2003 Subaru Legacy - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 64 Total Reviews
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Amazing until 100k
By _herzog on 11/08/13 11:35 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

I loved this car and would purchase another, because Subaru's are safe and handle amazing. Worse luck though, I had a blown head gasket at just over 100k and that was the beginning of all sorts of engine problems, resulting in eventual engine replacement; and this, despite faithful maintenance from the dealer since I purchased it at 14k.
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6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Great Subaru Can't Go Wrong
By barufan on 04/02/12 14:27 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

This car has been rock solid. Over 150,000 miles and counting. The review that talks about the shifting, just drop into 3rd on the automatic in-town; the 4th gear is overdrive for the highway...read the manual! The head gaskets have been an issue, but there is a replacement gasket that permanently fixes the problem. I did mine as a preventative and it is still cheaper to own than many other car brands that I won't mention. I think this is a great car and will buy Subarus forever. Can't wait for the diesel model to hit the US.
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8 years on: many major repairs
By tommchugh on 12/02/11 09:15 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

Bought this car new in 2003 because of manual transmission,wagon&4wheel disc. Until 2006 this was a reasonable car for my wife to drive for errands and commute. 2006 brought out the true character, noticed the clutch slipping at 48K. Had moved, took it to a dealer in new location, need 3 part clutch and brakes, calipers and rotors for ~$4.2K. Brakes had never "chirped", pass. front rotor very thin. Subaru after much back and forth did the parts but not the labor ($2.4K) at 48,000 miles. Fast forward to 2011, front brakes rotors and calipers @ 8 K mi., and today at 88K same for rears + fluid flush because of heat damage. Called Subaru today, thanked for report. Will NOT buy Subaru again
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5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Not like previous Subarus
By Russ on 03/12/10 10:36 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

This model was a lemon from the start. First two days discovered there was almost no transmission fluid in the transmission. Dealer blamed us but rescinded when I wrote to Subaru Regional Manager. 70K miles car overheated due to blown gaskets, $3,000+ replacement of heads. Now at 125,000 it is being towed away as a donor as either the rod bearings or main bearings are starting to go. Two previous Subarus (1990's models) are still on the road after we gave them away at 225,000 miles years ago. This is the last Subaru we will buy.
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fooled
By A.V. on 01/13/10 19:21 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Review

I bought this car brand new seven years ago thinking that since it was a Subaru I wouldn't have to worry about a major repair bill until well after it hit 100,000 mi....I was wrong. This car only has 86,000 mi. on it and the cylinder head gasket is leaking. Cost estimate for repair is $920 to repair the one, and if I want to replace both the estimate is around $1700. Shortly after I bought the car, Subaru had a recall on it to fix something in the transmission. So much for the Subaru reputation for building a reliable car. Another irritation is the heater, it gets my right foot nice and toasty but leaves my left foot cold. On the positive side; it is a comfortable ride.
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Not so sexy, but....
By Welldav on 04/20/09 14:22 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Ok, the car isn't the greatest car in the world. But it is very practical, reliable and just a plain workhorse. It hauls my family around, my toys and junk we buy. It's short so my wife and folks can get in and out without assistance (they are disabled). When I bought it my wife hated it and laughed at me for wanting a wagon, now she took it away from me, so I am stuck with the sedan.
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Fun to drive, but needs good clutch
By DAGreek on 02/14/09 18:25 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

I get about 20 mpg in town and 24-28 on freeways. The only major repair in 70K miles was a new clutch at 50K, which is miserable. A local Subaru specialist replaced it with a heavier version. The notchy tranny needs a 6th gear and the seats are no help for me, I am 6'3". The car is fun to drive on windy Sierra highways, and the AWD is a blessing in the snow. The engine could use more power, but if you use the whole power band and the 5 speed, it works. If I get better mileage out of the second clutch, I'll buy the Recaros.
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This car is OUTSTANDING
By twincities25 on 02/06/09 02:37 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

No problems. Great MPG. I have the special edition L series which includes a fantastic sunroof and upgraded wheels. I bought the 5 speed for better acceleration and good MPG. The best MPG I have gotten was 30 (highway). I baby this car and always have the routine maintenance done. I live in a snowy/icy area so the All wheel drive is definitely appreciated. I have never driven a more reliable car. I still get compliments on the car even though it is more than five years old now.
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This is the best car I have ever owned
By MNlovessubies on 10/19/08 22:00 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Extremely reliable - even at 82k miles. The clutch is tight and acceleration with my manual 5 speed transmission is good. I have achieved 30 MPG on highway trips. I take this car on long trips and the seats are the perfect mix of firmness and luxury. I live in Minnesota, so the AWD has saved me numerous times while others are stranded. I honestly haven't had a single problem. I do keep up all recommended maintenance at the Subaru dealership.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Great ideas, but rough around the edges
By PCtechGUY on 04/20/08 16:53 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Purchased this car about five months ago for the AWD. AWD is great, but does add extra weight to the car. This slows acceleration, but worst of all, you can feel the shifting in the tranny much more so than a FWD. Tranny is the worst part of this car. You hit overdrive at 35 mph, and if you coast at 35-40, it kicks in and out of overdrive constantly for hills, as well as everytime you have to bleed off speed for curves, which makes for a jerky ride. Under normal driving conditions, the car will do a lot of shifting, and the tranny is not the smoothest shifter. Interior quality is good, but could have been a little better. The knobs for the AC and heater feel a little cheap.
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