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.
Big moonroof, pickup, reliability, overall driving experience.