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 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?

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (87 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Every manufacturer has their bad

by on
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".




This car sucks!

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

Bought the car in 2006 with only 31,000 miles. Kept getting a cylinder 2 misfire and tried everything to fix it, change coil pack, spark plugs etc. Car starts shaking and had a weird smell like someone posted earlier. Had to replace motor mounts, brakes and power steering pump. Every six months it seemed like the car had a problem that needed fixing. The catalytic converter needed replacing and the ac compressor also was going out on the car so I decided to trade it in for a hyundai elantra this week. i realized that i spent almost $4,000 dollars into repairing this car. I will never buy a Nissan ever again!




So far so good

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

I have owned this car new since August, 2003 and there have been minor problems all except for the radiator tank cracking and having to be replaced. Minor problems like the hood support rod, whe I put it up to check the oil and snapped the rod into the holder under the hood, the hook part snapped off. Luckily the dealer had them in stock. This was int he cold weather so maybe it was the plastic got too rigiid otherwise I would have to hold up the hood by hand. Computer had to be reprogrammed twice after a recall. The original Continental tires stink and I finally got michelins after the second set of continentals. They only lasted 23k each set. 32 mpg on the highway using Cruise control!




Excellent all-around vehicle

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

I bought this car used 2 years ago, and it has yet to disappoint me. It now has 107k miles and no problems. Very good acceleration and handling, great turn radius, extremely smooth ride and very spacious seating area. I love the eye catching rear light design, it hypnotizes people that drive behind me. Decent gas mileage, and nice features, overall a very satisfying vehicle. Although the "bose" sound system is a bit disappointing, and the microchip key costs over $100 to make a duplicate.




A steal at $7800 though

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

I'm a 19 yr old who bought this as his first car, and I've had it for exactly a month now and it has been awesome but I have had a few problems with it. The exhaust emits blue smoke when I rev the engine while idling, and though nothing seems wrong the check engine light will not go off. And thats beginning to bother me. But who woulda thought a 4 cylidner engine could be so powerful yet so efficient? I can reach 0-60 in 6 seconds and I get almost 32 mpg on the freeway, the downside is the 20 gallon tank. The stereo system is amazing for something thats so standard, and the a/c is ice cold. And I always turn heads when I drive by.




Still a great car

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

Last report 5-6-08 see Great Highway Car. Still a great car. Holding up decently. Now have 77k miles. My first problem, started to stumble when on highway. Felt like misfire. Checked spark plugs, found #3 did not look good. Replaced all spark plugs and #3 coil pack. Now car is great again. I still get about 27 mph with spirited driving. I run Mobile 1 synthetic oil every 5-6000 miles, does not use a drop of oil. Maintenance easy. A Durango ran me off the road in Dec on snowy road and I ran up a curb. Had to get two new tires but everything else ok. Typical strut clunk but ride not affected so i'll wait to replace. Overall has been an enjoyable reliable and comfortable car on long trips.



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

Read more about the 2003 Nissan Altima

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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