Used 2003 Subaru Outback Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

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The Best as long as its an H6
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By rberkhei
on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Outback Wagon L.L. Bean Edition AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Subaru has long been the go-to for reliability and dependability for those who know of it. Perhaps these vehicles are the best kept secret or perhaps I'm the only one who needs a car monday-friday and a capable awd vehicle with ground clearance which can hold two kayaks and go anywhere in all weather conditions on the weekends. Set aside its diversity, these vehicles are incredibly safe and undoubtedly reliable. Add in heated leather seats, dual sunroof, premium sound, de-icing wiper blades, the torque of the 6-cyl engine coupled with the handling and some all weather mats, this granny wagon is capable of anything and loves a rough stretch of road! 220k miles and counting.


Suggested Improvements

Some knarley looking tow hooks would be awesome! I love pulling f250's out of ditches when traveling to work in 4+ inches of snow.


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Its taken me to the moon..now I want to come back
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By gowest2
on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Outback Wagon H6-3.0 AWD 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

Ok. So I am a died in the wool subaru fan but will make no bones about the fact that the H4 (2.5 liter models during these years and current models) have a BOATLOAD of head gasket problems. Their failure rate is very high. I happen to be lucky enough to have the 3.0 H6. I have just about 270k now and it still runs great and burns no oil. I maintain it well and do all the maintenance repairs myself. Have had no major repairs as of yet.


Favorite Features

Pros: The damn thing costs me pennies to drive when I really do the math..cuz it simply just keeps tickin. The awd is on par with other world class systems such as audi. With snow tires I cannot suggest a better car to drive in snow/ice conditions. Handles very well for a wagon. Oh...yeah..and it's a wagon! I still don't understand why Americans don't like wagons for the most part. Call me crazy...I love em! Overall I'd but another one tomorrow if I have too. I just hope the new 3.6 H6 is as reliable as this one!


Suggested Improvements

Cons: Very cramped. Not a great car to stretch out in. Wind noise from the flawed mirror design. Marginal mpg (around 20 around town). The ABS system sucks with this car. I had to disable mine as I would simply rather not have it than have a poorly working system. Maybe the new models have these issues fixes...I hope.


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A Lesson Learned The Hard Way
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By machineryman
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

All wheel drive


Suggested Improvements

Either fix the head gasket problems or guarantee the head gaskets for the life of the vehicle


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I may have been unlucky but this thing was hardly reliable
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jamespeaut
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Bought car used at 140k (as such this could reflect the previous owner's handling of it.) Week 1: Head Gasket, Oxygen filter, timing belt, Radiator leak Week 4: New Tires, New brakes, CV Joints, Bent Axis joint, oil leak Current: Week 8: Headlight electrical system failure. Paid: 4,500 for car. Repair bill: 5000 I may have bought a bum car but I'm really not impressed with the outback--It's hardly been reliable or cost effective. Even as a temporary commuter car (I bicycle for most of my work) it's cost me a chunk of change. I really wish I had stuck with my old Honda CRV Cons: Gas mileage in cities loud noise from exterior Bumpy ride From what I've experienced, unreliable


Favorite Features

AWD Low to the ground.


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Nice car, be good to it and will probably be good to you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ramborob79
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Nice base package, very good in the winter(upstate NY), roomy cargo area, not that bad on gas vs v6. solidly built car, I feel its safe for me and my family. Engine is still as strong as when we bought it.


Suggested Improvements

Undercoating on these should be standard as with the awd they will probably see a lot of salt. Full size spare as running them a lot with different size tires will damage the awd system.


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