2003 Subaru Forester Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 34 Total Reviews
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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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My favorite car
By Anthony C on 08/15/09 10:26 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This car has got it all. Its fun to drive, reliable and great features. The 160hp engine is capable enough but I wonder how the XT with turbo would feel. It feels quick and sharp when turning. With routine maintenance I have never had any trouble or need for repairs. The only thing I have replaced have been fluids and tires. Our XS model came with leather seats which are much easier to clean with kids, and the cold weather package: heated front seats, front wipers and side mirror defrost. Pretty nice when my wife was driving it to class and she could sit inside while the car heated up instead of standing outside scraping the car off in a bad neighborhood.
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Good car for bad weather
By Alex on 04/14/09 17:03 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought this car with 65,000 miles on it, now it has 100,000. Nothing wrong with engine or transmission. Forester showed high safety standards on the wet and frozen roads. I like the way Subaru handles the road and ability to drive in the all kind of weather with reasonable gas efficiency for AWD. From other side, car is obviously underpowered. And it is kind of difficult to pass other cars on the highways, it just can't get speed fast enough. So, if you are looking for a safe and reliable vehicle without any fancy design or performance, then Forester will be a right choice.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A Happy Camper, Overall
By Timber on 02/21/09 15:12 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

It has been a wonderful vehicle thus far. I bought it for the AWD, and I feel really safe driving it in the snow and ice. I don't ride in the backseat, but I've heard from my passengers that it can be a little tight if you are over 6'0". The cargo room is just perfect for what I need it for. I enjoy finding new places to hide/store things. The front windows are rather noisy when driving at high speeds, but overall, I have been very pleased with my purchase. I did my research and it has paid off.
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Baby Tank
By Dave on 01/25/08 12:00 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Excellent combination of style and practicalaty. It's surefooted as a mountain goat and always eager to please. I love the interior with all the nooks and crannies to store stuff. I counted 21 storage places, not to mention the places under the rear deck. Great visibility, and it pulls my pop-up camper with ease. The vehicle feels like it was poured out of a mold, instead of manufactured.
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My First Subie
By stsai on 09/18/07 14:45 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Great car, reliable, handles corners like a sedan, excellent cargo room. Sometimes wish it was a little faster. I am getting more around 21-22 mpg but I do climb a steep hill to go to work every week day. Seats were a little hard for long road trips so we re-upholstered the leather seats with 3 inches of memory foam and it has made a huge difference. Rear door speakers are laughable. Drive smooth, never had a problem. Huge moonroof.
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Fun & Reliable
By Lather on 01/01/07 04:17 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

This is actually my wife's car and I drive it occasionally. Prior to the 2003 we owned a 1998 and it is the first car to give my wife confidence in bad weather. The feel of the vehicle while driving is excellent. The steering is tight. The pickup is good. We love the huge moonroof. On the negative side, I wish the driving position of the seat was higher/taller. The 2003 could have used more leg room in the back seat. The gas mileage could be a little better. I drive a 1999 Honda CR-V and although it is a nice SUV it does not offer the solid feel that the Forester gives. It does get slightly better gas mileage, but with less horsepower. Overall the 2003 Forester is a solid vehicle.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
piston slapping Subarus
By Phil Mag on 09/01/06 13:25 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

My Forester has the 2.5 engine that has developed the infamous PISTON SLAP which makes it sound like an old uncared for car. We service per the manual, so it IS cared for. It sounds like loud lifter noise and it doesn't go away when warm. The dealer, after several visits, says it is just normal. Guess what car I will NOT buy next time. & I'm telling everyone I know.
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Solid and easy to upgrade
By ddev on 10/05/05 17:44 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This is my 2nd Forester. Traded in the 2000 because I got tired of the manual. When I got the 2003 XS, I also had a 1999 Audi A8 Quatro (315 HP, all aluminum, etc.) and remarkably, the Subo was more fun to drive -- and light years better mileage. I do wish they had a turbo diesel, and I'll probably keep this car till they do and then trade in.
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Excellent Car, Excellent Price
By Larry Eckman on 08/30/05 14:50 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This is my first Subaru and I am impressed. Excellent quality and fun to drive in the snow and rain. Sure-footed AWD and good traction make this a pleasure in foul weather. I highly recommend Subaru Forester as an alternative to higher priced gas guzzling SUV's.
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