Used 2003 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
ADVERTISEMENT

2003 Subaru Forester - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

182 Total Reviews

View reviews for a specific Forester model:
ADVERTISEMENT

Sort by

Most Recent|
Most Recent Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Good bang for your buck
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By R.J.
on

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.


Best Features

Safety ratings, all-wheel drive system, standard content and excellent build quality.


Worst Features

More room for rear passengers. Disc brakes for the rear wheels; the standard drums have a perpetual squeaking problem no matter how often they are cleaned.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

good car could be great
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Frank Gerechter
on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester 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.


Best Features

Easy to drive.


Worst Features

See my review. Tires are not my favorite. Bridgestone tires are not very good in the wear and tear factor.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Solid and easy to upgrade
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ddev
on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester 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.


Best Features

Visibility, road feel and handling, moon roof (huge), heated seats, controls (once you get used to them), ease of upgrade (you can buy nearly all the Subo options on the open market and everything is pre-wired and usually pre-drilled for mounting (speakers, mud flaps, electro sensor mirror, etc.).


Worst Features

The OEM tires are dangerous; near worthless in rain or snow. I replaced them all after 10K miles -- on this car and our '03 Baja. Insist on a no cost upgrade when you buy this car (don't forget to get an upgraded spare too, they are full size).


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Excellent Car, Excellent Price
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Larry Eckman
on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester 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.


Best Features

Heated seats, heated mirrors, full time 4 wheel drive, decent gas mileage and power to pass.


Worst Features

A bigger engine would be nice. I've got my eye on a new 2006 model with turbo power!


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

2003 Forester
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Dan Stosuy
on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Forester 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.


Best Features

Good handling, comfortable front seats, good visibility, engine performance, gas mileage, audio system, fun to drive.


Worst Features

The automatic climate control system needs a major redesign, especially as it performs in winter. Having the A/C kick on on a dry, 20 degree winter night does not make much sense to me. I would also suggest changing the shape of the tail gate to allow four foot horizontal clearance.


Was this review helpful? Yes | No

ADVERTISEMENT

Write Consumer Reviews

Write Consumer Reviews

Write a review and rate your own car.

ADVERTISEMENT

New Car Buying Guides

See which cars and trucks our editors recommend

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT