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2003 Nissan Maxima

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 562 Ratings for the 2000 - 2003 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10
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best i've had so far

By on Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"The 2001 is nearly identical to the 2000 that I currently own both inside and out. This car has all the amenities of a luxury car. Is almost identical to it's upgrade the Infinity of the same year (which my daughter has) which has a few little extra's in it's interior. Car handles well on the highway, on turns, is comfortable and hit's the back of the legs comfortably. Holds more fuel than it's newer version which means less time at the pump. Fuel expenditure isn't bad for the power this little car has. It accelerates nicely when taken care of. Get the oil changes regularly and keep up with the maintenance and it will last a very long time. I like the 2000 and 2001 better than the newer versions although I haven't yet driven the 2010 or 2011. It does handle better than the 2006 models. I have a 2000 which I am keeping and looking to purchase the 2001 as a second car. I will buy a car cover though because the leather does dry out if the car is always exposed to the sun such as mine is here in FL."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

other than "little things", a very good car

By on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"I owned my 2002 Maxima SE for 3 yrs. and this car was very good to me. My biggest (and perhaps only) complaint was the "Service Engine Soon" light was ALWAYS on! These cars are infamous for this and everyone I met in passing with this same car all had this light on too. The car's performance was not affected though, but try to get an inspection sticker! You'll have to get nailed by a Nissan dealer somwhere to fix the phantom problem that trips this warning light. Still an awesome car though but be warned about this problem before you buy one!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Maxima 2002 6 speed

By on Sunday, April 11, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Great Car!! I've only had 2 problems, the AC/Heater blower went out at 110,000 mi and the sunroof stopped working for no reason. Easey fixes though. I had the back to O2 sensors replaced at 85,000 miles."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Underappreciated wonder

By on Saturday, July 25, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Quick note (more later) the engine change: You'll notice a lot more mechanical complaints from 2002 and 2003 owners. A lot of Maxima afficionados were upset with the 3.5liter engine change in those years, and I'm not sure it's as robust as the old 3.0. I've owned two Maxima's of this generation, and each have easily bested all of the other vehicles I've ever owned (Mazda, Ford, Chevy, Jeep, Buick, and Honda). Much superior to the V6 Accord my Mom bought (whose tranny blew at 90kmi with a 70yo lady driving it). It is not as comfortable as the Accord due to the stiffer suspension and solid rear axle, but it handles worlds better with much greater precision and chassis feedback. You can have your cake and eat it too. Though it's a Z-car in a suit, it also gets really good highway mileage that can top 30mpg with or without air conditioning. Fit and finish as well as overall aesthetic and mechanical design straight embarrass American cars, and the Anniversary Edition looks hot without being gaudy. I've always had a GLE or an SE with all the GLE options and am totally spoiled on heated seats and climate control; the A/C always works...never charged, never fixed. However, I've noticed that the interior leather's thickness is much reduced over that used in the '96 model I had; I see a lot more examples of this gen Maxima with damaged leather. The Bose system is good enough that you won't have much desire for even a trick stereo system. Maintenance is laughably minimal. I'd recommend servicing the transmission regularly, as this seems the only week link in the drive train. On the chassis, the brake hanger design (as with many cars) is weak on both front and rear; always check these parts if you do your own brakes and don't be surprised if they need to be replaced every two sets of pads and rotors. Other than normal wear items, I've only ever replaced accessory equipment (starters, alternators, O2 sensors, etc.), because these cars are almost indestructible. This car has the Z-car engine, detuned and living the easy life; no hard parts ever wear out -- the valve lash is always spot on. They are tanks and can easily go 200kmi+. I can't guarantee that about the 2002 and 2003 models though; I hear about a lot more problems with the 3.5 engine than the 3.0. Unfortunately, "tank" could also accurately describe the handling in snow and ice. I've never had worse handling cars for Winter driving and am still unsure how to fix it. Well, it's not really that it handles poorly, but none of my Maximas could brake worth a darn on slick pavement. The ABS always kicks in ridiculously early and prevents potential stopping power from being realized. That pretty much ruins overall Winter handling. That said, poor slick condition braking is really the ONLY quibble I have with this vehicle. This car is a case study in superior Japanese engineering and production (sorry, my fellow citizens, they just beat us at that). Get one. You'll love it!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Value

