2003 Nissan Sentra User Reviews

2003 Nissan Sentra Review Ratings

  • Rank your car

Average Ratings from 39 reviews

  • Performance:4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars 4 / 5
  • Appearance:4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars4.1 out of 5 stars 4.1 / 5
  • Build Quality:4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars 4 / 5
  • Overall: 4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars4.3 out of 5 stars 4.3 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 19 reviews
"power" 17 reviews
"fuel economy" 14 reviews
"speed" 13 reviews
"handling" 7 reviews
CONS
"power" 7 reviews
"fuel economy" 4 reviews
"build quality" 4 reviews
"oil" 2 reviews
"expensive car" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 11 - 20 of 39 2003 Nissan Sentra reviews.

writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Great inexpensive sporty first car.

Cons

moonroof and camshaft/crankshaft sensors aren't cheap to repair.

25

If You're Looking A Fun Car And Don't Want To Look Like All The Other Civic Si Drivers Out There. — Good first car to have fun with. Limits are high enough that you don't get bored easily. Had some issues with sensors and the moonroof but otherwise okay. Really like the appearance of the 2003 more than the later years, just wish I could find someone to trade me their newer tail lamps.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

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2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Awsome Power and Torque right out the box, Six Speeds with a limited slip

Cons

Oil Consumption, a definite first for anyone is to get rid of the precat that usually is the death of this vehicle

85

03 Nissan Se-r Spec-v — Awesome car for the money, out powered by the new 07+ Civic SI's and even SRT-4s but when you put it up on the line with them it can haul ass, it's helical limited slip gets you off the line quick, with the torque putting the power to the wheels throughout the entire power-band it's one place where this car prevails, with 175hp and 185tq stock your right foot is really attached to a smile every time you hit the road, and shifting through the 6 speed gear box, don't be surprised if you chirp out 4th gear to emerge victorious amongst those SIs and SRT-4s

Primary Use: Commuting to work

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
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Pros

Fun to drive, fast

Cons

None

25

Sentra — I love my Sentra. Rick drives it now, but he loves it too. It has great pickup and is very quick. Only car I have ever gotten caught speeding in. Fun to drive and very sporty looking. Handles very well.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
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Pros

This car rocks

Cons

the rear axle

25

Noting To Say — too much to say on the car it has a qR20de motor 6 speed transmission, lsd, new paint new bodykit new wheels a lot of aftermaket parts are on the car so it looks noting like it used to in other words

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Acceleration, torque output, excellent handling, appearance, interior and exterior styling, suspension, RF sound-system.

Cons

FWD Torque steer, turning radius, sports-car ride quality.

