2003 Jeep Wrangler Review

Pros & Cons

  • Cheap, fun to drive, classic styling, go-anywhere capability.
  • Soft top a handful to manipulate, difficult ingress-egress, slow steering.
List Price Range
$12,895 - $14,990

Used Wrangler for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

2003 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Jeep Wrangler.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Old Reliable
Craig Sicknick,08/06/2016
Sport 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M)
I bought this vehicle used, from a friend. It needed all of its basic service done for the mileage as it had been neglected in a salt water environment for four years. After new tires, brakes, tune up and fluid change, I used it for a daily driver. First the bad: It is a soft top and is very noisy at anything above 50mph. It has a harsh ride and has very little storage room inside of the interior. It also gets terrible fuel mileage. Next, the good: The vehicle has had rock solid reliability with very few unscheduled repairs, all of which were minor. The vehicle is also pretty much unstoppable in harsh weather and I have had the opportunity to use it in deep snow, flooding, and hurricane conditions during the time I have owned it. It is also very good in a crash as I was hit hard on the side at highway speeds and walked away with only a bruised shoulder. The vehicle was still operable after the crash and I drove it to the body shop for repairs. It is a niche vehicle and you will either love them or hate them. If you buy one for comfort or mileage, you will be sorely disappointed, If you buy them for tough as nails off roading or for the ultimate in bad weather mobility, you will love it. Update... I installed a factory hard top which has improved the comfort of the vehicle substantially as the highway noise level has been significantly reduced and the climate control now has no issue keeping up in extreme weather. I also installed the stock sized tires and rims which improved drivability and slightly increased fuel mileage. Repairs are starting to. Evonne more frequent, but the old girl now has 120,000 hard miles on the clock.
Not for the faint of heart.
madmanstan,08/11/2012
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.
Great Year for a Wrangler!
Krakenbound,03/07/2010
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!)
Its a Jeep.
Golf007,07/08/2009
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.

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 17 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
190 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
15 city / 17 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
190 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
15 city / 17 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
190 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
16 city / 18 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed manual
Gas
147 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Marginal
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2003 Jeep Wrangler

Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler Overview

The Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler is offered in the following submodels: Wrangler SUV. Available styles include Sport 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M), X 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M), Sahara 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M), SE 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and Rubicon 4WD 2dr Convertible SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport is priced between $14,990 and$14,990 with odometer readings between 65108 and65108 miles.
  • The Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler X is priced between $12,895 and$12,895 with odometer readings between 123706 and123706 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2003 Jeep Wranglers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2003 Jeep Wrangler for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2003 Wranglers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,895 and mileage as low as 65108 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Jeep Wrangler.

Can't find a used 2003 Jeep Wranglers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Jeep Wrangler for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,978.

Find a used Jeep for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,215.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep Wrangler for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,542.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jeep for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,895.

Should I lease or buy a 2003 Jeep Wrangler?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Jeep lease specials
Check out Jeep Wrangler lease specials