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The Sequoia is a rational but uninspired vehicle. It's roomy and quiet, the powertrain is refined and it has good brakes. The power-retracting rear window is a nice touch, too. But handling is ungainly and the ride quality is not very comfortable. Side- and curtain-airbags were made standard beginning with the 2007 model year.
Alerts
There are 6 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.
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
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags available, standard from 2008.
Road Test

The Sequoia is a rational but uninspired vehicle. It's roomy and quiet, the powertrain is refined and it has good brakes. The power-retracting rear window is a nice touch, too. But handling is ungainly and the ride quality is not very comfortable. Side- and curtain-airbags were made standard beginning with the 2007 model year.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 3 third
Drive Wheels
4WD , 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
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.7-liter V8 (240 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Toyota Sequoia 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

“Associated to Problem #1 with leak in seals of rack”

J D., NJ (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)
Shocks or struts

“Just worn out. It was quite a bumpy and expensive process to figure out what the problem was, but after 250,000 miles it's no surprise that these might need replacement”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Unsure 4.7-L V8)

“replaced front and rear (second time for rear)”

Anonymous, QC (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“The power steering pump was losing fluid due to a seal leak in the rack”

J D., NJ (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Replaced rack/pinion”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“They broke”

Steven C., KS (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Leakage in hose assembly. Must replace entire assembly. Cost $600”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Rust

“below driver side rear door rust through that needed to be repaired”

Anonymous, NH (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“The frame / undercarriage is rusting very badly”

Anonymous, NS (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Developing significant rust on rear wheel wells”

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Toyota recalled this vehicle and replaced the frame. all other components continue to have severe rust issues”

Denis C., NJ (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“they replaced the whole frame of the truck due to rust. The rest of the undercarriage is rusted badly and there is severe rust on one of the wheel wells inside back door. my trailer hitch broke because of rust. the only real problem I have with the”

Anne S., NJ (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“The clear coat on this vehicle appears to have been attacked by something like acid rain. This is not the case with my other vehicles that I have had just as long. Bugs also seem to eat into bumper finish”

Gary D., NC (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“top coat by the gas tank area; started to peel. no where else; body shop guy couldn't tell me why. i don't make it a habit to spill gas on paint either”

Lynn L., TX (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

“Had to spend $1200 to have the system in the computer reprogrammed and replace porch”

Henry S., LA (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Abs computer died. Replacement was expensive”

Scott C., CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“The vehicle ABS warning light comes on every now and then for no reason. The computer has been replaced at least once but did not correct the problem”

Richard A., AZ (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Seized more than once”

David H., OR (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The parking brake is a total failure due to poor designing. It rotates two "C" shaped discs on a single pivot point. This causes these discs to lock onto each other and cause the emergency brake to stay engaged as you release it. This makes it dif”

Denise F., WA (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)
Premature brake wear

“2 sets of pads in one year and less than 10,000 miles, replaced rotors and master cylinder and still having issues”

Ross N., OR (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The brakes wear quicker than any car I have owned...regardless of the brand of pads”

Denise F., WA (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-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

Tire pressure monitor

“Even with new tires, the monitor indicates problems when there is none”

Linda B., CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Unsure 4.7-L V8)

“Two sensors fail (oxygen sensors)”

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)
12V power plug

“power plugs do not work, fuse is fine”

Michael B., CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)
Gauges

“When you use the gear shift to put the SUV from Park into Drive, the Drive light does not iluminate. Do not know why and I don't want to pay $80 to have them tell me. The other indicator lights work fine except that one-- Drive 1. Drive 2 works, R”

Elaine F., TN (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)
Headlights

“replaced because plastic completely clouded over”

Anonymous, NM (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)
Interior lights

“rear interior light inop”

Anonymous, NM (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

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.

What Owners Say

“Plastic interior door handles and exterior hatch door handle are prone to breaking which prevent entry or exiting of vehicle depending on whether you are inside or outside the vehicle”

Gary D., NC (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Back hatch lock had to be replaced. Front-right door latch had to be fixed”

Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Tailgate is too heavy for the latch and has had to be replaced 4 times since 2007, known issue with Sequoia and Sienna according to Toyota but they seem happy just letting owners replace it versus improving the part”

Ross N., OR (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The tailgate handle broke when trying to open it. The cost to repair it at our local Toyota Dealer was $650”

Michael B., TX (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“hatch lever has been replaced 3-4 times; comes in spurts. they replace and then a couple of weeks/month later it breaks again. next one stays works for 1-2 years”

Lynn L., TX (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“rear hatch handle braking twice replaced it with after market part made out of metal not plastic”

Jamie B., BC (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-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)

“2 CATALYTIC CONVERTERS FAILED”

Alan G., CT (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)
Fuel injection system

“Leaking fuel from rail to injector. Replaced O-rings 2 times prior at shop. This time they also replaced the fuel rail suspecting problem with rail”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Dashboard lights came on, $1500 to locate problem for new emission control requirements to renew license”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Oxygen sensor failure caused VSC warning light”

Anonymous, NC (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“repeat failure”

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-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

“CD changer would retain CDs. Could not be repaired and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, KS (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Never worked. Understood this is a common problem”

Larry M., TN (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The CD player quit playing and the CDs were stuck in the unit. I then bought a used radio on the internet and installed it myself to save about $600”

David A., MO (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)
Speakers

“Sound quality not very good, sounds like they are busted. All speakers”

Larry M., TN (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

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

Stability control (ESC)

“The vehicle is detecting a catalytic converter error and disables the Vehicle Stability Control system. There is no catalytic converter problem, so the mechanic just resets the error code until it happens again”

Gary D., NC (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“Mul;tiplr failures”

John C., GA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“The Stability Control system sometime cannot be engaged in the situation when you need it”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)
4WD/AWD components

“The 4WD doesn't work. When selected, it won't go into 4WD or the differential will not lock”

Anonymous, NS (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

“Replaced the cabin air temperature sensor - $235”

Mark G., CO (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

“air conditioning system went out on me”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)
Evaporator

“same issue wore out”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Driver side catalytic converter needed to be replaced at a cost of over $700. The passenger side was replaced earlier but not within the 12 months specified in the original question (10/2013)”

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Failed. Replaced in order to pass emissions testing”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“replaced both cat converter very expensive”

Jamie B., BC (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

“Suspension creaks and squeeks”

David H., OR (2003 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4.7-L V8)

“Sunroof rattles. I have to close it to keep it quiet”

Anonymous, UT (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-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

Alternator

“The vehicle broke down while being driven to toyota dealership to fix starting problems but, the alternator had failed. A used alternator was put into the vehicle because of it's age”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Sequoia SR5 4.7-L V8)

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Transmission Minor

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

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