105

Absolute Biggest Bang For The Buck! — I purchased my 2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V in November of 2007. The car overall is very fun to drive- it's definitely as much as a pleasure to look at, as it is to drive. 1. Interior The interior of the car is well-designed. It has several storage compartments which are handy for anything you need to store, although the center console could have been larger. My only complaint is the location of the cup holders, like the former Sentra/200SX. They don't support large drinks easily, and the height of the cup interferes with the HVAC controls as well as when shifting the 6 speed transmission. I usually never take drinks anyway, but it could have been placed better. However, to redeem the front cup holders, there is a convenient cup holder designed for rear passengers in which folds shut to provide more room. I also love how there are numerous ways to control the windshield wiper speed, which is convenient from very light rain to very heavy rain. The interior lighting is very sufficient in which there are two small, but very bright light sources directly above the front driver and passenger seats in addition to the typical dome light. The optional sunroof has a checkered tint to block out the sun when you have the shade pulled back, and the sunroof is also easy to control. It can be distracting if you operate it when driving, due to the roof-mounted control. I also find the rotary HVAC controls as very easy to use. The charcoal-schemed interior overall, while nicely designed with excellent fit and finish, has it's quirks- a few itchy rattles. Just don't expect Infiniti or BMW sound deadening or build quality for a car that was loaded at $20,000 new. Especially one with a performance engine, transmission, and suspension. Just turn up the amazing 300 Watt Rockford Fosgate sound-system. Interior Materials. The side armrests seem to dull a bit where the window controls are, but all the other plastics seem to wear well. Everything looks amazing though, including the dash, gauges, seats, shift knob, "SE-R" logo floor mats, pedals, and the sporty leather steering wheel which not only gives a firm and comfortable grip, but also an up-scaled feeling. The seat design and silver mesh material are also very stylish, and are bolstered well to provide support in quick turns. 2. Exterior Not much to say, except that it looks amazing. I love the 2002 and 2003 "Skyline inspired" front fascias. The beauty of the exterior is enhanced by an attractive rear spoiler, mesh-style grilles, 17 inch alloy rims, and several defining "SE-R" and "Spec V" logos. The engine bay is clean, and the QR25 wears an attractive engine cover. Good exterior build-quality overall- it is a Nissan. 3. Performance The car drives and handles very agile for a front-wheel drive, and the SE-R Spec V is all about performance. It accelerates very easily up steep hills, and gives V6's a run for their money; you can thank an engineering term called torque. This also results in sufficient passing power in pretty much any gear. However, 180 ft lbs. of torque results in moderate FWD torque steer when launching. Just get a firm grip on the steering wheel. The 2.5L inline 4 cylinder engine has a healthy exhaust note, especially when the CVTC kicks in and alters the cam timing. It has excellent, nicely-weighted steering and handling, especially when cornering; it rides like it's on rails and almost completely refuses to understeer. The Helical Limited Slip Differential helps the front wheels paw the car around corners. The addition of a thick rear sway bar will exemplify neutral handling. The 6 speed manual transmission is exceptional. It feels a bit plasticky, but shifts smooth. Reverse can be a pain at times as it feels like it won't engage, and the pre '04 models also lack the reverse lockout mechanism, so careful downshifting into 6th gear is required to prevent bouncing off the reverse gear. The clutch is also easy to operate. Braking is strong, with disc brakes on all four wheels. My car is equipped with ABS, which I believe was strangely optional. Mixed city and highway driving results in good gas mileage, which is around 27 MPG on premium fuel. Strictly city driving results in a lower 23 to 24 MPG, and my car is never driven on the highway long enough to determine highway fuel economy. My Spec V really hasn't spent much time in the shop either: The rear axle hubs and bearings went out at 50k and needed replaced. Other than that, just oil changes and regular maintainence. 4. Recalls There are some issues that Nissan has addressed with the engine that can cause people some costly problems. Loose screws in the intake manifold can be sucked up when the butterfly vales open up around 4000 RPM's. Also, the precat in the header can become too hot and the ceramic coating can possibly break, resulting with backpressure sucking these particles into the cylinder walls of the engine. There are also other miscellaneous issues. I do not worry about these issues though, as there are ways to fix them. Replacing the stock header for a catless one will eliminate precat problem, and the main cat still filters pollutants to keep the car more enviornmentally friendly. You can also tear apart the head and apply loctite to the screws in the intake manifold to keep these screws from becoming ingested in the engine. Most issues are addressed and discussed either at www.nissanforums.com or www.SpecVForum.com. There you can read other peoples opinions about the cars reliability and the car in general. Overall. Overall the car has been very well-designed, and has a great balance of looks and thrills. It has good performance to back up good looks. The sporty curves are easy on the eyes, and the power and handling prowess can be something to boast in the sport compact segment. I would definitely recommend this car to someone who wants to get away from the ordinary, and go with something sporty, fun, and efficient. Mods Stromung exhaust, DC Sports 4-1 ceramic header, Nismo CAI, Nismo high-pressure radiator cap, Stillen strut bar, lowering springs, sticky Enduro Runway tires (215/45), 20% black tint, GM 3" Onstar Antenna, Billet Grilles, chrome Nissan license plate and frame, black leather Nismo shiftknob, Redline Goods black leather shiftboot, armrest covers, and ebrake cover with red stitching, custom-fitted seat covers from IGGEE, JVC stereo head unit, MTX rear coaxial speakers, AC Autotechnic white-faced gauges. More to come!

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Hell of a ride to start with.

Cons

Build Quality could be better

25

Perfect For Students With Car Interest And Avg Budget. — Love the pull in 2nd and 3rd. Love the ability of Wheelspinning in 3rd. (still new) Love that theres a 6th gear. Love the speedometer. Love the Front Skylinish Look. Love the low profile 17"s. New Engine required at 60,000 km

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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Great Sound!  Good Power!  LSD!  4 wheel disc brakes

Cons

Pre Cat failure

25

Great Buy — Great car for the money. Good power, but add a header before you have pre cat failure. Easy to fix. Great looks...In fact I like it's looks better than the newer models. Very fun to drive. I love the LSD!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Very fun car to drive, handles well

Cons

Highly unreliable, be ready to pay immense repair bills

45

Only If You Are Desperate For A Fun 6 Speed... — Terrible build quality. Needs repairs often. Absolute blast to drive through corners, having an LSD and a lightweight body allows it to keep up with much faster cars in the twisties. Gear ratio is short, transmission is terrible. Engine is very torquey for a 4 cylinder Japanese car. Junky interior, looks alright from the outside.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Fun to drive, quick, good on gas

Cons

Cheap feel to the interior, issues from the factory that could potentially kill the car.

