2003 Subaru Outback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Subaru Outback

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Subaru Outback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 165 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 Subaru Outback

  • A versatile alternative to mainstream wagons and crossover SUVs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    The security of all-wheel drive, comfortable on pavement, capable on dirt, well-appointed interior.

  • Cons

    Not as capable as an SUV in terms of pure off-road capability or interior volume, four-cylinder models lack verve, upscale models are expensive.

  • What's New for 2003

    Only minor changes have been made to the 2003 Subaru Outback. All models have freshened front-end styling and revised front struts. The struts feature internal rebound springs that are said to reduce body roll when cornering, as well as brake dive. In terms of features, the four-cylinder powered Outbacks gain the formerly optional All-Weather Package as standard equipment. The base Outback now has a standard CD player, and Outback Limiteds have an upgraded audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer. All six-cylinder Outbacks now have the OnStar communications system. Finally, the Outback H-6 3.0 VDC's premium McIntosh audio system has been fitted with an in-dash six-disc CD changer.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (16 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


A lesson learned the hard

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my Outback two years ago with 115,000 miles on it. In over 200 cars that I've owned I've never owned an Outback, but everyone that I talked to that had one loved it. This car ranks as one of the 3 worst cars that I've owned. It's the only car that I've owned that would break just sitting in the driveway. It's been a real money pit. With the chronic head gasket problems I'm surprised that anyone buys these. I sure wish that I had researched it before I bought. This was definately an expensive lesson learned the hard way.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice car, be good to

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

We have owned this car for about 5 years,bought the car with 60k and have put a little over 100k on it. The car has been quite an investment to buy and service but has never left us stranded.Head gaskets were replaced shortly after purchase under warranty and have been fine since. I was told subarus can be considered a specialty vehicle and I agree as they are built different than a lot of cars. Still starts right up,shifts smoothly,rides nice. If you are hard on your vehicle and used to putting very little money into it in the meantime, probably not for you.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Big dissapointment

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this car new and have had nothing but COST. At 36,000 it had a leaking head and it was pulled out and fixed, then it was the timing belt at 50,00 miles. Something wrong with it all the time. At 77,000 BOTH heads was leaking again & pulled resurfaced. Heater not working & fixed. When contacting SUBRAU they wanted all servicing recordss. I got the packet together of services & plus ALL fixes.. We waited A MONTH- called many times. My hubby called them and They wouldnt do a thing for me !!! One statement why was I didnt have the car serviced all the time from a Subrau dealer - we were very upset and never a SUBRAU again!



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

What a money pit!! too

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Beautiful car, roomy enough for transporting my children. Paint job is still brilliant and the car looks newer than it is. I really considered buying a newer outback, however at 70,000 miles, one thing has broken after another. First the wiper hose, then the wiper motor, head gaskets replaced, water pump and now the transmission is shot. I have put 3K into the car in the past 6 months. Thank goodness the transmission is still under warranty. I just wonder what is next to go. Too bad because I really liked driving my outback.




Honest review

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

We bought this rental car with 12K on it. wife drove it until it had about 90K on it then I started driving it. Only cons are its size--I'm 6' and this is a car that sits low to the ground. I'd rather have a SUV. Pros: reliability. NEVER a breakdown in 100K miles. Pre 100K repairs limited to brake pads, one O2 sensor, one tie rod end. Original tires lasted over 80K miles. At 100K I've had to do several repairs that would be expensive if you had to pay labor--AC hose, steering rack and CV boots. 105K timing belt change coming and will cost a bunch. Has typical subaru motor sound, but this car is going to run forever.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

No subarus in the future

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Within 48K I have lost my AC, redone the Brakes, lost the radio, small plastic hooks and knobs break off easily and finally the Head Gasket failed. Bad Subaru! the HGs have been failing on these cars since 1976 (my 1st Subaru) after many misleading discussions with Sales/mechanics we decided to give them another chance. FAIL. don't buy a Subaru w/o looking up their reviews/complaints first.For a car with this many features you would not think that this CRITICAL part would be so consistently overlooked.



Full 2003 Subaru Outback Review

What's New for 2003

Only minor changes have been made to the 2003 Subaru Outback. All models have freshened front-end styling and revised front struts. The struts feature internal rebound springs that are said to reduce body roll when cornering, as well as brake dive. In terms of features, the four-cylinder powered Outbacks gain the formerly optional All-Weather Package as standard equipment. The base Outback now has a standard CD player, and Outback Limiteds have an upgraded audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer. All six-cylinder Outbacks now have the OnStar communications system. Finally, the Outback H-6 3.0 VDC's premium McIntosh audio system has been fitted with an in-dash six-disc CD changer.

Talk About The 2003 Outback

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs