2003 Subaru Forester - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 45 Total Reviews
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Just not a great car
By karlou on 07/12/13 04:35 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Have had the car for ten years (bought new) and almost 130K miles. Many problems from the start, not the least of which was the flames coming out the tailpipe towards the end of the first year. Has needed much maintenance and repair over the years, and one important fact about subarus - they rust. So surprised in this day and age how rusty this car has gotten, and I'm very good about washing the car (including underneath). Wind noise bad almost from the start, and three trips to dealership never got it better. Very cheap interior materials, now looking to finally get new and better vehicle. Never again a Subaru!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I like
By Ala on 05/26/10 02:24 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

My ex was an 86 Tarago GLI van that can get bogged on a football field, yet I was able to force it to go into 4WD territory mainly cos of the ground clearance. Subaru AWD is awesome, and the comfort level is a huge step for me in all respects. Being an 03 model the head gasket was done before I purchased it at 160K. It's is a manual with lo-range. Tearing off in lo-range there are no wheelies, just a rocket forward up a steep slope. Handling in the dirt or on the tar is impeccable. Anti-lok brakes are a welcome novelty. The 2.5 L boxer is edgy and free-revving making this a driver's vehicle. Handles like a well mannered car, better than the cars I drive. Love it
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Avg car
By Angel on 08/24/09 13:35 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Noise on highway, expensive maintenance, hard to fit car seats, good handling, good gas mileage. I was not happy with it, that I had to replace it with a Honda Odyssey.
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We live over a 1200 foot high mountain.
By Helen Laughlin on 01/28/09 20:28 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

We don't know from one day to the next what our weather will be in the winter. The Subaru is wonderful. This past winter the regular road was closed and we decided to take the summer only road. There was 6 inches of snow on the road and the Subaru went through it just fine. My daughter is in the Air Force and we are looking to help her buy a new Forester. You never know where you will be and it will get you through. It holds to the road just superbly. I drove 18 wheelers in all weather across the U.S. and my Subaru is just as fantastic to drive.
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Piston Slap
By Duke on 01/28/09 18:09 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Bought the Subie a month ago with 62K on the OD. The boxer engines are prone to piston slap and mine was no exception. I bought it stipulating that the piston slap would be remedied and it was (valves were adjusted).The car does what it's supposed to do - gets you around with decent gas mileage and sure-footedness in inclement weather. This suv is 6 years old and I am confidant I will still be driving it 6 years from now.
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Don't do it!
By g green on 07/24/08 21:39 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Car is awful. Had to replace wheel bearing, 2 head gaskets, clutch at 55,000 and am told my transmission is going, emailed Subaru about concerns and was told that is normal and I could purchase an extended warrantee-- yeah that will help after the fact. I have the hill hugger feature that freezes up and won't let you move.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Be Careful with this one
By ... on 06/16/08 05:02 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

I thought this car would be a great buy and at first it was. I love the way it handles, acceleration is good, gas mileage is fair. Now after owning it for not even two years, and still paying the sucker off I have not one but two count 'em two bad head gaskets, $1600 to fix, and it is a common problem. Just check msn autos reliability raitings. Bad head gaskets, it's what makes a Subaru a Subaru. Do not buy!
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Good Car
By billreed63 on 10/12/07 13:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

The car has had excellent reliability. The gas mileage could be better based on the car's size and engine performance. The carpet is very poor. We already have a hole in the carpet from wear.
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I like it and would buy another.
By C Evans on 05/17/06 07:40 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

It has had one major repair ... piston replacement (warranty), and it is under powered. But it does incredibly well in deep snow and in icy conditions.
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Good bang for your buck
By R.J. on 03/05/06 08:48 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Had the vehicle for about 3 years now. Very satisfied with the fit and finish of the car. It has a lot of standard equipment for a base model. The 4 speed automatic transmission is a little bit lazy getting the car moving. The Forester fairs very well in inclement weather; it is also a very highly rated vehicle safetywise by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), especially when compared against rivals in this price range. My only real complaints are the tight back seat and the antiquated rear drum brakes on the 2.5X, with the perpetual squeaking problem that a dealer rep advised me was just a poor brake shoe design inherent on this model.
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