2003 RAV4

Consumer Reviews
2003 Toyota RAV4

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Reviews Summary

4.4 out of 5 stars

4.4

38 Reviews
2003 Toyota RAV4
4.3 out of 5 starsComfort
4.1 out of 5 starsPerformance
4.6 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4.2 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4.6 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4.4 out of 5 starsReliability
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All Reviews

1 - 10 of 38 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

ECM Advice

by Tennessean gal from Smyrna, SC on November 15, 2014

I bought my 2003 Rav4 in 2005 with 25K on it (automatic transmission). I now have 180K on it. About a month ago, it started intermittently acting weird when shifting through the lower gears. Last week the check engine light came on. Did some research, found out about the ECM problem, called a local Toyota dealership, and was quoted a price of $1650. Did some more research and decided to send the ECM to a circuit board repair service in South Carolina. I had my car towed to my mechanic, who removed the ECM for me. I overnighted it on Tuesday evening. By Friday afternoon, it was back in TN in my car. My car is working fine now! It seems to have escaped transmission damage -- probably because I drove it less than one mile after the check engine light came on. The charge for the repair was $225, with a 1 year warranty! My total cost including overnight shipping, the towing of my car, a rental for a week, and my mechanic's labor charges: @ $575. I highly recommend that you research this approach to the ECM problem. (I would give the name of the company but it is apparently against the rules on this site. But if you google South Carolina circuit board ECM you'll find them).

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

24 out of 24 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Love it, only one problem though

by Sarah from Timnath, CO on October 19, 2016

There was a recall on this year, on the transmission. It would act like it couldn't go into gears and be very jerky. Took it into many auto mechanics but they could not figure it out but charged us for all the work and they didn't fix the problem. We googled it and it turned out the computer was malfunctioning. We ordered a new one online for like $300. And it like good as new! Been enjoying my rav ever since. It was frustrating trying to figure it out but glad we finally did. hope this review help you incase your having this issue, hate for someone to get rid of this great car over an issue that can be resolved so easily.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best car I ever owned

by Bekkalekka from TX on November 20, 2010

This is my second RAV4. My first was a 1997 and was totaled at 115K but ran beautiful. The only slight con is that I wish it had a little more power uphill when the A/C is on. I can hear the engine straining to keep up. But I live in TX were hills are rare anyway.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Most Reliable Car I've Had So Far

by InHeavenOnEarth from New Hampshire on May 22, 2007

Well, I purchased this car new back in 2003 and I now have 42,500 miles on it. The only problems I've had so far are as follows: 1) sunroof started leaking about two months after purchase - took it into Toyota and they gave me a brand new sunroof at no cost and have not had a problem again 2) my remote starter that Toyota installed for me has been giving me continuous problems, for some reason it stops and simply needs to be reset. Toyota refuses to reset it for me saying I must have did something to it. So I go to my local car audio workshop and they reset it for free and it takes 10 minutes. Personally, I think Toyota should just give me a new remote starter, but oh well. Besides that, I have had simply no other problems at all. The car is easy to drive, easy to park, and rides beautifully. With 4wd, it also easily plows through all the New England snow we get very nicely. Of course, now that my hubby and I are thinking about starting a family, I'm looking for a bigger car, as the RAV4, just with just us and our big 90 pound black lab is getting tight by the time we pack to go away on vacations. I have my eye on the Traiblazer!!!!!! :) But I do hate to trade in my Rav4, knowing how much warranty I have left (7 years, 70,000 miles) and knowing that there is simply nothing wrong with it, just that it's getting too small for us. Also want to mention, it's is GREAT on gas!!!!!! $22 bucks fills it for a week and a half for me (gas here is $2.97 right now). So all in all, I highly recommend this car for couples/singles with pets and maybe just one child. If you have more htan one child/one dog, I think the Rav4 is going to get too small for you, as it is for me.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

So Solid !!!

by SJM119 from Westchester ,NY on January 24, 2010

Had a 1996 2-door Toyota Rav4 that i bought used 4 years ago and loved that one . I always liked the second generation Model so i traded in the 96 for a Used 2003 Rav4 5 speed . Let me tell you when i drove it home from the dealership all i was saying in my head was "what a Solid car!" it drove beautifully and handles excellent for a SUV . no rattles or creaks its hard to believe its an 8 year old car with 70 ,000 miles (Built Jan 2003) ..it drives like new . Plus its the perfect size to haul stuff and people around. The 5 speed shifts are so smooth and was surprised how quick the Rav4 gets up to speed . A drawback to some people but not for me is the sound of the exhaust ... its loud when accelerating but in a sporty way . Either way ..very happy with the purchase ..its nice to be back to a Toyota car

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Reliable and fun!!!

by Jack from on May 28, 2010

My wife owned this vehicle for 2 years till someone hit her. It was totaled but she didn't have a scratch on her. The other persons insurance gave us more than what we paid for it brand new. She misses it though. It was a blast to drive and super reliable. Never had a problem with it. This will be one of the best vehicles Toyota has ever built. Highly recommend.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best car I ever owned

by Chris B Mechanic from pearl river on February 20, 2017

My rav 4 went beyond my expectations , i have 250.000 and its still running well as a mechanic the coil packs and plugs i replaced and kept up with the transmission and engine oil change.Use what toyota recommends especially the tranny fluid and buy NGK or Nippon Diesen coil packs and your car will be zippy.thius car hold its reseale value and than some.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Longest Relationship I've Had So Far

by Rav4Lovr from San Francisco, CA on February 2, 2014

My Rav4 celebrated its 10th birthday last year and has over 225,000 miles. I vow to drive it til at least 300k if not more. It's been dependable, reliable, and economical. The only issue was that the ECU went out and had to replace it which cost about $1200. However Toyota was able to reimburse me since it went out before it hit 150k. Also I agree that it needs a little more power going up grades as I do catch myself saying, "Come on baby." Some perks include that this specific model doesn't have a belt but rather a chain so I am pleasantly surprised when auto technicians suggest replacing the belt before they even expect it. Also this model is compact enough for small parking spots but big enough to move almost everything in my house. Bottom line, love my car!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best car I've owned

by bajanwannabee from Barbados on February 24, 2010

This car has been to the dealer once for a annoying stalling problem. Other than that it has been flawless. I do my own oil changes and so far one brake job. It's spent 4 years on the roads and climate of Europe and the last 3 years in the Caribbean. I have to remind myself that one day something is actually going to fail. I just jump in and drive.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

my first toyota

by Sugarbear from Bakersfield, Ca on August 5, 2006

I've had my eyes on the RAV4 for the past 2 years, and was always very curious about the very small suv. I've been very pleased w/ my purchase. Buying it as certified used on the toyota dealership, the price of the car included a 7 yr/100,000 mile warranty, you can't beat that. Very happy!!! And with the reliability that toyota cars, trucks, and suv's offer, I don't think I'll have many problems.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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