2003 Toyota Sienna Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Toyota Sienna Minivan

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Toyota Sienna Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Toyota Sienna

  • No more exciting than a toaster, but comes close to being the perfect minivan appliance.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Camry genes, excellent crash-test ratings, refined powertrain, optional stability control system, available side airbags.

  • Cons

    Dull styling, small size, lacks optimal utility.

  • What's New for 2003

    The Sienna carries into 2003 virtually unchanged. The right-hand power-sliding door is now available on CE models, as are captain's chairs. A complete redesign is due for 2004.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (28 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great van that keeps on

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Sienna LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

We bought this van at the end of the 2003 model because we liked the interior better than the newer 2004 model that was being sold. We've put 144,000 niles on it and see no reason to buy something new. The repair history has been great. We've used it to transport soccer teams, drywall, furniture and babies. We installed a 2 inch receivr on the rear and use it to tow light trailers on a regular basis.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

8.5 yr. review

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Sienna LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

After 8.5 yrs and 87000 miles the van has been very reliable. apart from regular maintainance, we haven't done anything to it. we did a 3000 mile trip west with 7 people last summer and got 35 mpg. apart from a rust spot on the right door, the van looks new inside out. My wife told me that when we are ready replace it, we will get another Sienna.

Check engine light problems

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Sienna LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Overall I'm happy with our Siennna. It only has 19,000 miles after 6 years, so it doesn't get a lot of use. There's an issue with the check engine light. It goes on and we take it to the dealership and they find nothing wrong. I wouldn't care too much, but the engine detects something wrong with the emission control and because of this, the car fails the state emissions test. We take it to the dealership, they run a smoke test and everything is OK. We go back for the emissions test, we fail, but since we had the car smoke tested, we get a pass for the next couple of years. We also had to replace the front tires. For some unknown reason, they wouldn't hold air.

Major problems again and again

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Sienna LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I've had this van since 50K miles, now has 66K. First at 50K the rear main engine seal needed to be replaced... major job! Now at 66K the engine oil light is on. It will be in the shop for awhile, at minimum will need a new oil pump ($800) and it may need an entire new engine! I really expected much more from Toyota. What good is having the Toyota name if I need to get a different engine?? Very disappointed!

5 yr. review

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Sienna LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

This is my third review on our 03 symphony. After almost 5 yrs and 48000 miles, it has been reliable. We changed the power steering pump in warranty. other than that its been good. Good gas mileage. We have seen some sign of rusting on front passenger door. Please share experiences after 5 yrs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2003 sienna

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Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Sienna LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

We traded our 1995 Camry for a Sienna because we wanted something bigger for my wife and two kids. We liked the Honda Odyssey but the dealers wouldn't bargain. The Sienna body style was changing and we picked up one of the last '03 Symphony models. The car had no problems for 20k except for brake squeal, then the OEM Dunlop tires wore out. At 30k a noise developed in the steering, power door was stuck open, and now at 35k there is an oil leak. The Toyota dealer could not fix the suspension problem after three visits and then said the noise was normal. Overall it has been reliable, but has had more mechanical problems than we expected.

Full 2003 Toyota Sienna Review

What's New for 2003

The Sienna carries into 2003 virtually unchanged. The right-hand power-sliding door is now available on CE models, as are captain's chairs. A complete redesign is due for 2004.


Minivans aren't prestigious. They aren't exciting. But when it comes to maximum versatility and ease of use, you can't beat the ultimate box on wheels. The Toyota Sienna (looking more like a jelly bean, actually) is six model years old and doesn't offer as much utility and functionality as newer competitors, such as the Honda Odyssey or the Kia Sedona. But it's still one of the top choices in the minivan class. With the Sienna, Toyota has placed an emphasis on safety, quality and performance. Furthermore, this minivan has an excellent reputation for reliability, strong predicted resale value and a smooth powertrain.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

There are three trim levels available: the base CE, the midlevel LE and the top-level XLE. All come standard with five doors and seven-passenger seating. The CE is pretty much a budget-priced stripper meant to attract consumers to the dealer lot. Its level of content can be brought up by ordering options, but an easier choice is to go with the popular LE. With this version, you'll get features like power-operated rear-quarter windows, power windows and locks, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio buttons and a full-size spare. For the XLE, Toyota adds on (in addition to the LE's equipment) multiadjustable power front seats, second-row captain's chairs, automatic climate control, a premium sound system, keyless entry and a roof rack.

Major options include a passenger-side power sliding door (the XLE can be had with dual power sliding doors), a towing package with a 3,500-pound capacity, dual air conditioning, heated front seats and side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and upgraded audio systems. Additionally, XLE buyers can get leather seating, a power moonroof and a CD changer. An entertainment system is available, but it comes only with a video cassette player, not DVD. When shopping, note that most of the Sienna's features are available in packages.

Powertrains and Performance

Under the hood is a smooth, powerful and refined 3.0-liter V6 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. This same powertrain setup can also be found in the Toyota Camry. In the Sienna, the engine produces 210 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque.


The Sienna's rigid and lightweight unitized body has performed exceptionally well in government crash tests. Standard safety features include ABS, front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, a low tire-pressure warning system and daytime running lights. Every Sienna can also be ordered with optional side airbags and a stability control system that helps prevent dangerous skids and spins.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sienna was designed to offer optimum interior roominess in a compact, easy-to-maneuver package. The interior has a definite Camry feel to it, and is constructed and trimmed in high-quality materials. Removable modular seating allows for custom configurations to accommodate a variety of cargo requirements. A second-row bench seat or captain's chairs and third-row seats can be folded or removed to accommodate bulkier cargo. The third-row seat also has a 50/50-split-folding and tumble feature for additional cargo space, but it can't match many competitors for overall user-friendliness.

Driving Impressions

The Sienna driving experience is similar to the Camry in that it's pleasantly nonconfrontational. Steering is sure, if not quite nimble. The suspension does a good job of soaking up road imperfections, and wind noise is kept to a minimum. Braking is exceptionally competent. Acceleration from the V6 is more than acceptable for almost all situations, and the cabin is quiet at highway speeds. Overall, Toyota does not make the biggest or most useful minivan, but it does make a reliable, safe, solidly performing and refined alternative to a number of family haulers on the market.

Talk About The 2003 Sienna

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs