2003 Jeep Wrangler SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Jeep Wrangler SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Jeep Wrangler Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 190 hp @ 4600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Jeep Wrangler

  • It has a stiff ride, offers about the same noise isolation as a motorcycle and has a soft top that's a nail-buster to operate. That said, the 2003 Jeep Wrangler also offers a visceral motoring experience like no other and the off-road ability of a mountain goat.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Cheap, fun to drive, classic styling, go-anywhere capability.

  • Cons

    Soft top a handful to manipulate, difficult ingress-egress, slow steering.

  • What's New for 2003

    The 2003 Jeep Wrangler gets a new trim level: the Rubicon. All trims have been bestowed with an all-new 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission which is supposed to provide smoother-shifting, better highway fuel efficiency and quieter engine operation at highway speeds compared to the previous three-speed automatic transmission. The SE trim gets a new NV1500 five-speed heavy-duty tranny, which promises to improve shift quality in cold weather, along with a new, more potent 2.4-liter Power Tech inline-four. Available four-wheel disc brakes debut this year, along with a new fold-and-tumble rear seat that can be more easily removed. Finally, the Wrangler's interior has been refurbished for 2003; it gets new front and rear seats, a new electrochromatic rearview mirror with map lights, temperature and compass display (standard on Sahara, optional on Sport and Rubicon trims), and a new four-spoke steering wheel.

Full 2003 Jeep Wrangler Review

What's New for 2003

The 2003 Jeep Wrangler gets a new trim level: the Rubicon. All trims have been bestowed with an all-new 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission which is supposed to provide smoother-shifting, better highway fuel efficiency and quieter engine operation at highway speeds compared to the previous three-speed automatic transmission. The SE trim gets a new NV1500 five-speed heavy-duty tranny, which promises to improve shift quality in cold weather, along with a new, more potent 2.4-liter Power Tech inline-four. Available four-wheel disc brakes debut this year, along with a new fold-and-tumble rear seat that can be more easily removed. Finally, the Wrangler's interior has been refurbished for 2003; it gets new front and rear seats, a new electrochromatic rearview mirror with map lights, temperature and compass display (standard on Sahara, optional on Sport and Rubicon trims), and a new four-spoke steering wheel.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not for the faint of

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler X 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)

If you plan on driving on the road all the time and you are very young, maybe this vehicl will do, but it has average gas mileage to be expected from an american SUV and its a rough ride in town. That said if you have time to actually use your jeep for offroading and trail running the jeep wrangler is excellent. I cant imagine trying to take a scion up some of the places I have gone in this jeep, and the soft top and removeable doors are always off. Great to drive at night in the summer here and the improved coilspring suspension is a step up from the older leafspring. Still stiff though, so like I say, its not for the faint of heart.




Jeep 2003 is an awesome

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)

I'm living in Alaska. Life is good in a Jeep. This vehicle has a soft top which makes it the perfect Alaskan convertible. I have had it for about 4 years now and have great experiences. Never stuck in the snow, never miss the sun, and it even tows my little trailer.




Great year for a wrangler!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler X 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)

If you are looking for a used Wrangler to use as both a daily driver and a weekend trail runner, the 2003 year is a very good choice. This year saw the intro of the new 4 speed automatic transmission, making freeway driving easier. It had already seen a engine upgrade in 2001, and also now has the option for rear disk brakes (faster stopping, better feel and much easier to repair). Aside from the later Unlimited body extension option and the Rubicon off road package that became available in 2004 (and together in 2005), there is no better Wrangler to consider than a 2003 (Unless you want a fat/wide 2007+, which can't get though some desert canyons I wheel in!)



4 of 20 people found this review helpful

Careful buying a jeep they

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)

I have wanted a Jeep Wrangler for a long time. Finally bought a used 2003 and after driving for approximately 20,000 miles I am now experiencing the "Death Wobble" If you haven't had this happen with your Jeep you will!!! No real cure from what I am reading. Have to say I would not recommend buying a Jeep to anyone. Trying to fix the” Death Wobble” in my Jeep so I can sale the rig.




Its a jeep.

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)

Purchased the car new, and have used it primarily as a toy. It has been very reliable and has not required anything but normal maintenance. This is a great car for weekends and vacations, but I would not recommend it for everyday use. It is also great in poor weather conditions. The ride is not super comfortable, but that is expected for the type of vehicle. The hard-top is difficult to negotiate, and it becomes an ordeal to remove each season. The exterior metal is thin and dents easily, and the car burns gas at an alarming rate. I replaced the air filter with K and N, and that improved mileage about 2 MPG. All that said, I still love my Jeep.




It's a jeep thing!!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)

In 1979 I purchased a '78 CJ5. I also purchased a 1944 willy that same year. I wish I still had both. My latest is a n '03 sport 4wd. I am still a jeepie at heart. I wish more of the jeepies' knew about the "jeep wave". Happy Jeeping!!



Talk About The 2003 Wrangler

2003 Jeep Wrangler Discussions See all Started By

brent51
brent51
12-03-2014
2003 Wrangler with automatic trans, full console/arm rest/glove box. The speaker in the console that faces driver's side has blown and needs replacement. Have been able to partially remove the console...


mac24
mac24
06-20-2009
Are there any modifications that can be done to an older jeep wrangler (2003 to 2006) models that would increase towing to 5,000#?...


wwaldron
wwaldron
02-27-2008
I am having a problem with my wrangler 2003 my dash and tailights are out every other light works great bought a headlight switch and put it in and nothing.....



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 17
  • highway
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