2003 Nissan Altima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Altima Sedan

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

How do you feel about these results?

Tell us why you feel that way.

Contact Me No Thanks
Nissan Altima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 245 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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 (61 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Good but with its faults

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)

The interior is cheap and pretty ugly. The turning radius is worse than a Ford Explorer. The cabin pressure is set up so that with the front two windows down theres alot of wind and pressure (compared to my 96 Maxima) but ok with all four windows down. The steering wheel is off to the left a bit and my seat seems to be facing slightly to the left, either way its not straightforward and it makes driving a bit uncomfortable. That last part is my real pet peeve. The circular dashboard is annoying too. Basically the whole interior stinks but I've had it since 52,000 miles (67 now) and no major repairs needed so far, its pretty fast, handles well (except for u-turns) and ok to look at.




Nissan altima 3.5l se review

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)

I purchased my Altima with the intent of it being my daily driver, 60 miles a day. Previously owned an 04 Maxima and loved the 3.5l engine. The Altima had 47,XXX miles when I bought it and 2.5 years later has 81,XXX miles. It is the A4 model with all leather interior. I change the oil every 4000 miles, rotate the tires and keep it in great shape. The engine is great, very good power to pass traffic or easily accelerate onto a freeway. The engine still runs beautifully; the car handles great; the interior leather looks awesome for 81K miles (though I do take great care of it). My only complaint in 2.5 years is that my 6- disc CD player just gave out.




Somewhat disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)

I've driven this car for 2 years. Plenty of power, very pretty car to look at from outside, feels pretty plush inside. Corners well. But unfortunately I have had a spat of maintenance problems. I've had to go to the service 4 times in the last 6 months, for a total of $2500, for various things the car computer reports. Had to replace the A/C compressor at 80K and 4 years of age, but that seems too soon. I was faithful to Nissan having had a new Sentra for 10 years, a used Maxima for 7, both performed well and required minor maintenance. But this last one has left sour taste, and I will now try another brand. I think the 3.5 motor in Altima frame is part of problem.




Great value

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)

I bought mine used off of a corporate lease w/ 40k mi. Just clicked over 100k. The brake pads were replaced at ~65k, and it now needs new struts. If you're looking used, look for the 3.5L V6 and the 17" factory wheels. The 2.5L has good performance and fuel economy, but the 3.5 is a much better design and build quality. Fuel mileage is only 1-2mpg down from the 4 cyl. 17" wheels have larger brake pads that handle heat better and don't warp. Only downside is pricey tires. Still looks sharp and rides great, and I can tow a small trailer (PWC, and a flatbed for motorcycles/ Home Depot trips) with no problems. Much better than the Accord I traded in in every way... haven't looked back!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Beware the catalytic converter

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)

Originally car was great-looking and drove beautifully. Last year started to drive rough and didn't pass emissions. Had to pay $1200 to replace 4 valve cover gaskets. Was driving on major interstate at 60 MPH in the fast lane and the car suddenly stopped dead. Scariest moment of my life. The dealer is saying pay $1300 for catalytic converter. This apparently a HUGE problem with Nissan Altimas. Get yours checked before the 8 yr. 80,000 mandatory replacement expires, because Nissan won't replace if you are at 80,001. Disappointing at best and no longer have confidence in car.




Altima's look "fine"

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5M)

I bought this used at 61,000 miles and I love the look of my loaded Altima. It's an SE so it's great on corners and holding the road. The car looks great! However, It has draw backs with ride and mechanicals. I had a clunking under the hood and I tried to find anything that would make the same noise when I went down the road. I found so much plastic that rattled. Thought for sure I'd cure it. But no. It ended up being the strut. Now, 10,000 miles later the left strut is clunking. I also had the brake pedal stick during the winter and the brake lights stayed on and I was stranded with a dead battery. The car is all show. Not a car for a non-mechanical person.



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

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs