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Average User Score
4.5 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 10 reviews
2003 Subaru Forester Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 10 reviews
Though it was probably responsible for kick-starting the crossover trend, the 2003 Subaru Forester gets a major overhaul this year in an effort to stay competitive with the growing number of car-like SUVs hitting the market. Blending the versatility and cargo room of an SUV with the safety, maneuverability, and comfort of a sedan, the Forester has remained a popular family car. For 2003, the body and suspension have been stiffened and brake size increased for more stable performance, while overall weight has been reduced to accommodate more standard features.
Trim names have changed for the 2003 Forester. Now available as the base 2.5X and 2.5XS, about the only thing that's stayed the same is the full-time AWD and the 2.5-liter, 165-hp H4 engine with choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. New standard features on all Foresters include bigger 16-inch tires and keyless entry. In addition to ABS brakes, dual front airbags, and foglights, the 2003 Forester gets standard side impact bags, active head restraints, and a Hill Holder system that finds the right gearing to prevent rollbacks. The 2.5XS adds electronic brakeforce distribution to its front and rear disc brakes (the X only has front discs). The IIHSA gave the 2003 Forester its best pick for a compact SUV.
On the outside, a bigger grille and redesigned taillights are most noticeable on the 2003 Forester. Fender flares increase in size and halogen headlights are added. Interior rear legroom has been enlarged slightly, though the backseat is still most suitable for children. Cargo room remains the same, at 64 cubic feet with the split-folding seats down. Drivers love the reliability and strength of the AWD on snow and ice, and parents appreciate the safety and reliability of the 2003 Forester. Handling and turning ratios also get high marks. But owners feel the Forester is in need of a power boost, and the most common complaint was the inadequate tires. There is also mention of road and wind noise and a confusing climate control system.
What's your take on the 2003 Subaru Forester?
Looking for a Used Forester in your area?CarGurus has 16,584 nationwide Forester listings starting at $2,995.
Subaru Forester Questions
Engine Swap On A 2003 Forester?
I have a 2003 Subaru forester 2.5 xs and I would like to upgrade my engine for an XT model or something that will get me going faster. I want to do it but I don't have a clue where to start. I know I ...
Just had the transmission replaced and while driving with cruise control engaged, the car shook and began slowing. Pulled over for a few minutes check dash for any clues and started back up. Noticed ...
2003 Forester Low Gas Mileage
Idling rough when sitting still and gas mileage has dropped 5 to 8 miles per gallon
engine revs on manual trans going up hill occasionally, w/wo cruise control on.Doesn't last long but concerning
New To Subaru's
Is there any maintenece, like on hyundai's, toyota's,ect., to change timming belts at 60,000 mi. or any other kind of hidden maint. things that can be costly and or negate warranties if not done. Tha...