2003 Toyota Sienna Reviews

2003 Toyota Sienna LE 3.0 gas from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 3.0 gas Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance66000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Super reliable

Faults:

Only 1 problem over the past 10 years ^_^.

Left side 3rd row seat can't be removed when still under warranty. After warranty repair, it came again later. I have to remove the chair with the help of a screwdriver to release the latch each time.

General Comments:

This is a super reliable car for us. We have been using it for 10 years. My battery and brake pads are all original! I can't imagine that. We had low miles on it, but I think the brake pads and battery should be replaced by 10 years. We just needed to do regular maintenance. The biggest service job I've done with this car was the 30k service at the 4th year of ownership. I feel this car can still go for another 10 years at least.

Due to family size increases, we just bought a 2012 Sienna LE during the labor day weekend. The changes are massive, and the new model is much more convenient than the old one. We hope the new one can have the same quality level of the 2003 model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2012

2003 Toyota Sienna LX 3.0 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 3.0 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance32000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

An excellent family car

Faults:

None.

General Comments:

Overall it's an excellent car for me!

Only the regular maintenance.

Cons:

1. Changed 4 tires after 29,000 miles. (This is a bit too early.)

2. Squeezing noises from the back drum at low speed, starting at around 10,000 miles.

3. I'd prefer to have more seating to accommodate visitors. I'd prefer to add one seat in the center, and change the front seat to be a bench.

4. I'd rather to have the seats lay down for cargo purpose. The seats are very heavy for me to remove and install.

5. The average gas mileage is around 18. I'd rather it to be in mid 20's. Since we don't travel too much, the overall gas cost is OK.

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

Review Date: 27th September, 2007

2003 Toyota Sienna from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance52000 miles
Previous carToyota Solara

Summary:

It is too expensive when you have to buy new tires at $1200 every year!

Faults:

Run flat tires have been a disaster. The first had to be replaced at 14k miles -- told was because they were out of line (all service done by the dealer from whom we bought the van). Next replacement at 30k miles, and now again again at 52k miles. Thus, 3 replacements of all 4 tire at intervals of 14 months or about every 17k miles on average. Costs 12,000 for each tire change. We were told warranty was for one year by the dealer, but looks like it is actually 3 years.

General Comments:

3 recalls on this van, would not buy another because of the tire issue.

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

Review Date: 11th February, 2007

19th Sep 2009, 13:40

Why are you replacing your tire every year??? Do you live on the country side where they've lot of gravel roads? Even in those conditions, you probably be changing it every 2 years.

If you're driving on a solid road, I would say 3-5 based on your driving habit.

2003 Toyota Sienna LE 3.3 V6 from Mexico

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.3 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired35 kilometres
Most recent distance60000 kilometres
Previous carChrysler Voyager

Summary:

Great comfort and performance, but not THAT reliable.

Faults:

The sound system is erratic: sometimes it won't play CD's, others it won't play anything, sometimes it won't even display a thing. Probably has to do with the fact that the thing has a large black top surface which is always exposed to direct sunlight while driving.

Exhaust manifold became loose and cracked at 50000km; filled cabin with smoke and obviously made a very loud noise. Covered by warranty, but a very unusual and annoying problem for ANY car nonetheless.

Radiator was recalled by the factory at about 45000km. Engine had overheated just once, at about 10000km.

Front differential had to be replaced under warranty because it made loud metallic noises at 50000km.

Steering is off-center.

General Comments:

OVERVIEW

After a trouble filled year and a half owning a Chrysler Voyager, our family decided to trade that piece of junk for a Toyota Sienna. Well, let me begin by saying that although the ownership experience has been immensely better, the myth that Toyotas are rock-solid has been dispelled in my mind. This does not mean that I don't like it; quite the opposite, I think it's the best minivan in the market today. It's just that it has not been as good as my Toyota Matrix, which hasn't had a single mechanical issue in three years.

PERFORMANCE.

This minivan's regular driver is my younger brother: a 22 yr old World Rally Championship fan, and aspiring local touring car racer. This should give you an idea of his driving style, which has definitely had an influence on the wear and tear of the car. Well, it's a testament to the extremely good performance of this car that he refuses to trade it for anything less than a Mini Cooper S.

For a 2 ton, 1.8 m tall minivan, this thing's performance is unbelievable. I've seen my (admittedly reckless) brother obliterate Audi A4s on twisty uphill mountain roads, and it's not like they weren't trying. The engine is very good and can handle cruising at 170km/h with 7 people and luggage on board (not that I'd recommend it). When I've driven it, it feels powerful, but the drive-by-wire throttle is extremely slow to respond, taking almost a full second to start throttling up no matter how gentle and progressive you try to be. This can cause you to get too close to the guy in front in stop and go traffic until you become used to it. Steering is Novocaine-sedate and way too light. These two factors, combined with its humongous exterior dimensions make it a bit awkward to drive in tight streets, and will make your front tires squeal often.

Another complaint of mine is that the thing's brakes are not a good match for the engine, as it's much easier to accelerate than brake. Stopping a Sienna with precision, even from a crawl, is not easy.

COMFORT.

It is a very, very comfortable vehicle to drive. The driver's seat is easy to adjust and feels very nice. So nice that last week I took it to the beach, through cramped cities, windy deserts, huge mountain ranges and tropical forests (you gotta love the Mexican countryside!) for 10 hours straight, and didn't feel a single sore muscle when I finally got out. Yes I was tired, but simply from the sheer length of the trip. Their ergonomics engineers should get an award for this car.

It treats passengers well, too. Only two complaints: my girlfriend can't find a comfortable position for the seat belts, and I get carsick even from short trips when not in the driver's seat. The suspension has hard springs for a minivan (still soft, don't worry) but is not sufficiently dampened in my opinion, and although this gives it its cornering ability, the high mass means that the body wobbles all over the place after even the slightest turn.

LOOKS.

An alien-faced van. Not too much to comment on here, except that the wheels are cool.

RELIABILITY AND SERVICE.

I must say I'm disappointed with it. I know the vehicle has been abused by my brother, but some of the problems we've had cannot be explain by wear and tear. For example: how in hell did the exhaust manifold become loose and break? The differential failing... well, that could be from his aggressive driving and weekly trips to dirt roads, but the CD player behaving erratically? Come on! That's surely nothing to do with normal wear! In contrast, my Toyota Matrix is just as old and has NEVER had a single mechanical problem of any sort. It's better than Chrysler and Volkswagen, just not as good as other Toyota's.

The quality of Toyota service depends on the dealership, but is always way above average in both speed and attention. Certainly miles above any European or American maker.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2006

16th Apr 2006, 07:52

No, they are not the "second coming". They simply make the best vehicles that money can buy.

22nd Apr 2006, 22:25

"No, they are not the "second coming". They simply... (are the second coming)." Make up your mind, willja?

The reviewer has a point: reliability is the reason why people buy Toyota cars, and if they don't stand up to the hype, they've failed.

23rd Jun 2006, 16:06

I'd stop letting your bro drive the car.

14th Mar 2007, 13:44

I have a 2004 Sienna XLE, AWD. I agree with virtually everything you said, but... I also have an Audi A4. The Sienna's handling is imprecise and top heavy. Our previous Chrysler T&C handled (and rode) better (of course the tranny had to be replaced at 85,000 miles). There is no way the Sienna will shut down an A4, going straight or in the curves. Also, the Sienna is extremely hard on tires. The OEM tires are Dunlop run-flats (it has no spare). The first set required replacement at 18,000. I got the second set replaced by Dunlop at 12,000 miles, and now the third set will need replacing very soon (at about 20,000). Toyota initially denied a problem with the tires, but has subsequently issued a post hoc warranty offering some relief...oh, did I mention the tires are $325 each?

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 14 reviews