Used 2003 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Toyota Rav4 - Consumer Reviews

2003 Toyota RAV4

Average Consumer Rating

146 Total Reviews

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DISAPPOINTED
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mechanic46
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I bought this Rav4, AWD about 10 months ago. It is great to drive, ride and handling are good for it's size, power could use lot of help, and the economy has yet to break 25 MPG-it has dropped since we bought it, it is now down to 19 to 21 MPG. I removed the PCM and sent it to a repair facility to get the transmission problem corrected before it actually failed. The man who is repairing is said that the poor economy could be part of the PCM failing, even thought the transmission area had not failed yet. The outcome of this repair will be the deciding factor whether I keep this car or not.


Favorite Features

Radio is C/D & Cassette and easy to use, I like the AWD, good brakes and handling, good ground clearance & sets high enough to make ingress and egress easy. I like the sideways opening rear cargo door. I like that it has a higher profile tire which makes for a better ride and less chance of damage to a wheel if it hits something on the road. A/C and heat are very good.


Suggested Improvements

Needs more power & economy. I had a 2000 Buick Century with a 3100 V6 which weighed more and had 2 to 3 times the acceleration of the Rav4, but got 20 to 25 MPG in identical driving. The steering wheel is too far forward if you drive with the seat all the way back. The dome light is located such that if it is turned on, the driver cannot see anything to the right of the center of the windshield--needs a double light that is directional and can be used for either passenger or driver without both being on. Needs a glove-box & console box light.


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ECM /Transmission Problem
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By abamabam1
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I rarely write reviews online but I want to share my experience with this vehicle...My RAV4 is in excellent condition until I hit 89K on my 2003 RAV 4 last month when it's started jerking on shifting. I'm 3 months passed out of extended warranty as per TOYOTA 10 YEARS/150,000 miles. I took mycar to the dealer but told me I need to pay $$$$ for the diagnostic and repairs because of out of warranty...Even calling TOYOTA Customer Relation is still no help..This is my last TOYOTA ever...You lost one loyal customer...I traded my RAV4 for a 2013 Honda Accord...


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Great car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By beanbear1
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I have had this car since 2003...it is manual shift though. It is peppy and I can fit both my kids in it and all of our junk. It is reliable and I have no concerns whatsoever. The only issue I have had is had to replace the breaks. Love the car so much that we looked this year to replace our mini-van with something more efficient and considered another RAV-4 (ended up going with the corolla after really thinking do we need two mini-SUVs????)


Favorite Features

All wheel drive!!


Suggested Improvements

None really.


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Transmission Problems...don't buy!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lmarie0211
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I bought my Rav4 new in 2003. It now has 156,000 miles on it, and the transmission needs replaced. I discovered the problem after trying to merge into traffic with sluggish acceleration. After researching online and reading other reviews on here, these problems are due to a faulty ECM. Toyota extended the warranty to 20 years or 150,000 miles. Of course, my car is 6000 miles over the warranty. Now we're stuck with a $5000 repair. Sure, I drove my car for 156,000 miles, but Toyota built their reputation on reliability. I expected to drive this car another 50,000 miles. Don't trust Toyota. Their only concern is their bottom line, not the safety of their customer.


Favorite Features

It used to be the reliability...no problems until yesterday.


Suggested Improvements

Toyota should recall ECMs in all affected Rav4s free of charge.


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Good car; not for family
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 1999camry
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I drive a 99 Camry and love it, so when we has our first child and my wife needed a vehicle to replace her 94 accord coupe we went with Toyota. The RAV (sprt pkg)is sharp looking. We now have two kids, and it has become very cramped. We have had the car for a little over a year now and have had the ck eng light on for most of that time due to a failing cat converter, though we've not had any trouble yet. We also had to replace the main computer because it was causing the tran to slip- Toyota covered this pricey repair at no cost to us (thank you!), despite the fact that we are not the original owner and it is outside the orig warranty.


Favorite Features

Awd is fantastic in north/central Ohio winters. Sharp looks. Tumble/pop out seats. Sharp turning radius.


Suggested Improvements

Noisy & rough ride. Distance between 1st & 2nd Rows is too tight to Comfortably accommodate kids car seats (don't car designers have kids?), I think newer models have increased in size. Fuel mileage is less than desirable, esp in a small vehicle (about 19 mpg). Generally a good car for a couple, but I don't recommend for a growing family.


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