By on Saturday, April 04, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I bought a 2000 with 83,000 miles on it for my 16 year old daughter. Was lucky to find it (and be only 2nd owner) and paid a bargain $5000. I swear it handles and has power almost as good as my Lexus ! Was only going to put minimal insurance on it, but now am putting more, because I would be sick if this beautiful car was wrecked...."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Sunday, March 02, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"The Maxima offers a lot of personality for a sedan. I bought mine as it was the only roomy sedan I could find with a manual transmission. It's kind of like getting a Lexus or Infinity without the snob appeal. Grown adult back seat passengers marvel at the amount of legroom and comfortable seats. I'm at about 90,000 miles with only minor issues, including an exhaust repair, new tires, CD player and replaced the alternator. The Bose 6 disc changer is a littly boomy on the bass, weak on vocals, and can skip in cold weather. Some songs sound great, others just good. It's repairable, but not cheap. The dealer can't fix it, go to a custom stereo shop and they can send it out. Handling is amazing, even with so many miles on the original suspension. The SE model handles great without being too harsh on all but the worst roads. The manual transmission makes the car an absolute blast to drive. The motor is unstoppable and smooth. It starts in the coldest Wisconsin mornings. The automatic climate control is very nice, although the heater never blows as hot as my wife's Jetta. I've replaced the OEM Bridgestone Potenzas with a similar but different tire from the Potenza line... The Bridgestone Potenza "Pole Position" gives the car an even firmer, sportier ride. The OEM and my replacement tires are good in all but the deepest snow. It took 8" of fluffy snow over icy packed snow before I got it stuck this winter, and in all fairness, my neighbor with a 4x4 truck was stuck too."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Nice but a guzzler

By on Wednesday, December 12, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

"Nice ride, power, comfort. Horrible gas mileage though and large turning radius"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Bad MPG

By on Thursday, December 06, 2007

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

"Great car. Bought it with salvage title (had been in a bad hail storm) with 59k miles on it. Heated leather, heated steering wheel, all bells and whistles. The biggest negative is the awful MPG. Anywhere from 14-22 MPG...not bad, if I were driving a Suburban. The computer on the dash even lies, it's always 3-4 MPG higher than the real one? I also wish it wasn't such a stiff ride, but the performance is incredible. I guess if you want both, you buy Mercedes or Lexus. I would recommend to anyone, just watch the MPG."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Fast and Comfortable

By on Sunday, September 16, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"Bought this car used, have put over 30,000 miles on it with only one problem - the air flow meter went bad, and was killing the car when i shifted into neutral. with that fixed, i now have no complaints. the car has excellent acceleration (especially with the 5 speed), smooth cornering, a good ride, great interior amenities and layout, acceptable fuel mileage, great styling, and is simply fun to drive. the only thing i would change would be the turning radius - it is HUGE. i recommend this car to anyone who enjoys to drive."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Solid then solid now

By on Wednesday, August 08, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have had this car since the day it first came off the lot. After 160,000 miles it still has the acceleration, the ride, the reliability I was looking for 7 1/2 years ago."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

By on Monday, July 23, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"Very reliable used car for communte to and from work. No issues with mechanics and drives smooth. Great all around car to have."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Friday, August 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 169,250

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Substantial, solid, comfortable and stylish."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Classy car, looked and felt expensive; roomy for driver as well as passengers, especially comfortable on long trips and had all the power you wanted when you wanted...or needed it. Just a really solid car. Of all the cars I've owned or driven, this was by far my favorite."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Reliable and Poweful 4 Door Sports Car

By on Wednesday, January 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 152,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fair Price, Luxurious (GLE Model), Heated Seats"

Cons: "Suspension, Low amp on BOSE, Burns gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The 2000 Nissan Maxima is one of the better cars I've driven in the last 8 years. I'm happy to own one and call it mine. Just use good oil, keep up with maintenance, and you'll have a reliable vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Overall very reliable comfortable ride

By on Monday, August 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Looks great, rides great, very reliable"

Cons: "O2 sensors problems, wide turn circle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Really impressive reliability. Regret not going with the standard or anniversary edition due to wanting a more sporty effect. Only a 3 speed automatic transmission. Sliding sunroof would stain ceiling due to water leak from automated car washes. Overall for 13 years has been problem free except for one O2 sensor servicing required which was paid for with extended warranty."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car.

By on Sunday, May 06, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good car for price."

