Roomy inside without feeling large outside, the Toyota Corolla is also impressively quiet. Corolla also has excellent fuel economy, while still posting good acceleration times, handling competently and providing a comfortable ride. The one drawback -- some of our drivers were not comfortable with the driving position. Overall, though, the Corolla is a fine choice.
There are 13 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"It feels solid. Steering and suspension are tight, especially in an older car."

FLINT T., WA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"A little sluggish in entering a freeway where acceleration is important and also going up steep roadways the ability to maintain speed drops considerably."

D F., CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Acceleration is pretty anemic."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Drives and handles great."

T M., GA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Mostly it's just a nice perky little car for city driving."

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"the 4 speed automatic transmission isn't as controllable as I would like it to be. In hill climbing it tends to downshift 2 gear levels in an effort to maintain constant speed when the speed control is engaged."

ROBERT B., MI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"It is a 4 cylinder, so it accelerates as I would expect. Even after having the front brake discs turned and replacing the pads, the shimmy during braking returned after a few weeks."

BEN M., GA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Like driving a sports car; even after 13 years."

BRUCE D., CT (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I had to have the manual transmission replaced. I learned that this was an issue common to the year of my vehicle and that Toyota refused to acknowledge to any owners of this model year and subsequent years that had the same transmission that they were defective (failing on many vehicles with less than 100k miles). I paid in excess of $4k to have a replacement transmission that Toyota switched to several model years later."

PAUL T., RI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Ride is a little rough. I've ridden in newer Corollas and the rid is much better."

Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"The 2003 acceleration is ok but I am possibly comparing the vehicle with my other vehicles."

Anonymous, DC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Acceleration is fine. Handling is better with larger than average and wide Michelin tires, which I can no longer afford. It handled like a sports car with the best tires."

Anonymous, OR (2003 Toyota Corolla)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The A/C stopped working - in Florida - in the summer. But internet searches provided me with the troubleshooting tips I needed to find a bad relay which I replaced myself at the cost of < $10 for the part."

KEN S., FL (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Has the best climate control of any car I've ever owned."

CARL M., OH (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I'm very short. This model of Corolla, in the top trim line, has a driver's seat that can be raised vertically - this is separate from the control that brings the seat forward. So I can have a good, clear sightline, without having to be too close to the steering wheel and its airbag. Toyota has eliminated this feature from newer Corollas. I hope they reinstate it before I need to buy my next car."

Anonymous, MN (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"The cab does not appear to be insulated enough against road noise."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"The car rides very well. It handles well but I have to drive gingerly because you can feel every bump in the road. I have managed to keep all of my hubcaps as a result."

MARJORIE R., PA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Gives a comfortable ride with low noise level."

ROBERT S., ME (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I find road noise to be excessive."

EDWARD S., NY (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"road noise high"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Seats and room are not great for a large person."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Awesome comfort regarding seats and climate control, but it is not super quiet inside."

Z K., AZ (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"It is better than expected in all areas"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"my wife finds the seats comfortable"

WALTER S., CT (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Passengers complain of rear seat discomfort, especially middle rear seat, especially over longer distances."

ARLEN B., OR (2003 Toyota Corolla)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"This has been a good reliable car."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"This car gets great gas mileage and with close to 160,000 miles, it has not given us any problems."

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"excellent purchase"

BOB D., QC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Our Toyota Corolla had her first breakdown in 8 years. Beside regular maintenance, nothing was disbursed to exception of one break caliper, an 800$ job. Quite an exceptional return on the investment."

DANIEL R., QC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Fair price but most importantly the car has been practically maintenance free."

TERRY E., TX (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I paid 5000.00 for this car with 8000 miles. I have owned it 6 years. It now has 100,000 miles. I was thrilled to find out it had a timing chain. Other than routine maintenance, tires, oil changes it has not cost anything. But the air bag recall is a concern."

Anonymous, RI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Good outside styling & very good mpg."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Having had experience previously with American-made autos, I am amazed that we continue to drive this car month after month for 13 years and it has required very little maintenance other than routine work."

STEPHEN M., AL (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"A 13 year old Corolla still holds its value. Same clutch,new tires though.I've owned three Corolla's. All purchased new and kept for 15 years each. I'll probably sell this one at age 15 and buy another."

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"good value what i paid for it, steady ride, moderate noise level at hwy speed"

HERB L., ON (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"It's value -- it's a 13 year old car that aside from routine maintenance, I've never had to put any money into it. But it is absolutely terrible in the snow."

