2003 Subaru Forester Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 182 Total Reviews
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Good Car
By billreed63 on 10/12/07 13:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon 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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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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I like it and would buy another.
By C Evans on 05/17/06 07:40 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester Wagon 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 Wagon 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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good car could be great
By Frank Gerechter on 12/29/05 17:00 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

The car is solid and practical. Some small complaints. Lumbar support is not great. Could be a bit longer in size. CD player is fair. Power is ok for most conditions. Would I buy another one? Yes, but will look at several other similar models too.
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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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2003 Forester
By Dan Stosuy on 08/03/05 10:21 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Generally happy with the comfort, driveability, economy, and utility of the vehicle. However, three complaints in order of severity: 1- In the winter, once the cabin has warmed to the selected temperature, the climate control system blows cold air on your face and hands, and super heated air on your feet. Subaru has not acknowledged that this is a problem. 2- Wind noise around the driver's window, and 3- the tires wear fast, have poor snow traction, and are noisy. Also, their size results in a speedometer and odometer error of nearly two percent. Think about that when your warranty runs out 700 miles before it should.
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