2003 Murano

Consumer Reviews

2003 Nissan Murano

$2,230 - $7,978  MSRP Range
2003 Nissan Murano

Review Score

3.8 out of 5 stars

3.8

35 Reviews
63% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.5 out of 5 stars Comfort
3.5 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
3.5 out of 5 stars Reliability
4 out of 5 stars Performance
4.5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 35 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Smooth Ride

by Murano Love from Horsham, PA on Thu Feb 11 2010

I've had my '03 Murano for almost 7 years now, and I love it! If you're looking for an SUV that drives more like a car than a truck, this is the one for you. The styling both inside and out are great. The interior has nice brushed metal finishes, and provides a comfortable ride (especially with lumbar support). The back seats are roomy enough for three adults, but could be a bit cramped for anyone over 6ft tall. We have a toddler, who rides in a car seat, and getting him in and out is easy.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

34 out of 34 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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1 out of 5 stars

CVT transmission/Transfercase/ Gas pump

by bg from New Jersey on Sun Sep 08 2013

I have a 2003 Murano 140,000 miles I have replaced my transfer case three years ago called Nissan for help and got no where with them I had to pay out of pocket $3ooo. Two months after that I have to replace the catalitc converter another big job. Now a month ago I had to replace the gas pump again another big expensive job. But my real problem is my transmission the problem started last summer where after driving the car for about 20 to 30 min and then get into traffic the car starts to hesitate when pressing on the gas I took the car to the dealer w/ no help they told me I had to bring the car when it was happening and this problem doesn't happen all the time. So finally I take it again and they tell me I need a new transmission. I have been doing research and found out that there was a extension on the warranty that I did not know about and was never told by Nissan. I call Nissan North America for help again and they refuse to help in any way even if you didn't know about the extension they just do not care!! This is a very dangerous and scary problem esp when merging from highway to highway. I am extremely disappointed with Nissan they do not care about the safety of there customers they know of this problem and don't do anything about it I guess several thousand people have to die before they really care. I vow to never buy another Nissan and will never recommend anyone to buy a Nissan!!!

3 out of 5 starsComfort
1 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
1 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does not recommend this car!!

23 out of 23 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Nice and quick!

by Sporter from Portland on Mon Feb 23 2009

I have 2003 2WD LE with 131k mmiles no problems! This SUV is blast with V6 250hp and costantly getting 25mpg+ on hwy! The only downside is that you wont buy Murano for towing or serious off-road stress, becasue hi-tec silky smooth CVT transmission wont last if you do. So all these people who use it as a truck with AWD manually ON and than face transmission repair bill (and following heart attack) got what they paid for. It is straight HWY/City SUV, just STAY AWAY from any Mud/beach/Deep snow driving, no heavy trailers, and it will run forever!!! :) I LOVE IT!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Overall Good Car

by Botetourt1981 from Washington, DC on Fri May 22 2009

I've had my 2003 SL AWD for more than five years now. I wish Nissan had done a lot more engineering on this CVT; sometimes I get very smooth acceleration, and sometimes it doesn't give me any get-up-and-go from a standing start. Apparently the '09 models have a much better tranny. It's still fast, though; the drivetrain has 112k on it and probably has become faster as it's broken in. It runs rather poorly on cold mornings for a few miles, then gets up to snuff. I get 26-28 miles per gallon on the highway. I wish the interior had less cheap plastic. I should have sprung for the leather, nav system and sunroof as that would have spruced things up quite a bit. The factory stereo cannot be upgraded to an aftermarket system easily as the HVAC unit sits right behind the interface, and it also eats CDs. The CD player hasn't worked for two years now. However, the speakers sound way better than any factory speakers should. Great bass, treble, and overall crisp sound. The door harness/lock actuator assembly needs to be replaced as the car "chirps" every now and then (common on this car). The rear seats are not the best for long drives. I've always loved the exterior styling. I got the very popular "sunlit copper" paint, which has held up very well. A few days ago, a co-worker asked me how the car drove, because he thought it was brand new.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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2 out of 5 stars

Not happy at 100K miles

by webspecwriter from Boston, MA on Mon Jan 12 2009

We seem to be having trouble with our transmission for the 2nd time. Car dies with no warning, or "lurches" when being driven. Not sure if it is a fuel injection problem or transmission problem, and our trusted garage can't service it because of the CVT transmission - can't even hook it up to any diagnostic machines. They told us at about 100K miles, the car has all sorts of problems and that has proved true. We are ready to get rid of it. Also the radio, which was preconfigured for satellite radio, can't get our local NPR station (just static!). Dealer found "no problem" with the radio. Already had several thousand $ of repairs, ready to turn it in for a Toyota!