Cons: "Gas mileage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Only problem in 12 years is a muffler and 1 battery"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good performance, well built, enjoyed this car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very minor repairs over 10 years - mostly normal wear and tear. CD player had intermittent "skipping" issue that was never repaired by dealer."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever owned

By on Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 167,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great handling, good gas mileage, powerful, beauty"

Cons: "Repairs are expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Mine has over 160K miles on it. A fluke occured and damaged the piston rings, I am currently spending more than what the car books at to get the engine rebuilt. Because I love the car and anything else that I could get at the same price as rebuilding my engine would never come close to comparing to the Maxima. I drive a lot, she has never left me stranded, always a great/comfortable ride. Always the power I need when I need it. The styling is beautiful, people ask if I want to sell it. I wish I could afford for my next car to be the same only new. Its all you could ask for in a 4 door sports car."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

This is my favorite vehicle

By on Saturday, October 29, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 229,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Leg room, head room, truck capacity,"

Cons: "Not at the moment"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been a driver for three decades now and this Maxima is by far the best vehicle I have owned. I have owned Toyota, Honda, (several models of each over the years) and my Maxima is by far the most comfortable and ergonomically pleasing vehicle of all of them. I have put nearly 230,000 miles on mine in 10 year and the major problems have been regular oil changes and new tires. The car has been a blessing in a time when every penny counts. I hope to put 400,000 miles on it. When it can't go any further I am going to buy another one just like it(newer model of course). I would be crazy not to."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Good service with strong engine. Minimal repairs.

By on Sunday, October 23, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great to drive. Strong engine and transmission"

Cons: "Catalytic converters. Rust."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"We have had this car since it was new. The vehicle is fun to drive and has been reliable. With 11 salty winters in the Boston area the rust is showing on the rear fenders. At 50,000 miles a catalytic converter was replaced under warranty. Now at 108,000 it needs one again - don't know if it is the same one or the other (car has two). This is a shame as the car runs very well and we wanted to keep it going but this expense plus a rusted out support member under the radiator are driving us to replace it."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Reliable

By on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,038

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price for foreign auto"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have a 2000 maxima and it's still going. Only maintenance issues overall with both, no major work. I bought another Nissan and love my altima coupe as well. Nice looking cars!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and handles great"

Cons: "would like more bells and whistles!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car 2 years old @ 54000 miles from someone who special ordered 5 speed transmission. It has been a joy to drive every time I get in it. Handles like a race car. It will pass most anything on the road and rides smooth. I can't say enough good things about this car. It still looks new inside and out! I am on the road most of the time and have never had any trouble with it. Thinking about selling only because of the mileage, but HATE to part with it."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

smooth and powerful!

By on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"very reliable we have had no major issues just had to replace brakes tires battery and radiator had some seepage so we had that replaced. it averages 19 to 22 mpg city and 27 to 33 hwy.not bad for a 3.5 v6 engine. very good quality leather still like new. just an awesome car!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Nissans flagship

By on Wednesday, January 05, 2011

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I bought my 2003 Maxima brand new. It never had any major problems. Plenty of power, decent gas milage, great sound and good value for the money. The minuses are: The turn radius is very limited compare to older Maximas. For eight years the check engine light came on just once, and went off by itself after a while. The fuel tank cap wasn't tight enough and low fuel coused it. The brakes are very responsive but feels like are too small for that size of car and excessive wear to rotors and pads. The struts are not very good too, and a lot of outside noise while driving freeway with no music. The paint isn,t very good the rear bumper got all scratch in no time. The rest is fine, fun to drive."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Problems

By on Monday, June 21, 2010

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

"This car has constantly had issues with service engine lights, sensors, computer, etc. After doing just five minutes of research by google, I came to see pretty quickly that these issues are VERY common with this car. Not to mention the fact that the 2000 model is the only model that will only run with a 2000 model computer (other model computers are interchangeable with different year model cars). Obviously, Nissan new there was a problem with this model, and instead of doing a recall, just fixed the problem (hopefully for those of you with an '01) the next year."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

still love it

By on Wednesday, April 07, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"2k2 6spd. owned since new. I still love this car. Only 1 problem (radio) in 8+ yrs. Comfortable to drive for any distance. Engine is smooth, smooth, smooth... Just now starting to show its age - a hint of rust on the rear wheel wells but not bad considering I drive in the worst winter conditions in New York state where salt is used like there is no tomorrow."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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