2003 Subaru Outback Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Subaru Outback Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Subaru Outback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Flat 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 212 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 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.

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



03 outback 2.5l sohc

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

great car very reliable recommend changing the factory head gaskets their junk and upgrade them and youll never have the problem again ik i havent other than that the tranny and engine runs great havent had any other issues with the car other than minor stuff here and their like tube seals and blown dash light 10 yrs old so i thinks shes done me good still gets me from a - z fires up EVERYTIME one lesson i learned for anyone looking to do spark plugs though only run ngk plugs and wires amazing difference




200,000 miles and counting!

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback VDC AWD Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

I bought this car brand new in 2003. It has been problem free and reliable, I can honestly say this has been the best car I have ever owned. I would gladly buy another new 6 cylinder Subaru without a second thought.




Wife loves it

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback VDC AWD Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

Purchased used 1 yr old. 120K miles on the car so far. Never had mechanical problems. Wife loves it. Replaced McIntosh head unit after warranty ran out with aftermarket radio (First time replaced under warranty). Auto transmission jerks when downshifts from 2 to 1 gear at stoplight. Dealer inspected, no issues found. Average 25 MPG mixed driving. Replacing front brake pads every 20K miles. Wind noise is annoying after 65MPH even with replaced window seals. Needs more luxury features for $30K vehicle. It was my second Subaru after I loved WRX but probably will not be buying again. Better choices available for the money.




Darn that transmission

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

Overall I truly loved this car. Unfortunately the window noise everyone talks about came up for me around 30,000 miles but bigger than that, the transmission! Clunky from about 56,000 miles and finally bit the dust at 140,000. Come now, that's too early. I'm a very gentle driver, never accelerate too fast, and would certainly expect a better lifetime out of such a major (and EXPENSIVE) element of the car. Sounds like this is a trend with the 03 Outback :(




2nd subaru, might be last

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

My car was babied from day one. I upgraded to the Outback from a 2002 Impreza 2.5. I really enjoyed the car, until I started to notice a few sounds as I accelerated from toll booths, etc with my window still down. The dealers could never hear it. I noticed the transmission was always searching between 3rd and 4th gear. The wind noise has me going nuts. The paint has faded in different spots, and I am afraid to use the windshield wiper heater because when I replaced the cracked one, the replacements seem to have a defect with the heating element and it cracks the glass when used. I love Subarus, but my wife makes a good point when she says I need to stop buying someones bad design.




High mileage, still runs like

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback VDC AWD Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 4A)

No major mechanical problems. Routine stuff like brake calipers and pads but nothing major. Still is rock solid, lots of power (V6), great in the snow, slush and rain and fun to drive. Presently have goodyear assurance tripletred tires and recommend them on this car. All in all, still love the car.



Talk About The 2003 Outback

2003 Subaru Outback Discussions See all Started By

zoot2211
zoot2211
08-03-2014
Just bought a 2003 Outback. Can anyone tell me what the 3 switches all the way on the left of the dash do? Also, the one on the top of the column marked with the P. Sorry for the dumb question but I ...


jbrot
jbrot
01-08-2013
I have a 2003 Outback. A friend of mine took me to the airport and used the car. She did not have the alarm fob and set the alarm off. After a few hours of the alarm going off, she was able to get the...


chrisp813
chrisp813
09-17-2012
I have had a lot of repairs in the past year and a half on my 2003 outback (well over $5,000). The timing belt just went and I was told I need a new engine by the shop AAA towed to. Looking back at ...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
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