2003 Subaru Outback Overview


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Base Wagon
Avg. Price: $6,554
Avg. Price: $9,149
H6-3.0 VDC
Avg. Price: $6,804
H6-3.0 VDC Wagon
Avg. Price: $7,464
L.L. Bean Edition Wagon
Avg. Price: $7,065
Avg. Price: $6,505
Limited Wagon
Avg. Price: $6,785

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Nick Eidemiller
Nick Eidemiller
Reputation 430
#2 Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith
Reputation 370
#3 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 350
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Average User Score

4.65 stars

Based on 14 reviews

Take It by McCUBBY
 — Pros: I never owned an AWD before, much less a Subaru. Went from 95 Cutlass to 03 Outback. The high roofline, the butter-smooth leather seats w/seat warmers!! I got 10 speaker 100 watt sound system w/... Read More
Ultimate Sporty Wagon by Matt
 — Performance: I have put a lot of time and money into working on the 3.0L flat 6, and it runs incredibly strong. There are very few aftermarket items for this engine, but I got this thing running at 14... Read More
Great All Around Car. by DzemoJedi
 — Great car for all around driving, lots of room for passangers and cargo. Full time AWD makes it not so sporty handling while it works great on snow and ice. Trailer hitch is the best option on this ca... Read More

2003 Subaru Outback Overview

Overall User Score

4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.65

Based on 14 reviews

2003 Subaru Outback

A minor front-end restyling and more standard features are the only changes to the 2003 Subaru Outback, a sporty SUV alternative for those looking for better stability, handling, and fuel economy than the more traditional sport utility vehicles.  Aside from a tweaked front bumper, the 2003 Outback also gets new front struts.  Inside, the base wagon gets a CD player, while the Limited VDC models boost that to a 6-CD player.  All of the 3.0 models now come with OnStar, and the 2.5 models get the All-Weather Package standard, which means they now include heated seats and mirrors and a wiper de-icer.  

Boosting the list of equipment even on the base models makes the 2003 Outback more competitive with SUVs, and even the base model has a power driver's seat and remote entry.  Moving up the chain, you add leather seats, a dual-pane sunroof (single in the sedans), and automatic climate control.  A 2.5-liter, 165-hp H4 engine powers the base wagon and the Limited sedan and wagon.  A 212-hp, 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder is found in the L.L. Bean wagon and VDC wagon and sedan.  A 4-speed automatic is the only transmission in the 3.0s, while a 5-speed is also offered in the 2.5s.  All 2003 Outbacks have dual front-side airbags, ABS brakes, foglights, large 16-inch wheels, cruise control, power seats, and all-wheel drive.  The VDC adds traction and stability control, for premium handling.

Sitting up a bit higher than the Legacy, upon which it is based, and having a limited slip differential opens up more roads to the 2003 Outback.  The full-time AWD automatically apportions torque where needed.  The wagons are more geared towards an active lifestyle, with a rubber cargo mat, retractable cover, roof rack, and up to 68 cubic feet of space.  Drivers of the 2003 Subaru Outback are pleased with is sturdy reliability, AWD performance, and the long list of features, particularly the heated seats.  Legroom can feel cramped and seats uncomfortable for long trips, and drivers don't like that the headrests have to be removed from the split-folding rear seats.  Premium gas in the 3.0 Outbacks gets expensive, especially with a 21/27 mpg.  Though overall handling is smooth, drivers report some clutch shudder on cold starts.


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Picture of 2003 Subaru Outback Base Wagon, exterior
Subaru Outback
44% of the time
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11% of the time
Honda Civic
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Looking for a Used Outback in your area?
CarGurus has 14,023 nationwide Outback listings starting at $995.

Subaru Outback Questions


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What Type Of Antifreeze Is Recommended

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174 views with 1 answer (last answer 10 months ago)

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320 views with 9 answers (last answer about a year ago)

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824 views with 4 answers (last answer about a year ago)