35

Good Car That Is Surprisingly Quick. Just Don't Expect That Much From The Interior. — The '03 Sentra SE-R is a good little car. The exterior styling has an aggressive look, but the interior is essentially the same rental car feel of the normal Sentra. There is too much hard plastic in the interior, and there are some minor squeaks that come from the dome light and the occasional rattle in the doors from excess bass in the stereo. As far as mechanicals are concerned, the car has been very reliable, with the only real problem I have had being a leaky A/C hose. There is a big issue that I was able to take care of before any problems arose. The stock exhaust header has a catalytic converter built in, and the catalyst substrate material tends to break up and can get sucked back into the motor. An after-market header takes care of this problem. In it's stock form, the SE-R is pretty quick, and is fun to toss around on the back roads. With my added header and catback exhaust, however, there is some real power to the car. The gas mileage is fairly decent, I average about 23 MPG driving on mostly back roads. Overall, this is a fun little car, and despite some interior quality issues, is well worth looking at. Just make sure to get rid of the stock header and the pre-catalyst of death.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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writes:
2003 Nissan Sentra GXE Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Family

Cons

the radio

45

First Car I Bought — I like this car it handles and it has treated me good since I got it. handles good not much cost to up keep The appearance of my car is fine Yes I like to drive it thank you very much

Primary Use: Family transportation

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 11 - 20 of 39 2003 Nissan Sentra reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2014 Nissan Sentra Reviews

Not A Bad Family Vehicle Has Some Potential With A Few Mods. By Dan

I love the look and feel of the new sentra, the gas mileage is plus the surplus of trunk space is awesome and all around it has a comfortable feel to it, the thing i dislike most is that there is basi... Read More

Beautiful Car And Rides Great By thepuregame24

I have already stated above what I like about this car, but on my model I have bose. It sounds great if you like base it could use a subwoofer other than that very loud. Havn't really used the navigat... Read More

Read all 2014 Nissan Sentra reviews

2013 Nissan Sentra Reviews

The Amazing Sentra By Gerardo

Good braking,ok acceleration,nice design,nice interior,good leg room,good cost of maintenance.I get 33 mpg in city and 40 with eco.It is a fun car to drive.Good commuter.It is a very nice deal for... Read More

The Best Nissan Sentra So Far By voltagefuel

1 year Update 2/28/14 - after 1 year I still love the Sentra and have recorded 46.5 MPG average on a long 3.5 hour trip in the early fall last year using 87 octane gas. I wish Nissan would replace th... Read More

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2012 Nissan Sentra Reviews

Nice Overall Transportation. Nice Styling. By radiod

I like the simplicity of the cab. It is not over wrought with bells and whistles and it serves the purpose of comfortable and safe transportation. The exterior design is very sporty and good to look... Read More

Love The Look, And The Roomy Interior. By wvanpatten

Very nice car, love the pearl white color and the look of the interior design. Handles great, very low miles, and has everything you need. Fun car to drive, also the 4 doors is nice for the kiddos. Wo... Read More

Read all 11 2012 Nissan Sentra reviews

2011 Nissan Sentra Reviews

Great Bang For The Buck By aaautoindy

It is probably one of my first choices for a 1st car driver that is looking for reliability and easy and safe to drive. I would say the 2.0s is kind of a car for the girls, but easily can go both ways... Read More

Fun, Quiet Ride, Many Journeys By Aaron

I loved this car because of some of the outstanding features it had. The Bluetooth system, iPod adapter and key-fobs for key-less entry and start up were amazing. I love having those features in a veh... Read More

Read all 8 2011 Nissan Sentra reviews

2010 Nissan Sentra Reviews

Sentra Sr By sandra1369

I love my car just bought it four months ago BUT.. sometimes when I dont use it for a day or two it wont turn on. I dislike this so much because my car is great but it gives me problems in starting at... Read More

Sentra 2.0sr Is A Great Car For The Payment By voltagefuel

I leased the Sentra and rolled in some inequity from my previous loan, and still with nothing down my payment was in the mid $200's. Nothing could come close when I made my rounds and did my shopping.... Read More

Read all 8 2010 Nissan Sentra reviews

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