ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2003 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially was replacing the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.

Collapse Safety Ratings

NCAP 5-Star Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Driver FrontPassenger FrontDriver SidePassenger SideRollover
2003 Accord 2-DR.********************not tested
NCAP videos are in WMV format.
Mac users can use Flip4Mac.
2003 Accord 2-DR. w/SAB**********not testednot testednot tested
2003 Accord 4-DR.*******************not tested
2003 Accord 4-DR. w/SAB**********not testednot testednot tested
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IIHS Crash Test & Rollover Safety Ratings

Good Acceptable Marginal Poor

2003 Honda Accord 4-door sedan

Moderate Overlap FrontSmall Overlap DriverSmall Overlap PassengerSide1Rear2Rollover
G Overall
G Structure
G Head/Neck Injury
G Chest Injury
G Left Leg Injury
G Right Leg Injury
G Restraints
Full IIHS Moderate Overlap Crash Test report »
Not tested. Not tested. P Overall
M Structure
Driver
P Head Protection
P Head/Neck Injury
P Torso Injury
G Pelvis/Legs Injury
Rear Passenger
M Head Protection
A Head/Neck Injury
G Torso Injury
G Pelvis/Legs Injury
Full IIHS Side Impact Crash Test report »
P Overall
G Geometry
P Dynamic
Full IIHS Rear Impact Crash Test report »
Not tested.

1 — Without optional side airbags.

2 — EX models standard seats.

Ratings only apply to the model and body or seat type tested. The date of manufacture and optional safety equipment can affect results. For full details see www.iihs.org.

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