Used 2003 Subaru Forester XS AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Leather Package (2.5L 4cyl 4A) Consumer Reviews
My wife and I waited to see the 2003 model, and we are not dissappointed! The new styling makes the car appear like a new model. The reliability of the Subaru nameplate was critical in buying this car,considering the priciness of the Subaru marque. We have owned many Toyotas in the past. With a second home in the mountains, we needed a car with all-wheel drive and yet needed good fuel economy for my drive into Los Angeles for work. Currently, I am very happy with my mileage, which averages 24.5 miles per gallon. I think my wife is going to wrest the Forester away from me very soon.
We looked at several small SUV's including Santa Fe, Escape, VUE,and Honda CRV. We didn't like the "feel of the CRV, especially the dash-mounted shifter. We were unsure of the reliability and fuel economy of the others. We test-drove a 2002 Forester and the driving position was unsatisfactory for my wife who is 5 ft tall. The 2003 Forester solved all the problems we had with the 2002 model and it was very easy to decide on it. We feel the dealer gave us a good discount, considering it was the first 2003 he sold.
The first time I had ever heard of a Subaru Forester was when my husband and I got one as a rental car in Hawaii 4 years ago. I enjoyed that car so much that I have wanted one ever since and have finally got one. I wanted a small, but nice, SUV--and I feel like that is just what I got. I purchased a 2003 monotone silver with premium leather package. So far I have really enjoyed it. It seems to be of nicer quality than most cars in its class. The suspension in this car is more forgiving than in our Durango--not as stiff.
My wife & I purchase a 2001 Subaru Forester in March of 2000. We had been very pleased with it reliability and comfort. When the 03 Forester came out we drove it and purchased three days later. The improvements are more leg room front and back. More responsive suspension & feel of the road. Improved styling both interior & exterior, and they eliminated most of the road noise with better insulation in the rear.
I compared this to the RAV4 and CRV. RAV4 was quickly excluded because of its poor performance in crash tests and because side airbags are not available. The CRV lost because the 03 Forester is far more fun to drive. Also the Forester's really huge moonroof/sunroof was a big selling point.