2003 Subaru Outback Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Subaru Outback Wagon

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Subaru Outback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 165 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 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 (26 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


03 manual wagon

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

A fun car, with better than quoted fuel economy ( 23-24 mpg generally) very comfortable drive.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

The worst mistake of my

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Second Subaru - both lemons. After 83,000 miles on the car (legacy Outback) and regular maintenance (no problems to date) the car needs over $4k worth of repairs. van Bortel, Victor NY - worst dealer ever - offered me $800 trade in. That's right, $800, even though Edmunds lists rough condition as worth about $4k in trade in. Yes, I bought the car there. van Bortel really knows how to treat their customers. I will never buy a Subaru again. Shame as I really wanted to like them.




So so....

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this used, with 9500 miles... the dealer failed to ensure proper alignment.. back in it went... biggest disappointment, the mileage, averaging about 20mpg, on PREMIUM gas... I was not forewarned that this 2.5l '4' would knock like crazy without higher octane gas... otherwise I would NOT have purchased... also had major piston repair, thank god for the extended warranty, almost 1800 bucks of damage... note that the car has been meticulously cared for...




Improve mpg and wind noise

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased my Subaru used in 2004. I have been extremely pleased with its handling and performance. However, its mileage is abysmal. I got a SCAN II computer and began hypermiling last April, and started to see decent numbers (30-31+) but with a lot of effort. Then I noticed winter temps and (I've read) winter fuel mix REALLY brought numbers down, to around 23+. Also that wind noise is a nuisance. By just tapping the switch a bit I've achieved prompt, temporary relief. Buy this car for snow and ice, but for warmer climes, a lighter FWD car might be better.




Luv our sube!

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Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Knock on wood, car has been good to us. 2.5 4-cyl has plenty of pop. I've found a good (ex) Subaru mechanic who has his own shop. I don't need him much. Passenger side CV joint boot let go @ 60,000 miles. You know when it's gone, grease drips on the cat and you can smell it burning. Its adjacent to the exh sys so heat breaks it down over time. My mechanic also says I can look fwd to head gasket leak @ 100k miles. This is because of the Boxer flat design, it stresses the head bolts. All in all, he says the 4 cyl is solid, but the 6 cyl is usually $$ trouble after 100k miles. Wind noise was an issue, common problem, he tweaked the front window corner piece with screw driver.




More horses, please

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Subaru Outback AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

For such a heavy car, it is underpowered. However, for such a large vehicle, it drives wonderfully, handling like a sports car around turns with minimal understeer. At 76K miles, my head gaskets began to leak despite the fact that the car was always well cared for. Other than that, no mechanical problems. For 6'+, however, the car is cramped and overall interior design isn't as good as it could be. The stance is great for getting around in the snow or driving over small obstacles. For the price, the car has been great, but look into the H6 engine.



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

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs