2003 Chevrolet Tracker

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2003 Chevrolet Tracker Review

Pint-sized SUV trades power and space for unmatched maneuverability.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker remains one of the most recognizable compact SUVs on the market with its small size and available convertible body style. The four- to five-passenger body-on-frame SUV enters its 14th year of production with an unchanged and constant aesthetic. With its outdated design, lack of seating, and lackluster engines, it may deter some buyers. Then again, Chevrolet's littlest SUV has always been better known for its off-road skills and nimble maneuverability than for its people-hauling capabilities or good looks.

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker and its sister vehicle, the Suzuki Vitara, come in two-door convertible and four-door wagon body styles; rear-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations; and three trim levels. Base and sporty ZR2 models are equipped with a two-liter four-cylinder engine, while the top-level LT trim gets a 2.5-liter V-6.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Tracker, Chevrolet Tracker LT, Chevrolet Tracker ZR2

What's New

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker sports a few minor changes. Base models now come with a chrome grille, and all trims are eligible for optional tinted privacy windows while exterior paint choices now include yellow.

Exterior

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker is offered in two body styles: a two-door, four-passenger convertible with a manually-folding soft top and a four-door, five-passenger hard-top version. With its 162.6-inch length and 97.6-inch wheelbase, the fixed-roof model is 11 inches longer than the convertible, adding valuable cargo space. Standard features on the base model include 15-inch steel wheels, a rear-mounted spare tire, a black canvas roof, a rear side-hinged door, and variable intermittent windshield wipers. The ZR2 gains skid plates, a spare tire cover, and 15-inch alloy wheels, and the LT comes with the tire cover and alloy wheels with a roof rack and rear window wiper. Most of the LT’s standard equipment is optional on other trims.

Interior

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker feels surprisingly spacious with its 66-inch height and spare interior. The rear seat can be folded forward to increase cargo capacity to 34 cubic feet in the convertible and 45 cubic feet in the hard-top. Base models come with cloth upholstery, bucket front seats, power steering, air-conditioning, rear ventilation ducts, a 12-volt front power outlet, front reading lights, a passenger vanity mirror, a clock, a tachometer, and a four-speaker sound system with single-disc CD player. The ZR2 adds power locks, power mirrors, one-touch power windows, cruise control, keyless entry, and front and rear floor mats. The LT shares the ZR2’s features but also provides the option of leather upholstery. With a Preferred Equipment Group package, base models can be upgraded with power accessories, cruise control, alloy wheels, a tilt steering wheel, and, on convertibles, a cargo-area storage compartment. All trims can be had with deep-tinted privacy glass.

In the 2003 Chevrolet Tracker convertible models, front passengers receive 40.9 inches of headroom, 41.4 inches of legroom, and 50.6 inches of hip room, while rear passengers are given 39.5 inches of headroom, 35.9 inches of legroom, and 46.8 inches of hip room. In wagon models, front occupants receive 39.9 inches of headroom, 41.4 inches of legroom, and 50.7 inches of hip room, while rear passengers get 39.6 inches of headroom, 35.9 inches of legroom, and 46.8 inches of hip room.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker offer two engine choices. The base and ZR2 models are equipped with a two-liter inline-four producing 127 horsepower and 134 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the LT comes standard with a 2.5-liter V-6 capable of 165 hp and 162 lb-ft. The four-cylinder engine is paired to a five-speed manual transmission, while the V-6 comes matched to a four-speed automatic. For a price, both lower-level trims can be upgraded with the V-6 and automatic gearbox. Though two-wheel drive is standard, all models can be had with low-range four-wheel drive.

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker's small size helps it achieve adequate, though sometimes sluggish, acceleration and unmatched maneuverability in tight spaces in spite of its modest engines. A rigid frame and live rear axle contribute to genuine off-road capability. On smooth pavement, however, its design comes with the disadvantage of a rough, noisy ride. The SUV has also been criticized for uninspiring steering and noticeable body roll in curves.

Safety

The 2003 Chevrolet Tracker's standard safety equipment includes daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlamps, child seat anchors, front height-adjustable headrests, front disc brakes, and electronic brake force distribution. Although ABS is optional, side-impact airbags are not offered.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Tracker: 20/24 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Tracker LT: 17/19 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Tracker (4WD): 20/23 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Tracker LT (4WD): 16/19 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Tracker ZR2 (4WD): 20/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Affordable price
  • Impressive maneuverability
  • Sturdy ladder frame

You Won't Like

  • Scant cargo space
  • Feeble base engine
  • Cheap cabin materials
  • Choppy ride

Sum Up

Pint-sized SUV trades power and space for unmatched maneuverability.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Suzuki Vitara
  • Ford Escape
  • Toyota RAV4
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