2003 Subaru Forester Consumer Review: The Accountant's SUV

2003 Subaru Forester - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

184 Total Reviews

X Wagon (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
The Accountant's SUV
By XSpremium on


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


Engine break in could be over 10k, since I continue to get higher city mpg. AWD does some bucking on turns, probably speed sensors in auto transmission. Acceleration is adequate for passing, esp. when pushing throttle, but have been experiencing some hesitation that can be handled by letting up on the throttle and re-applying speed. Tend to think it is Evaporative Emission system/valve near fuel tank because is usually only present in hot weather after car has been sitting with engine off. Fit and finish excellent in vehicle, very quiet on bumpy gravel roads with hardly a rattle. Good in snow, but winter tire pattern a must since vehicle tends to understeer. OEM tires no good in snow. Would buy again.

Best Features

AWD of course is the primary reason for buying this vehicle. Cargo capacity is moderate with rear seat folded down, but one doesn't buy a mini-SUV for hauling trees. Sound system with underseat woofer is first class. Rear wiper very handy with flat rear glass. Very comfortable front seating, posture.

Worst Features

Auto transmission dipstick needs to be longer to avoid heater hose on checks. Spark plug boot puller a plus. Barometer plus exterior thermometer. Separate maintenance schedule or CD. Better OEM tires. Backup warning system. ECU printout module, possibly flash memory. Redesigned undercarriage plastic shield/screws.
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