2003 Toyota Camry LE 2.4 from North America


Great choice for Family car


The steering wheel was making a grinding noise, the dealer fixed it up quickly for me and the issue is gone now. I bought the car from a Honda dealer and they only gave me one set of keys and keep telling me they will get me another set, but I am still waiting. This is a Honda issue not Toyota though.

General Comments:

We needed a car that can fit a 2 child seats and an adult in the back seat. The Camry does the job very, also it's a good commuting car for me. Gas mileage is OK, but I think it'll improve as the engine gets broken in. Seats are comfortable for long drives and the trunk is huge. This was a great mini-van/SUV alternative. So 4 people and a large dog can travel with lots of space in this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2008

10th Jan 2008, 05:11

Broken in? This is a 2003 car with roughly 50k on board. So when you expect this to occur? Or maybe you changed the engine and forgot to mention...

10th Jan 2008, 14:56

I hate to break it to you, the mileage is not going to improve. The salesman "sold you a bill of goods".

10th Jan 2008, 16:34

14:56 Yes, the mileage will most likely improve as the car breaks in. My Tacoma's mileage improved almost 2 mpg after 70,000 miles. This is common with Toyota engines, or any other engine that's built tightly and precisely in the first place.

10th Jun 2008, 20:21

Update: car is at 65K now and the mileage did improve, I am glad I bought it with the gas prices the way they are now. No problems as of now and still handles smooth.

31st Aug 2011, 14:05

Update - 180KM and still running great. I only replaced the tires, and yes the gas mileage improved.

2003 Toyota Camry LE from North America


Not happy about the problem with the evaporation canister


Brakes and tires have been replaced.

Check engine light came on, and I took it to local mechanic who diagnosed it as a problem with the evaporation canister. Toyota will charge $400-$600 to fix. I am over the 3 year warranty, but under 50,000, and want to know if this seems to be a defect with 2003 Toyota Camrys?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th August, 2007

2nd Dec 2009, 18:11

I too have the same problem. I have 91,000 miles though. My cousin mechanic says it won't hurt the car, but it will not pass inspection. It is the part that is expensive.

2003 Toyota Camry XLE V6 from North America


A bad purchase


Engine cuts off abruptly without warning.

General Comments:

12 Dec. 2006

We purchased a brand new 2003 Camry XLE on December 31, 2002. Problems began in the winter of 2005 and have not stopped. It began with smoke pouring out the exhaust upon starting, and would continue for a while after the car has been running. Then in June 2006 it would just shut down without warning, without any lights coming on, just abruptly cut off. In July it would not start up, and the oil, engine, and vsc lights would come on. In September the oil light would come on from time to time, and we would change the oil and the problem would recur. Then on December 4, it just shut down in traffic on a busy road in New York and never restarted. There were 3 people in the car besides myself, and all I can say is that God protected us and prevented a truck from slamming into us from behind. We had to tow it away and it is now parked up on a street near our house. The Toyota dealership we purchased the car from has repeatedly removed themselves from any responsibility for repairs, and has claimed that there are no recalls on 2003 Camry engines. We were told that a new engine and repairs would cost upwards of $5000. Do we have a case against Toyota? Does anyone have any information that would be of help to us in this situation??

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th December, 2006

13th Dec 2006, 15:44

In order for Toyota to pay for anyting you will have to show them that you have taken great care of your car.

13th Dec 2006, 16:56

That is freaky. In 1985 I was on the New York Thruway with my parents' 1983 Camry (first year made) going 65 mph with (luckily) little traffic around. All of a sudden all the electricals went out including the power steering, so I had essentially zero control over the car. Luckily I was able to guide to the the side of the road next to a call booth (no cell phones back then for me).

But, like you, if I had been in any type of traffic I would have been killed.

I would have assumed nearly 20 years later they would have ironed out such a problem.

6th Jul 2010, 19:10

Check to see if the engine isn't leaking oil. That could be the cause of the burning smoke, it was with a Camry I previously owned. I'm not sure as of the engine quitting randomly, but it could at least contribute to that.

10th Feb 2011, 04:06

To me it seem unclear what happened her. You seem to have had problems already in 2005 when the car should have been under warranty. So why didn't you have it fixed then? If my car started to blow smoke, the first thing I'd do is to have my car towed or driven to my local dealer. I'd never just drive on waiting to have the whole thing blow up.

To the commenter having a similar experience 20 years back: It's probably not related. It sounds like you threw a belt, since the electrics and the power steering went out. Remember; power steering on older cars isn't electric, but is fed via a separate pump driven by a belt.

22nd Jul 2013, 01:26

I had the same experience in the last Toyota I owned. It was the engine locking up, causing everything to shut down, and the decelerating effect of the transmission stuck in high gear made the car almost stop on the freeway.

Toyota is off the list of cars I would buy or recommend for life.

24th Jul 2013, 12:02

The "Hanging Pipe Camrys" (so named because their poorly built exhaust systems drooped nearly to the ground) were built at the beginning of Toyota's rapid slide into mediocrity. The 2003 models were already cutting corners and dropping in quality. Things have pretty much gone downhill from there. The Corolla is regarded as the worst car in its class, and no one takes the Tundra seriously.