2 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car!!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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3 out of 5 stars

Towing away my 2003 Murano

by UsedtobeaNissanlover from Reno, Nevada on Wed Jan 04 2017

I loved my 2003 Murano. Even when the transmission went out at 83K miles and was replaced under warranty. Then I noticed a definite exhaust smell coming up from the "closed" exhaust system; $3000 quoted to fix this problem. When the second transmission went out after another 130K miles I opted to sell it to a junk yard. When the transmission is going out the car lurches forward so fast when you touch the accelerator that you can rear-end the car in front of you in traffic. Nissan repair shops can be deadly; the one in Reno that replaced my transmission under warranty cracked the radiator then charged me $400 to replace what they cracked. Nissan does not support the customer. At 213K miles, needing $3000 for a new transmission and $3000 to repair the exhaust system, I have to give up the really nice interior and ride. I am not going to buy another Nissan, after owning 5, because of how Nissan treated me.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
2 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Having fun

Does not recommend this car!!

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Murano - decent car

by 4PawsHacienda from Greensboro, NC on Tue May 05 2009

Good solid car, nothing fantastic. Good visibility, great headlights, brakes better than average. Handles mediocre but you didn't buy it because it's a sports car. Car handles snow quite well. Very reliable. Might be the most unassuming and best vehicle I've owned.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Good car; Nissan terrible service

by Disappointed from Prescott Arizona on Sun Feb 18 2007

My husband and i bought this car as a compromise between good gas milage and spacious comfort. We have owned it since 2004, used. We love the style and comfort, especially the heated seats, we own the premium package with leather and Bose sound system. We have had many mechanical problems, mostly leaks, engine, transmission and front axle (twice) and differential , all covered under waurentee, yet still an inconvenience. The premium Bose CD player broke after two years of light use and I went all the way to Nissan management to see if they could make a satisfied customer of me, to no avail. Even though the premium Bose CD player was on the sticker for the price of $1600. I am surprised that Nissan would not stand behind a product that they endorse. The memory seat option broke. Then there is the terrible design feature of the transmission cooling vent, that you can see from the outside of the car, beneath the front bumper. Although one of the reasons we bought this car was because we needed good clearance (because we live in mountains), we weren't aware of this inconvenient feature that cut the clearance of this otherwise high riding vehicle, by about 6"- 8". I have "bottomed out" on high flood curbs, many times, and thusly pushed the vent scoop into my transmission pan, etc. causing $200 - $300 twice now. What a thoughtless inconvenient design for the customer. Other than that, we have only gotten 20.9 miles to a gallon twice in 3 years, when we were on a highway trip and we have taken the same highway trip about 15 times. We usually get 17 miles in town and 18 - 20 miles if we do combined in town and highway miles.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
2 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does not recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Murano NO AWD

by B.Warton from POrtland on Fri Feb 20 2009

FWD Murano is outstanding SUV in its class and beyond, 7.5 sec 0-60 and 25mpg on hwy, who else can do that? Where else you see transmission that never hunts for gears because it never had any gears? Where in its class you see standard dual zone climat control? Power Adjustable pedals height? Now, downside... AWD version as bad as you can imagine! First, it works only sometimes and always off on over 18mph. There is no Central differential, no therefore any use of AWD on dry (or say mixed) pavement leads to huge repair bill of transfer case ($3800) and possible transmission replacement! So stay away from AWD and you will be OK. If AWD must, get Subaru, period

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Most reliable car I've ever owned

by LoveMuranos from Tampa, Florida on Tue Apr 09 2013

My 2003 Murano, Special Edition, is very comfortable and fast. I've been driving the car for a month. Love it.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2003 Nissan Murano

Were George Jetson to buy a human transporter that touched the ground, the message from the dealership, upon delivery, would go something like this:

"Mr. Jetson, your SL AWD with Xtronic CVT, ABS, and Altima DNA with a dose of a 350 Z powerplant awaits your pickup. It is named Murano."

Yes, the Nissan Murano for 2003 is a car George Jetson would love. In it, he could carry in comfort not only his wife, Jane, daughter, Judy, his boy, Elroy, and their dog, Astro, but also Rosie, the household robot.

Nissan, a company on the ropes just a few years ago, has come back to center ring the way Ali rebounded in Zaire in 1974, reenergized with muscle and an edge. As always, the car maker continues to... Read More