2003 Subaru Forester Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 182 Total Reviews
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Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!
By jtecho on 09/03/13 14:25 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Package (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

i personally love the car, i am a auto enthusiast and this car is just great. it has a very sturdy look and build quality. mine is 10 years old and has over 120k miles. i have replace the converter once and took it in for annual check ups and maintenance. one major problem is the the head gaskets and the oil. other wise the car is outstanding. the AWD is one of the best in the business and does its job really well.
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Just not a great car
By karlou on 07/12/13 04:35 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon 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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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
50,000 km and a huge bill
By kloc on 11/12/12 13:18 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

Our 2003 Forester has been maintained by our dealer since purchased new in late 2002. From day 1 it has had a coolant leak, a fact that has been pointed out to the dealer at every scheduled service. The dealer, of course, could not find the source of the coolant lead until after the warranty expired, whereupon we were told that the head gaskets were leaking and the car had developed piston slap to the point where driving the car was ill-advised. The master tech told me that Subaru has told dealers to ignore the problem until the warranty expires. Last Subaru I will ever purchase; this was our 7th.
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6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Most reliable car I've ever owned!!!
By spunkyhorn on 05/22/12 05:29 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Package (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

I absolutely love my 2003 subaru forester. It has never left me stranded and has required the least amount of repairs of any car I've owned. The only repairs that I've done on it are wear out parts like brakes and rotors. I've recently (105,000k) had the timing belt, water pump, and most of the fluids replaced just as a pre-emtive strike to keeping this vehicle running as best it can well into the 100k's.
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3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Wanted to love it; absolutely hate it
By kal13 on 04/16/12 23:36 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This is my wife's car but I drive it more than her because she cannot stand the road noise, brake noise, lackluster A/C and other querks that cannot be fixed. My wife had wanted a subaru for a while so we traded in her truck for a forester to get better MPG and handling while keeping AWD for winter safety. It has been disappointing from the start. There is horrible wind noise above 35mph that gets exopentially louder with increased speed. Dealer and independent mechanics say it is window/door design and cannot be fixed. brakes squeel embarassingly loud regardless of pad type. It is mediocre at best in the snow - on par with most FWD cars. Head gasket went at 100K mi - $2,000 repair.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Made me a believer!
By goyanks on 09/02/10 11:05 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Loved the car from day 1. I have rescued a number of people stuck in the snow with larger SUVs. A bit noisy in the cockpit but has never left me stranded. After close to 150K miles I think I'll get a new one :)
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Falling apart
By Gerterschnitz on 07/24/10 07:55 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

We bought this car new in 2002. It was fine for the first few years. It's been well maintained. However, in the past 2 years we have replaced sway bars twice; sway bar links need replacing; heater blower fan just died; several engine gaskets are seeping. The car is simply not built for much other than smooth highway driving. It's also noisy - and was right from the get-go. I would not buy again.
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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 Wagon 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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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fair
By Skip on 05/24/10 06:44 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

This vehicle has been dependable and good in the snow. However the engine noise is very annoying. The dealer calls it " piston slap" and says it is normal for Subaru and would not do anything under the warranty. Because of this I will probably not purchase another Subaru
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Totally reliable, but a bit spartan.
By Jon P on 04/23/10 11:17 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I did a great deal of research on mid-size SUV's and narrowed my choices to the 2003 CRV or the 2003 Forester. After 4 years and 45K of driving I think I may never buy anything but a Subaru again. The car handles any weather condition you can throw at it with ease. Snow, rain, ice, sub-zero temps. The car behaves well in any element. Most importantly though the car just runs well with no major mechanic or electrical problems to date. Certainly there are some minor, mostly aesthetic and comfort changes I would welcome. However this car has earned my trust and has been an excellent ambassador for the Subaru line-up. The best vehicle purchase I have ever made.
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