2003 Subaru Outback Consumer Review: Guess I got the lemon

2003 Subaru Outback - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

135 Total Reviews

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

Build Quality
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Guess I got the lemon
By Jane on


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


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.
Recommend (2) (0)

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Comments (1) Post a Comment
By travelr
on 07/09/16 17:50 PM (PDT)

RE: "WIND NOISE" My 2003 H6 Outback had the same. Using my past work experience working in Auto Mfg. Plants, I permanently fixed this problem. The noise in all of this era Subie's comes from the plastic triangle mount located at the base of the exterior mirrors (drivers/passenger outside mirrors). These black triangle pieces (apparently) warp with age just enough to have about an 1/8" gap at the rear facing edge of the plastic triangle piece. To fix the noise the best way is to remove the door inside upholstery panel and take off the outside mirror (3-mirror screws and approx 2 or 3 inside screws/bolts) then lift off the black plastic outside piece and with your index finger put a small 1/8" -1/4" bead of clear or black RTV Silicone along the UNDERSIDE (car side) REAR-facing (to back of car) EDGE (the underneath that will be hidden when the mirror is replaced) of the outside mirror assembly. USE 'Loctite' Thread Locker on 3-mirror screws. Alternatively, squeeze the silicone into and underneath the rear edge of the plastic triangle, carefully wipe off excess outside, let harden, NOISE IS GONE. NOTE: I was told Subaru had a recall (now long past) for the loosening of the 3 mirror-mount screws. The mirrors come loose, vibrate and are difficult to see through ... solution is to take the inside door panel off, unbolt the inside screws/bolts holding the mirror base, then you can get full access to the three mirror-screws and LOCTITE THEM !! This solution permanently fixed my Subie!

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