2003 Toyota Tundra

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Key Specs

of the 2003 Toyota Tundra. Base trim shown.

2003 Toyota Tundra Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
When it emerged for the 2000 model year, Toyota’s Tundra was the first full-size Japanese-brand pickup truck. It was also the first pickup with a V-8 engine option.

A new V-8 StepSide Access Cab model joins the lineup for 2003, offered in SR5 and Limited grades. The Tundra features a new, larger grille that extends into the upper bumper, new round fog lamps and newly available heated mirrors. Antilock brakes are now standard.

The Tundra comes in 15 configurations and in three trim levels: base, SR5 and Limited V8. The regular-cab models have a 98-inch cargo bed, while extended-cab trucks with rear-hinged back doors (called Access Cabs) carry a 75-inch bed. Both a V-6 engine and a V-8 power plant are available.

The Tundra pickups serve as the basis for the company’s Sequoia sport utility vehicle and are built at the same Indiana plant. Access Cab models account for 90 percent of sales.

Exterior
The Access Cab has two rear-hinged back doors that cannot be opened until the front doors are open. Unlike some extended-cab models, the narrow rear doors have exterior handles.

Both body styles ride a 128.3-inch wheelbase and stretch to 217.5 inches long overall. A regular-cab Ford F-150 with an 8-foot cargo bed is 8 inches longer. The Tundra’s maximum payload is 1,800 pounds, while the F-150 has a maximum payload of 3,150 pounds.

A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package is available, and it features progressive-rate springs, Bilstein gas shoc...
Vehicle Overview
When it emerged for the 2000 model year, Toyota’s Tundra was the first full-size Japanese-brand pickup truck. It was also the first pickup with a V-8 engine option.

A new V-8 StepSide Access Cab model joins the lineup for 2003, offered in SR5 and Limited grades. The Tundra features a new, larger grille that extends into the upper bumper, new round fog lamps and newly available heated mirrors. Antilock brakes are now standard.

The Tundra comes in 15 configurations and in three trim levels: base, SR5 and Limited V8. The regular-cab models have a 98-inch cargo bed, while extended-cab trucks with rear-hinged back doors (called Access Cabs) carry a 75-inch bed. Both a V-6 engine and a V-8 power plant are available.

The Tundra pickups serve as the basis for the company’s Sequoia sport utility vehicle and are built at the same Indiana plant. Access Cab models account for 90 percent of sales.

Exterior
The Access Cab has two rear-hinged back doors that cannot be opened until the front doors are open. Unlike some extended-cab models, the narrow rear doors have exterior handles.

Both body styles ride a 128.3-inch wheelbase and stretch to 217.5 inches long overall. A regular-cab Ford F-150 with an 8-foot cargo bed is 8 inches longer. The Tundra’s maximum payload is 1,800 pounds, while the F-150 has a maximum payload of 3,150 pounds.

A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road Package is available, and it features progressive-rate springs, Bilstein gas shocks, a tuned suspension, all-terrain tires on 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, overfenders, fog lamps and contoured mudguards. The TRD Sport Package includes Tokico shocks, tuned springs, a rear stabilizer bar, a limited-slip differential and graphite-toned 17-inch wheels.

Interior
Regular cabs and Access Cabs may be equipped with either a pair of contoured captain’s chairs or a 60/40-split front bench that holds three occupants. Access Cabs add a three-place 60/40-split backseat with a fold-down center armrest. Both halves of the rear cushion fold easily to create additional storage space, or valuables can be hidden in a storage compartment under the cushion. A new console is similar to the one in the Sequoia SUV. The sun visors have pullout extensions.

Leather upholstery is optional in the Limited model. In addition to new steering-wheel audio controls and a power sliding rear window, Limited trucks include a premium 3-in-1 stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer.

Under the Hood
A standard 190-horsepower, 3.4-liter V-6 engine mates with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. The optional 240-hp, 4.7-liter, i-Force V-8 teams only with the automatic. The V-8 Tundra’s Touch-Select four-wheel-drive (4WD) system can be shifted in or out of 4WD High on the move by using dashboard buttons. Towing capacity is as high as 7,200 pounds.

Safety
Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard. Dual front airbags include a passenger-side cutoff switch.

Driving Impressions
The Tundra is more refined than typical domestic pickups. It produces a satisfying ride without much excess bouncing or harshness. Except for a little engine drone, it’s also quiet for a pickup. The seats are comfortable in a roomy cab, and the new StepSide box adds extra flair.

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

Latest 2003 Tundra Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best bang for your buck out there.

by BThomas14 on April 5, 2018

This car is the best I have ever owned. It is cool. It is comfy. It is comfortable. And it is fast. I would buy it all over again no doubt. Read full review

(5.0)

Love this truck

by Patrickgensel from Shavertown, PA on April 1, 2018

Was looking for a truck that was reliable and not too large, i think i found it with this truck. The style and performance is great too! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2003 Toyota Tundra currently has 8 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2003 Toyota Tundra has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Tundra received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker