastic used in the interior components and the boot around the gear-stick were of extremely low quality.

Cat converter break down-new engine

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

Loved when car when I 1st bought it. Owned for 18 months and now they will not back their products. My oil has been changed every 2500 miles all necessary maintenance. Now my check engine light went on 2 weeks ago. I take 2 Auto Zone and receive the infamous P0420 Code! I change spark plugs thinking it's minor. Nope I need an entire new engine for 4500.00. Catalytic broke down & as this happened the pieces were sucked into the engine and it ruined the rings inside the engine. SERVICE ENGINE SOON light came on 2 weeks ago! Also causing the oil consumption Problem. "Regional Specialist" NO HELP. I take care of my car.

Great highway car

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

Bought car with 5000 miles, dealer demo. So far, has been great. Bought to use as commuter so I can keep truck for towing. Overall, I love the car. Handles great. Secure driving in the rain and snow. Installed Bridgestone Turanzas, made huge improve in overall handling and foul weather performance. Accelerates decent with 2.5, great gas mileage. With my new job I am now driving 100+ miles a day, and on the highway it is great. Average 27 mpg at 75 mph. Good NDSS sound system, decent features for base car. Seats are awesome. Interior quality not great, nothing really broke on car but I am careful with her. Reliability so far great. Now has 54,000 miles, still love it. Overall, great car!

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?

Talk About The 2003 Altima

2003 Nissan Altima Discussions See all Started By

My husband and I are eyeballing a 2003 Nissan Altima S with 35,500 miles on it, standard features besides tinted windows. It really is in great shape, looks and feels brand new except for a couple mi...

The '03 Altima manual can be downloaded here:...

Today, I test drove Altima 2003 2.5 SL, Camry 2003, Civic 2003 (I know Civic is in different category). IMO, Altima beats them all - I guess, I prefer sporty handling. Camry's brakes did not feel r...


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