Used 2003 Subaru Outback Consumer Reviews - 134 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Subaru Outback - Consumer Reviews

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134 Total Reviews

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Guess I got the lemon
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jane
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Immediately post-purchase, I noticed the car hesitated on acceleration & had slow & clunky gear shifting. I was told that was just "the boxer engine"?! The car chews thru the brakes - been replaced & repaired every year. Wind noise has been a constant irritation & I can't read stereo settings on bright days due to glare. Today, I was told that the head gasket is blown and the brake pads are gone again. In spite of having routine maintenance, this 6 year old car has had a long history of expensive repair, gets poor mileage & requires more expensive gas. I would never buy another Subaru but from others' revus, clearly I'm in the minority?! Must have been the lemon?!


Best Features

Comfort & styling.


Worst Features

Brakes, wind noise, stereo lighting, fuel efficiency & cost, smoother drive.


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Very Solid Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Skinney
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This has been a great car for me, I've put on almost 100,000 miles. Now have 122,000 and the car is still running strong. I haven't had any issues except with the door/window moldings, which lead to the wind noise everyone talks about. Two were replaced by dealer, one for free after warranty ran out (thanks Subaru!), and one more that needs fixing. Transmission "pops" when it downshifs from 4th to 3rd but has not created any issues except annoyance. Mileage is not bad considering the weight of car and full time AWD. I average 18-20 for everyday driving and get from 24-26 on the highway (with the H6-3.0) and I don't drive lightly. Out performs many trucks/SUV's in 12"+ snow in the mountains.


Best Features

It's been very reliable. Versatile in all weather conditions. Good sound system. Well designed for harsh winter weather yet still fun in the sun.


Worst Features

Fix the pop in transmission when downshifting at highway speeds. Fix awful door/window moldings that create the wind noise.


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Reliable
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Sorin
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought it brand new and now I have 140.000 on it. Drives like the first day. Have not had ANY engine/transmission problems. Wasted money on extended warranty. Did oil change myself, fuel filter only changed a couple a times, transmission fluid drained twice, Serp belt went at 100K. Changed spark plugs (major pain, buried deep) at 100K, looked like new. VERY reliable in all kinds of weather. Cons: wind noise (only if you want to drive above 80, and then I guess it's a good thing, it keeps you alert). Not enough leg room. Those who think a 6 cylinder will accelerate faster forget about it, it doesn't, because it's heavier. It is friendly, though, once you get to know it.


Best Features

This car can take you anywhere with the proper tires. I have had no problems with hydroplaning, drives great in snow. No car is good on ice.


Worst Features

The AC temperature sensor is located too close to the McIntosh sound system that tends to get hot.


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OMG OMG Giddy I am
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By BURU CUBBY
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Got this 02/09. I can only say OMG! Never had a Subaru before... I got 2 independent mechanics I keep, they said GET IT. It's a steal!! Had 79986 on it, 1 owner, is fave color green, it's got things I didn't think a car would dare have. I need it for the Chicago winters!! I'm in luuuvv!! I can NEVER drive an American made car again. Love passing by storefronts with windows & seeing it. I'm still in awe. The dual sunroofs are the bomb!! From what I hear these things just don't break down. I need that security driving alone a lot. The salesman thought I was gonna pass out from jumping around when he showed it to me (0: My Buru is all I could ever ask for. Everything is a perfect 10!!


Best Features

Dual sunroof, sound system, power seats, cup holders, fold in mirrors, AWD, 16" rims, green color, leather, heated mirrors/windshield, aggressive mac truck sound, L.L. Bean badging, transmission, heated seats, 2 storage units, hold on handles above doors and the alarm totally rocks!!! Little fixing!!


Worst Features

Get rid of the wind noise outside, and better fuel economy would be nice for the 6 cylinder range. Otherwise it's put together better than any American car I've EVER owned.


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So so....
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By d.c.meyers
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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...


Best Features

all wheel drive, relatively comfortable ride at all speeds... good steering feel..


Worst Features

improved body integrity, finally subaru has gotten the message in losing the frameless windows... I've had repairs to the front 2 windows due to excessive wind noise and infiltration.... ugh!!!


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