2003 Toyota Sienna Review

Pros & Cons

  • Camry genes, excellent crash-test ratings, refined powertrain, optional stability control system, available side airbags.
  • Dull styling, small size, lacks optimal utility.
List Price Estimate
$1,730 - $2,859

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2003 Toyota Sienna models

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.

2003 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2003 Toyota Sienna.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

King of all minivans-Better than honda, even
shane,01/18/2018
CE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
"Ive owned several minivans in my time, a mercury villager, an Oldsmobile Silhouette and a Chrysler Town and Country. I will say there previous vans listed were all more stylish but the Sienna is hands down the winner when it comes to reliability. I bought the car used and for being 15 years old it runs excellent, for its both quiet and durable. We recently had a huge winter storm with temps plummeting far below zero and my van started up every single time when I had neighbors with newer cars with no such luck! Im amazed at how quiet the engine is for its age, also. The interior/exterior have also held up very well over the years but the one minor issue I have would be the door handles which are prone to break on this particular model. Currently, my passenger side handle is on the verge of coming off and the back drivers sliding door came off altogether and is currently glued on. But that is minor league stuff compared to the major drive train issues I experienced with my previous vans from different brands. As other reviewers have stated, change the oil in this one and use synthetic and you shouldn't have a sludge problem. This van also handles a bit more like an SUV or larger vehicle and not so much like a car. Its fabulous in snow and even did fine with the ice. No complaints. LOVE and I think I shall keep it as long as I can. Def. a Toyota fan for life! I cant name a single car after so many years that has held up so well. If you're looking for quality look no further! Also--one last note, if you are looking for a van from this era I would avoid the Odyssey for transmission issues!
03 Sienna Symphony - great family ride
Roy,02/02/2010
XLE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I've owned Sienna since new, lots of miles and no major problems. The vehicle has been serviced regularly, nothing out of the ordinary or short of expectations. It's not as roomy as our previous Caravan but it has NOT been to the dealer for drive train issues inside of 40k either like the Caravan!
Great history with our Sienna
Tom,11/25/2010
XLE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
We have used this vehicle hard as our kids grew up and it has handled it well. I haven't spent over $1500 in maintenance during the 8 years I have owned it (window motor, back hatch handle, couple of oxygen sensors and a set of struts)
Love the Sienna, Sold the Bimmer!
Teresa,05/30/2007
XLE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
Never thought I'd own a minivan but I needed the space. Test drove tons of them, bought the Sienna and love it! Thought I would keep my '03 BMW 325i wagon but ended up selling it. I enjoy driving this van and it's so plush, not cramped at all like my wagon. Handles surprisingly well for such a big vehicle. If you're having trouble letting go of your car and feel like you're too cool to drive a van, get over it! The Sienna is awesome and fun! Great sound system. JBL speakers rival the Harmon-Kardon in the BMW. Mileage is awfully good, too. Love it, love it!

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 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
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2003 Toyota Sienna

Used 2003 Toyota Sienna Overview

The Used 2003 Toyota Sienna is offered in the following submodels: Sienna Minivan. Available styles include LE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), CE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A), and XLE 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 4A). Pre-owned Toyota Sienna models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 210 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2003 Toyota Sienna comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Toyota Sienna?

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Which used 2003 Toyota Siennas are available in my area?

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Find a used Toyota Sienna for sale - 1 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $23,392.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 1 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,532.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Toyota Sienna?

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.

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