ROBERT G., NJ (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"it is the best car I ever had"

ALEX H., NB (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"It has been exceptionally reliable, with only annual servicing and battery and tires replaced - and those are all inexpensive thanks to the car being basic."

NEAL W., BC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Very low maintenance cost. extremely reliable. I take it in to the dealer for preventative maintenance, not necessarily because the vehicle calls for it."

ALLAN A., GA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Car has 350,000+ miles."

KENNETH B., AL (2003 Toyota Corolla)


OLIN P., CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"it is better than expected in all areas"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"This car gets excellent gas mileage - 35 in town, 45 on the highway. And if properly maintained (read: oil changes every 3,000 miles), it just goes forever without problems. It's very comfortable on long trips."

RB W., CO (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Very reliable. AC unit hard to diagnosed to restore to service. Turned out to be blown fuse."

DAVID T., SC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"The Corolla was exactly what we needed in its class and the price we paid. Had been the best overall car ever owned. No repairs other than normal wear items. Never been in the shop except for airbag warranty repairs."

JACK J., AZ (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"good city and highway mileage, easy to drive, reliable"

SALLY C., CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I have had minor repair work, mostly normal oil changes and maintenance, gas mileage is good."

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Still running and running well at 268000 miles."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Very reliable, good gas mileage, very economical to operate"

BEN M., GA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I bought this car in 2002 and except for the normal repairs and replacements (brakes, battery, tires, etc.) I have had no problems with it. The car has over 95,000 miles on it and I don't see any reason to get a new car."

CAROL K., PA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"best reliability in a vehicle we have had"

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Air bags are Takata. Otherwise has been a reliable workhorse for 13 years"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Paid little and it lasts a long time."

Anonymous, QC (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Bought the car Dec. 2002 and other than the recalls, problems have been few and minor."

CARL M., OH (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"It's a good reliable car with few problems. The exhaust system had to be replaced but the dealer wanted $1800. I got a custom exhaust company to do everything for $276."

BOB K., OH (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Again, patience paid off. Took our time and purchased from a private owner who we met and liked. Did our research -carfax and consumer reports. We're able to provide daughter with a reliable car for only 3,000. No car payments! Yahoo."

TONYA B., OH (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"No repairs other than routine maintenance for 12 years. Battery lasted 12 years."

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"For $14,000 cash it was the best car I could buy in 2005. I chose well and wisely. I have it serviced as required and suggested and it just keeps on going without problems. I love the car."

Anonymous, OR (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"There's not many better buys on the market than the Corolla, in this category."

DAVE-ANNE C., MN (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"We bought this car new Oct31,2002 and with almost 138,000 miles it is still driving like it was when it was new. All its cost us is gas, tires, brakes, filters and incidentals that all cars need when you keep them. Knock on wood never a major repair. We're buying another Corolla and planning on keeping this one too!"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"The value of Toyotas cannot be overstated."

T M., GA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"This car has over 300,000 miles on it, and has NEVER broken down; very good value purchase, excellent gas mileage."

MONICA E., MI (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"same as the tacoma"

JAMES W., WA (2003 Toyota Corolla)


Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"I have over 256,000 miles with this car. Except for regular engine and brake maintenance and the replacement of something that made loud noises near the engine and the replacement of steel bearings, it has been very reliable. The interior leather and design is much prettier than the exterior suggests."

TONY S., CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Good price. Little upkeep. Great 2nd car.Keeps going."

ROBERT G., LA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"This car is now 13 years old. It still handles like it was new. Gas mileage remains high, up to 40 mpg on long trips. Maintenance costs are low. Yes, it needs a new paint job and the speakers in the stereo need to be replaced, but I paid $13K for this car 13 years ago. Think I got my monies worth."

SHARON P., CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Currently have 74,000 miles on car. Value is sub-par usage is low, catalytic converter has failed and must be replaced at owner expense, replacement is nearly have the Kelly Bluebook value of the vehicle. Also, Sunroof and front windows are prone to leaking, damaging seals, interior trim, and carpets. Low quality plastic trim and decorations also prone to breaking and peeling."

GUNNAR S., NC (2003 Toyota Corolla)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Styling was great in 2003, now prefer the new styling over the 2003."

ROBERT S., ME (2003 Toyota Corolla)

"Looks sporty, & decent enough"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Corolla)

Would you buy this car again?

2003 vehicles
Ford Focus
Honda Civic
Mini Cooper
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Jetta
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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