2003 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Review: DISAPPOINTED

2003 Toyota RAV4 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

147 Total Reviews

Base 4dr SUV (2.0L 4-cyl. AWD 4-speed Automatic)

Select a different vehicle  
Recently Viewed
There are no recently viewed vehicles to display
Build Quality
Reliability Value
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
By mechanic46 on


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


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.

Best 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.

Worst Features

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.
Recommend (5) (2)
Report it
Comments (1) Post a Comment
By mechado
on 09/16/14 19:27 PM (PDT)

Hi Mechanic 46, I'm considering buying a 2003 RAV4 w/ 153,000 miles from a dealer. The carfax from dealer shows that it had only 1 owner/lessee and looks good on paper. It has 3,000 miles or 3 months warranty on the engine and transmission. I would appreciate if you would let me know the outcome of the PCM repair, which might factor whether I would purchase it or not. Perhaps I could have the dealer repair the PCM? If you don't mind my asking, considering PCM and all, would you consider buying this car for less than $7,000? Thanks for any advice! PS. I know practically nothing about cars. BTW, my e-mail is johndetorre@yahoo.com. Thanks again!

Report it
Post a Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment.


Nearby Inventory Zip Code UPDATE
Price Drop Alert

We found that have recently dropped in price. Sign up to see this price drop and to receive future price drop notifications.