2003 Nissan Maxima Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Nissan Maxima Sedan

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Nissan Maxima Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 255 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Nissan Maxima

  • An excellent choice as a well-equipped family sedan or as a cheaper alternative to an entry-level luxury sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Impressively powerful V6 engine, sports car moves, availability of premium features, plenty of room for five adults.

  • Cons

    High price, rough ride quality with SE suspension.

  • What's New for 2003

    Since the Maxima was updated last year and is scheduled for a redesign in 2004, there are no major changes in store for the family sedan in 2003. There's a Titanium Edition package available for the SE and side airbags are now standard on GLEs.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (61 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 12 people found this review helpful

2003 nissan maxima gle

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Maxima GLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I really like this car. It has plenty of power, a roomy, comfortable interior, handles reasonably well, and does well in the snow. I bought this car used in 2006 with ~60k miles. It now has 95k. In that time, besides routine maintenance, I've only had to replace the interior fan assembly which started making an annoying noise shortly after I bought it. It cost approximately $400 to replace. My friend has an Xterra which had a similar problem. The previous owner had taken out the stereo system so I got whatever the dealer put in. I'm not an audiophile, but would say it's got an adequate sound system. My wife's 2006 Toyota 4- runner has a better sounding system.




Decent choice for the price

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Maxima GLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I've had this car for almost 5 years and have driven it to my hearts content. The car has 115k miles, still smooth, strong and a pleasure to drive. The stereo is temperamental and skips once in a while. But when in good mood, the Bose makes you feel like you're in a concert hall. Terrific power and smooth transmission. Good marriage between the engine and the transmission. No problem in the snow. Had problem with brakes, stereo and exhaust systems. Engine light comes out often (gas cap issue). Handling not comparable to German counter parts but good enough to throw around in the corners and have some fun. Suspension is soft, but serene in good road surface. Bumpy on bad surface.




Great car

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Maxima GLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I really enjoy driving this car, my only complaint is the amount of road noise that can be heard in the car.




Positive feedback

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Maxima GLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I purchased my Maxima in 2002 as it was the last year before they changed the style. It has been very easy to drive and I have really enjoyed it. Plus it is several thousand dollars less than its cousin the Infiniti!!




After 37k, update and farewell

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Maxima GLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I loved the car when I first had it, but 3 years later, the bloom is off. Still great, but not the same thrill. It's been fast, fun, reliable, but doesn't wear well both interior or exterior, and I am a fanatic about care. Paint quality is an issue; Sheer Silver looks great, but paint is poor, esp on front bumper and hood. The turning radius is HORRIBLE; 40.5 feet puts it in SUV territory. Car felt porky and didn't excite me even with all it's bells and whistles. I tire of cars easily, but thought I'd have it forever. Traded for an 05 Altima SL. Not that the Max is a bad car; far from it, it just doesn't grow on you. It felt clunky after 37,000 miles; I got bored.




Stolen headlights

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Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Maxima GLE 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)

I Love this car have not had any problems at 35k miles, but my headlights have been stolen twice. If you live in the Northeast do not buy this car, it is a theives delight.



Full 2003 Nissan Maxima Review

What's New for 2003

Since the Maxima was updated last year and is scheduled for a redesign in 2004, there are no major changes in store for the family sedan in 2003. There's a Titanium Edition package available for the SE and side airbags are now standard on GLEs.

Introduction

Since the mid- to late '80s, the Nissan Maxima has been a favorite choice of those who wanted a V6 sedan that offered a lot of bang for the buck in terms of standard features, performance and reliability. Last year, Nissan upped the ante by offering the most powerful and most luxurious Maxima ever. For 2003, this flagship car can be equipped to be anything from a nicely equipped family car to an affordable sport sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Maxima is offered in three trim levels -- base GXE, sporting SE and luxury GLE. There is plenty of standard equipment on the GXE and SE, including cloth seating; a power driver seat; air conditioning; cruise control; HID headlights; power windows, locks and mirrors; a CD player; Homelink and a trip computer with an outside temperature display. The main difference between the two is on the outside, with the SE having 17-inch wheels and tires (the GXE has 16s), front foglights and a rear spoiler. The SE also has a sport-tuned suspension that includes firmer springs and shocks and a larger front stabilizer bar. Want to be pampered? Go with the GLE and enjoy its leather seating, premium audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, power front passenger seat, driver-seat memory system, automatic climate control and 17-inch wheels and tires. In terms of optional equipment, the GLE and SE can be ordered with a power sunroof; a Meridian package that includes heated front seats, steering wheel and outside mirrors; a traction control system and a CD-based navigation system. There are also a couple option packages that allow an SE to be equipped similarly to a GLE.

Powertrains and Performance

Last year, the Maxima received a new 3.5-liter V6 engine. Very similar to the V6 engine found in the Altima and Pathfinder, as well as Infiniti I35 and G35, this advanced power plant produces 255 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque. For the money, this is one of the most powerful sedans you can buy. A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is standard on SE models. The six-speed can also be ordered with a helical-type limited-slip front differential. Remaining models come equipped with a standard four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (optional on SE). In terms of acceleration, a manual-equipped SE can launch from 0-to-60 mph in just 6.3 seconds.

Safety

Along with dual-stage front airbags, the Maxima comes standard with ABS-equipped brakes with BrakeAssist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution; active head restraints; ALR/ELR seatbelts and child-seat anchor points. GLE cars also come with front side airbags. In government crash testing, the Maxima has earned respectable scores with four stars (out of a possible five) in front- and side-impact tests. The IIHS has given the Maxima an "Acceptable" rating for front-offset crash test results.

Interior Design and Special Features

As sedans go, the Maxima is well appointed with features and amenities. The backseat offers plenty of legroom and headroom, the trunk is big and the front seats are comfortable. The Maxima also features richer interior materials than its in-house competitor, the Altima.

Driving Impressions

Regardless of trim, the Maxima is an entertaining car to drive. The V6 provides plenty of forward thrust. Some people might find the SE to have overly firm ride quality because of the sport-tuned suspension, but it's never harsh. If you have about $30,000 to spend, the Maxima is a great choice as a well-equipped family sedan or as an alternative to an entry-level luxury sedan. If the Maxima no longer fits your budget, you might want to check out the Altima. It offers near identical performance and passenger space for a lower price tag.

Talk About The 2003 Maxima

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs