This iteration of the Corvette was the quickest car we'd tested. Powered by a strong 350-hp, 5.7-liter V8 engine, it accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.9 seconds. The Corvette is also relatively roomy for a sports car and one of the few that can accommodate tall people. It can also hold a pair of golf bags in the trunk. Handling is accomplished and secure, braking is excellent and the ride is tolerable.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. ESC available in 2000, standard from 2001. Side air bags available from 2005, standard from 2010.
Road Test

This iteration of the Corvette was the quickest car we'd tested. Powered by a strong 350-hp, 5.7-liter V8 engine, it accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.9 seconds. The Corvette is also relatively roomy for a sports car and one of the few that can accommodate tall people. It can also hold a pair of golf bags in the trunk. Handling is accomplished and secure, braking is excellent and the ride is tolerable. On the down side, interior fittings don't have a quality look or feel and the convertible top is a nuisance to operate.

Seating
2 front
Drive Wheels
Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
2-door hatchback
convertible
coupe
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 5.7-liter V8 (350 hp)
  • 5.7-liter V8 (405 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Chevrolet Corvette owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"The electronic suspension ride control module failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

"electronic/ adjustable shocks started to leak. had to replace"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Power steering leaks

"Power steering rack had to be replaced since it was leaking. Had to order after market part since Chevy did not have any original replacement equipment"

Melvin S., HI (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"magnetic shocks leaking - not covered by aftermarket warranty, cost $4.000 for repair"

Anonymous, NV (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Springs or torsion bars

"1. The front transverse fiberglass suspension spring split. failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Recalled for steering column lock issues. Locking system removed. Still problems, years later, with BCM signals telling it to lock! Pull key, wait 10 seconds. Service column lock. Engine stalls out over 1.5mph. Solution; aftermarket bypass"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette)
Body control module

"ABS Brake Computer failed immediately after car was smogged on dynamometer"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

"Windows"

Vernon N., NJ (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Gauges

"Fuel gauge would go to half and then to empty. Needed two fuel pumps with sensors. Luckily was covered by warranty. Cost me $200. Actual cost - $2200 parts, $700 labor"

Anonymous, NV (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

"IPC (Instrument Panel Control) buttons no longer work. Can't reset, can't get information on DIC (Driver Information Center), can't change any settings, stuck on change oil now! Intermittent issues with gauge lighting on dash and AC display"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"noise from rear end"

Anonymous, VA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Stability control (ESC)

"warning message "don't drive over 80 MPH. No handling problems just above warning"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

"This is second time that modual had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Traction control

"Warning light on. A back shock absorber needs replacing part $900"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Another poor design, the dreaded OBD code P1416, passenger side A.I.R. injection valve (a $20 item). On the driver side it is a 10 minute job. On the passenger side the $20 part is located between the engine and firewall, requiring removal of the f"

Dennis U., PA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 5.7-L V8)
Fuel cap

"Fuel cap cover release inop, required dealer service, new parts, etc"

Anonymous, VA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Fuel gauge/sender

"Gas gauge reaches 1/3 full and goes to zero. Problem is with sender and is caused by additives in the fuel. Chevrolet uses this sender in several production models with the same problem."

Alan Z., MD (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Fuel pump

"Beginning middle of the 2003 model year, GM changed the fuel pump to the top of the tank (FFS). This requires removal of the gas tank (along with other items). The earlier model could be replaced through the side of the tank. GM quotes several tho"

Dennis U., PA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 5.7-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"The CD player rejects a newly inserted disc. After 5 or 6 tries, the disc will stay in and begin to play."

Patrick C., NC (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 5.7-L V8)
Display screen difficult to see

"The real problem was that the dash display lights could not be turned off, eventually drained battery. Entire dash display unit had to be replaced"

Sylvanus W., FL (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Display screen goes blank

"several the indicator lights in the dashboard and in the radio/clock do not work"

Michael S., MA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Car is 14 years old the rubber contacts with the convertible roof began to leak at the front corners of the car. Not uncommon with older convertibles. They replaced the rubber gaskets and it is fine now"

William R., WI (2003 Chevrolet Corvette 5.7-L V8)

"The removable top rattles when I go over bumps"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Squeaks or rattles

"The steering wheel sqeeks when turning. It's done it for along time but has gotten worse"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"The ABS warning comes on but the car doesn't appear to actually have a problem with the ABS.... just the warning message"

SUSn B., SD (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

"ABS warning light came on. Replaced system"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

"ABS and ESC both lights illuminate. I don't think there is a problem with either... it's just faulty sensors that I can override before driving the car."

Patrick C., NC (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 5.7-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Nylon connector in shift cable broke necessitating total replacement of cable"

Anonymous, SC (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)
Rough shifting

"Car has delay engaging into drive since new..called normal by the Dealership"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Engine harness

"Oil pressure sending unit replaced.Intake manifold had to be removed to access. $45 part cost almost $500 to install"

Frank L., FL (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Clear Coat peeling"

Frank L., FL (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Base 5.7-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Synchronizers went out. Could not shift gears. Stuck in 4th gear. Known problem"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 5.7-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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