Tacoma is a workhorse, but a poor choice as an everyday passenger vehicle, although it has a fairly refined and efficient powertrain, competent brakes and reasonable fuel economy. With the off-road-oriented suspension and tires, it's also one of the best off-road vehicles we've experienced. The downside is a poor ride and clumsy handling. A tip-up in a government rollover test is cause for concern.
There are 5 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

"Because of the size of the truck especially the tire size and my truck being a 4-cyl, the pickup lacks, towing is slow. I would purchase a Tacoma again only a 6-cyl next time."

NATALIE T., WI (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"I bought it to tow a trailer and it does quite well."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"acceleration sometimes sluggish"

BARRY S., NC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Poor acceleration - somewhat under-powered with the 2.4L engine."

GRANVILLE H., FL (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"It is a 2003 and it does drive like a truck. Acceleration if poor compared to the Rav 4 as is handling."

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"A little underpowered for towing, but otherwise good. I'd like to see better gas mileage."

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Acceleration is fine. Traction isn't so great. But I understand that Toyota improved it i subsequent Tacoma models."

JOSEPH P., SC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"On dry pavement this vehicle is a joy to drive. It's acceleration and handling are thrilling and all you need for the street and highway. I also use it for utilitarian purposes,hauling wood and stone, and it pulls its weight. Nevertheless, the concentration of the vehicle's weight is up front which makes wet weather handling relatively poor even with the stock wide tires. Especially in hilly areas this vehicle cannot be safely driven in snow or ice."

GEORGE W., TN (2003 Toyota Tacoma)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Ride typical for a truck."

PASQUALE G., MD (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"noise louder than normal and increases with age"

Anonymous, HI (2003 Toyota Tacoma)


RICHARD M., TX (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"jus great"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"The Toyota Racing Development package makes for a very stiff and bumpy ride."

MERCURY P., AR (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Seats need more padding. Ride is punishing and road noise is loud"

Anonymous, CT (2003 Toyota Tacoma)


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

What Owners Say

"Every one knows the value of this p/u truck!"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Considering that it was a value buy from CarMax for 16K 10 years ago, it continues to be our main vehicle for hauling and still costs relatively little to maintain."

LINDA B., MD (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"great value and excellent product"

JAMES W., WA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Top value of everything in its class"

MICHAEL G., OH (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Recalls must be performed or the frame will become unsafe"

MARK S., WV (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Overall, great value, including resale value. The mileage (18-19 early, now 17, with the 3L V6) is lower than I'd like. A small diesel in the same truck would be fantastic."

MICHAEL M., OR (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Best small truck I could have bought for the money. It is still holding its value well."

ELIZABETH Y., MI (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Alot of solid service from this vehicle. Had no trouble with it since i gouht it 2nd hand."

Anonymous, VA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"very reliable car"

CORNEL T., TX (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Good value or the money."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"The truck was expensive compared with other new trucks at the time, but it has been very reliable. At that time Toyota Tacoma's were so popular that there was no negotiating on the price and there were not many available in BC so we didn't have a choice as to color."

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"I have always owned full size trucks previously, because I sometimes tow trailers and campers. I occasionally miss the full size bed ant the ability to tow larger items, but I don'w miss the much higher fuel bills. For its size this old Tacoma been a great truck to own. I am thinking about getting a Tundra."

VANCE C., WA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Reliable truck with good gas mileage"

STAN W., SC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"The Tacoma doesn't seem to depreciate as quickly as other vehicles. Maybe 10-14% per year with average miles"

Anonymous, TX (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Consider it to be the Best Compact Pickup by far"

T W., CA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Good urban truck"

J G., OR (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Pric on high side even though I was able to do some bargaining."

PASQUALE G., MD (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"The best thing about this vehicle is how it has held its value. We've been told we could get/offered $15K. It has a manual transmission which you can't get any more. And it's just a solid utility vehicle. Everyone in the neighborhood borrows it when they need a truck."

DONNA P., CO (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Enormous utility for my lifestyle. Great gas mileage. It helps if one doesn't over-expect; I didn't buy this truck for comfort, I bought it for its utility."

Anonymous, MA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"It is 13 years old and all I've ever had to do mechanically was to buy a new set of tires and reline the brakes - once. There's a tiny bit of surface rust at the bottom of the doors and the rear bumper top surface has surface rust ight through the chrome. Other than that the vehicle looks new. Its fast, gets decent mileage for its age and purpose. Most of all it's a TRUCK."

MARK M., OH (2003 Toyota Tacoma)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"I think the design of the truck is a classic - beautiful. As our only vehicle it is a good compromise between a sedan and a truck, both in looks and function. More recent models are more masculine and beefed-up, not as handsome."

Anonymous, BC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"High value"

DENNIS B., FL (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"It was the next to last year of the truly small pickup trucks. Auto manufacturers need to start building trucks this size again. The new Tacomas will not fit in my garage and do not get as good gas mileage."

JAY E., NE (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Popular size and style. Current Tacomas are about the size of the 2003 Tundra. All the pickup styles have gotten too big! Not all of us a farmers and ranchers!"

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Very functional."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota Tacoma)

"Plenty of room for guests in the back seat"

STAN W., SC (2003 Toyota Tacoma)
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