2003 Subaru Outback Overview


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Base Wagon
Avg. Price: $5,935
6 national listings
Avg. Price: $6,308
H6-3.0 VDC
2 national listings
Avg. Price: $6,808
H6-3.0 VDC Wagon
Avg. Price: $6,549
L.L. Bean Edition Wagon
Avg. Price: $6,803
4 national listings
Avg. Price: $6,275
Limited Wagon
Avg. Price: $6,299

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 810
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Nick Eidemiller
Reputation 500
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Tom Demyan
Reputation 440
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Have you driven a 2003 Subaru Outback?

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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. The high roofline, the butter-smooth leather seats w/seat warmers!! I got 10 speaker smokin sound system w/6 in-dash CD. It's LOUD!!! I like how... 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
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Looking for a Used Outback in your area?
CarGurus has 14,328 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,995.

Subaru Outback Questions


I Just Had My Mechanic Fix The Squeeling Belt For My Air Conditioner. Now I...

Just had my mechanic fix the squealing belt for my air conditioner. Now a couple days later my car is overheating and check engine lite is on. Also noticed that the blue cap that goes on a pipe just a...

14 views with 6 answers (last answer 2 weeks ago)

2003 Outback L.l. Bean Edition--driver's Side Window Is Tilted Forward, Doe...

A couple of days ago the front edge of my driver's side window tipped forward, so that the window doesn't close properly I suspect it isn't supported on the front lower edge, but wonder if this is a p...

18 views with 4 answers (last answer about a month ago)

One New Tire?

My father drives a 2003 Subaru Outback. His tires are only about 6 months old, but now he has a hole in the side of one. The Subaru dealer said that since his is an AWD, he really needs to replace a...

1,084 views with 6 answers (last answer 2 months ago)
Meghan Moore

2003 Subaru Outback No Spark 3 Or 4

I replaced the coil pack, cam and crank sensors, computer and plugs/bolts still won't start. Mechanic says it is a spark problem. Any ideas as to why the back half of the coil isn't recieving spa...

39 views with 3 answers (last answer 3 months ago)

Replace Rear Center Seat Belt

how do you access retractor in roof

300 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 years ago)