• (4.3) 38 reviews
  • MSRP: $4,286–$16,470
  • Body Style: Truck
  • Combined MPG: 18-24
  • Engine: 142-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs.
2003 Toyota Tacoma

Our Take on the Latest Model 2003 Toyota Tacoma

2003 Toyota Tacoma Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Toyota’s smaller pickup truck earns standard antilock brakes for the 2003 model year. On the safety front, lower anchors have been installed for a child-safety seat.

The Toyota Tacoma is built in California and comes in three cab types and 17 configurations. The front end was restyled for the 2001 model year and received a raised hood and multireflector headlights. Toyota also launched its first pickup with four conventional, front-hinged doors that year. The Tacoma Double Cab competes with four-door crew-cab models from Chevrolet, GMC and Nissan. Regular-cab and extended-cab (Xtracab) models of the compact Tacoma also remain available.

A sporty S-Runner Xtracab with two-wheel drive (2WD) is still offered. Its height is reduced by an inch to flaunt a low-rider stance. Two four-cylinder engines and a 190-horsepower V-6 are available under Tacoma hoods.

Exterior
Regular-cab models are 184.4 inches long overall on a 103.3-inch wheelbase. Riding a 121.9-inch wheelbase, the Tacoma Xtracab measures nearly 203 inches long overall. Both versions have a 74.5-inch cargo bed. The Tacoma Double Cab is the same size as the Xtracab, but because it has a larger interior, the cargo bed shrinks to 61.5 inches long. Double Cab pickups can be fitted with a fiberglass Super Sport Shell that fits over the bed to keep cargo dry and secure.

The S-Runner features a dealer-installed appearance kit with a body-colored grille, bumpers, lower side trim, door handles and mirrors. A sporty StepSide cargo bed is available for SR5 trucks.

PreRunner models have 2WD but are decorated to look like 4x4 off-roaders. Buyers get higher ground clearance, mudguards and all-terrain tires. A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package is available for four-wheel-drive (4WD) and PreRunner models. This package includes modified rear leaf springs, a larger front stabilizer bar, progressive-rate front coil springs, offroad shocks, overfenders and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Interior
A three-place bench seat is standard in basic Tacomas. A 60/40-split bench seat goes into Xtracab models, while bucket seats are standard in Double Cab models and optional in other Tacomas. Xtracabs add two rear jump seats, but the Double Cab has a split, three-place rear bench that folds down to produce extra cargo room.

Under the Hood
The Tacoma is offered with three engine choices. A 142-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder serves as the base engine. The midrange power plant, which comes standard in PreRunner and 4WD models, is a 150-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder. Topping the list is a 190-hp, 3.4-liter V-6, which is standard in the S-Runner. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional.

Toyota Racing Development can supply a dealer-installed supercharger for the 3.4-liter V-6, which boosts output to 260 hp. Tacomas equipped with the V-6 engine can tow a 5,000-pound trailer. Payloads range from 1,375 to 2,005 pounds.

Pickups equipped with 4WD have Toyota’s 4WDemand system, which permits shifting into 4WD High at speeds of up to 50 mph using a floor-mounted transfer-case lever. A Hi-4 dashboard switch to engage the 4WD system is optional.


 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2003 Buying Guide
Posted on 1/29/03

Consumer Reviews

4.3

Average based on 38 reviews

Write a Review

Fun to drive and so versatile.

by Hollyberry from Cody, Wy. on October 19, 2017

I love the crew cab, and so many ways to use my vehicle. I have hauled cargo and took my family for a long drive. Three adults and two children fit comfortably!

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12 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2003 Toyota Tacoma trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Toyota Tacoma Articles

2003 Toyota Tacoma Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 5 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years