2003 Subaru Outback Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

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2003 Outback Consumer Reviews

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Luv our sube!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Drifter
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Rear cargo room, lots of standard features, comfortable heated seats. Heated mirrors. Smooth engine and drive train. Wide wheel base is very stable.


Suggested Improvements

Not well suited to tall people (6'3") especially if back seat is down for cargo. Mileage is OK (avg 24), but no complaint, this is a solid and fairly heavy car.


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I love my car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By i can has car
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I have only had my Subaru for about 2 months but I have fallen in love with it. I'm only 16 years old, and it isn't exactly the coolest looking car, but it is fun to drive, pretty fast, and the double sunroofs are great. It has been the most reliable car I have ever experienced. The AWD has saved me a few times. But I mostly use it to go around turns way too fast.


Favorite Features

My favorite features are the V6 engine, the double sunroofs, and the back seat folds out into a bed.


Suggested Improvements

The only improvement would be the gas mileage


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Can't You Hear Me Knocking..
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By USMercury
on

Vehicle

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


Review

First thing I noticed was the knocking of the engine, which they say is typical due to engine design. The knocking was unbearable, which they ultimately fixed. Knocking started to come back, but I just sold it, so it will be taken care of next by someone other than me. As with most reviews, lots of wind noise. The wind noise is to the point where you have to turn the radio up. I went from a 6 cyl to this 4 cyl to save on gas, but to tell you the truth, it got awful gas mileage. Came with a broken 6 CD changer. Minimal acceleration in this vehicle. Started making another noise, like a rattle or shaking sound. But, itís gone, so fortunately not my problem now.


Favorite Features

Lots of room. With seats down, this wagon has the room of a typical SUV. Powered and heated seats, a nice bonus. Interior wood finish had a nice look.


Suggested Improvements

Fix wind noise. Add some more power outlets for cell phone, mp3 player, etc.


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Would not by another Subaru
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By G Frank
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Negatives:The head gasket went at 73,000, just past the warranty. I went online and there were 450 complaints on one website about the head gaskets on Subarus, yet never a factory recall. At 75,000, a fuel injector had to be replaced. Mileage on car is lousy -- as low as 19 mpg in town. Car leans a lot on turns and dealers said that is characteristic of the car. Turning radius is poor and is therefore dangerous when making a u-turn.


Favorite Features

Very good in snow. Very quiet ride. Good body integrity.


Suggested Improvements

Make a hybric model. Do something to improve m.p.g. Make a car that is really reliable, and when something is defective (like years of faulty head gaskets), issue a factory recall.


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bad choice
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By walter
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I think it was my fault buying this car, because my wife needed a wagon or something really fast because she needed it for commuting to work. Suvs were out of the question, but now we feel guilty because anything is better than this junk car. Forget about going on vacation because there is TOO MUCH WIND NOISE!!!! Its almost like having a separate stereo system, one for the radio, and one for the noisiness of the car. You won't get stopped because people love the way it looks because it is ugly, especially the '03 model. We are hoping to trade in the Subaru before it depreciates.


Favorite Features

safety, reliability, fuel efficiency, easy to drive, not alot to love about this car!


Suggested Improvements

less wind noise, better interior, bigger and louder horn, better dashboard mechanics.


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More horses, please
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jake
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

AWD, heated seats


Suggested Improvements

Performance, legroom, longevity of essential parts


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An honest car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By walkman
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This is a totally honest car, anything essential is generously equipped in the base modal. Those not found, they are bells and whistles. The roof rail has 4 bars (most others just have 2 bars, you will know the difference when you carry a bag or mattress on top). My wife feels fully confident and safe in it. Very stable on all kinds of road, no matter in snow, sleet, icy or wet. We enjoyed engine's humming sound on the high way when passing big trucks with speed well over 70mph. Thoughtful console design,leaving ample space for all the odds and ends. Downside is battery leak in the 3rd year. In its 5th year there is some wind noise developing at driver side.


Favorite Features

Unblocked rear view with large side mirrors and rear window (I believe getting a clear back view is crucial to safety). Spacious trunk, easily hold 2 bicycles. Heated mirror, heated seat. Windshield wiper deicer. Nice wood-like interior trim. Even the base model's stereo is decent.


Suggested Improvements

No side/head airbag. Slow acceleration, especially when climbing slopes. Make the button for heating mirror auto reset to non-heat mode after engine stops. So is the fog light button. The button for real window heater works this way.


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My wife's "tank" which she loves
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Firefighterjake
on

Vehicle

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


Review

My wife is a nurse who has to drive 35 miles each way to and from work in all kinds of weather. Before she used a Nissan 4WD pick-up, which worked well, but it seemed a bit top heavy to her in the snow and was severely under-powered. She absolutely loves this Subaru as she says it powers through everything Mother Nature throws our way here in Maine. In fact she says it's a lot like driving a tank as it goes through anything with no issues. We've had no problems and honestly feel the 4-cylinders provide plenty of giddy-up and go for us.


Favorite Features

One word: reliability. OK, maybe three more words: All Wheel Drive. If you need to get from "here to there" and don't want to be left beside the road or finance your mechanic's boat payment this is a great car. Handles well. I also like the heated seats.


Suggested Improvements

It's not perfect. Road noise is notable but not obnoxiously loud. Interior and exterior design doesn't overly impress me.


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Another good Subaru
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Chuck
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I am generally happy with this car. It gives me the cargo capacity that I need and is also useful as a passenger car. My car is a 4-cylinder and it seems a little weak on acceleration and going up hills. This can be particularly annoying when trying to merge onto the highway. Probably the 6-cylinder engine is best on this vehicle.


Favorite Features

One thing that I liked about this car was that it came with so many standard features. I didn't feel the need to add accessories. Cruise control, a/c, moonroof (2 of them) were standard.


Suggested Improvements

The electrical system does not generate enough power to power a bunch of accessories at the same time. When I have the heater, headlights and defroster on, the wipers start to slow down if I am idling. This was a problem in 2 other Subarus I had too.


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Belongs in the junkyard!!!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By eva
on

Vehicle

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


Review

My wife was talked into this car when she bought it. We wanted a safe and affordable wagon, but that doesn't mean subaru is a great car either!!! The exterior is disgusting, and wind noise is terrible. I can barely hear people talking! It accelerates like a donkey. Don't buy this car.


Favorite Features

cheap price and safety


Suggested Improvements

quiet interior,better looks,and better acceleration


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