Even after the "wow factor" of the Prius's hybrid design wears off, the car is still an inviting, well-designed, functionally useful car. Its remarkably high fuel economy makes this a cost-effective commuting car, but the Prius is also practical on longer trips. The gas/electric drivetrain works flawlessly and doesn't call attention to itself.
There is 1 recall 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

"I inherited this car and kept it when gas prices went up. Acceleration is a little slow. The car feels somewhat light and shaky when I go over 60mph so I don't like to drive in this car for longer road trips. Also, there are substantial blindspots when I back up (no back-up camera on this model.) I have ended up backing up into things a few times even after looking behind me and using the mirrors. It's good for city driving and parking in smaller spots."

BELINDA L., CA (2003 Toyota Prius)

"The handling is very nice - better than the '05. The '05 feels more like a boat, so to speak, in comparison with the '03. With the '03 I have a better sense of the car's position on the road and tighter control."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Toyota Prius)

"This car drives rather slow, but my husband is a "hypermiler"...so he gets great mileage for in city driving. It is not suitable to take on long road trips, but weuse this car as a local commuter car. It turns on a dime and is easy to handle on local roads."

RHONDA M., NJ (2003 Toyota Prius)

"With a full battery and single person, 0-30 acceleration is very impressive. In that low range, I can keep up with most muscle cars."

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Toyota Prius)

"The CVT is very responsive and there is a great power boost from the electric motor. Great acceleration. I hate the fake shifting the newer Subaru CVT has. Haven't tried the newer Prius - hopefully Toyota didn't add the fake shifting."

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota Prius)

"We were very satisfied with the car when we bought it. But now that it's 14 years old, it's just not as good. We really noticed when we got the new car and could feel the difference between them."

Richard J., WA (2003 Toyota Prius)

"It is peppy and frequently gets ahead of most of the traffic even with 222222 miles on the vehicle."

Richard W., CO (2003 Toyota Prius)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"not as quite on highway driving"

PAM M., CO (2003 Toyota Prius)

"On a whole-day drive, wind noise gets irritating, though the gaskets are reported as just fine. No huge deal."

DEBORAH R., IA (2003 Toyota Prius)

"Comfortable shape of seats, quieter that other gas powered cars I've had. Love the short turn radius and quick response in acceleration."

G F., OR (2003 Toyota Prius)

"When I bought this car 14 years ago, the seat upholstery looked rather cheap, and I was afraid it might wear out quickly. After all these years, the upholstery looks as good as new."

John B., NH (2003 Toyota Prius)

"Seats were never that comfortable for a tall person for any significant amount of time."

K S., CA (2003 Toyota Prius)


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

What Owners Say

"Maintenance costs are negligible; just change the oil regularly. Still have original brakes after 180K miles."

Anonymous, MT (2003 Toyota Prius)

"I paid dealer slightly less than $20,000 for new vehicle. Only major problem was steering control several years ago,. Paid approximately $3000 for replacement. Notified soon after that warranty on control was extended and that replacement cost would be repaid. Last reset mpg display about 40,000 miles ago. Recently increases 0.1mpg to 48.0!"

BERTRAM B., NH (2003 Toyota Prius)

"It's been running well for 13 years!"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Toyota Prius)

"Purchased privately second-hand and have driven for more than 12 years. Have had only one major mechanical problem and still getting excellent gas mileage from vehicle. Dealership service manager reports fewer problems with this version of vehicle than later iterations."

J M., NC (2003 Toyota Prius)

"When I bought my Prius in 2003, Toyota couldn't give them away, so I got it at an excellent price. Your car report probably helped. There was soon a line of customers outside Toyota's door wanting to buy a Prius, whatever the cost. The complex technology of the car makes me think it's likely to fail, but it never does!"

JOHN B., NH (2003 Toyota Prius)

"I've had the car for 13 years. I love the way it handles, its tight turning radius, its simple dashboard--no unnecessary gimmicks--and its good mileage. I have over 138,000 miles and have not had to change the battery.."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Prius)

"Just a great car great value"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Prius)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"I prefer the sedan styling of my Prius over the hatchback styling of newer models."

JOAN W., OR (2003 Toyota Prius)

"2003 model last one to have decent visibility out the rear window."

R B., TX (2003 Toyota Prius)

Would you buy this car again?

2003 vehicles
Ford Focus
Honda Civic
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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