2003 Subaru Forester Overview

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Based on 14 reviews

2003 Subaru Forester Overview

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.

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2003 Subaru Forester Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2003 Subaru Forester against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

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    Subaru Forester Questions

    Turns Over Will Not Start

    car was running it shut down and will not restart. acts like it ran out of fuel. tank is full . checked to see if it was getting spark. it is . checked to see if it is get fuel by pulling the fuel lin...

    14 views with 4 answers (last answer about a month ago)
    70

    Tail Lights Won't Shut Off.

    The running-tail lights will not shut off. The brake lights are fine. They shut off. It's the automatic tail lights that will not shut off. I have read the manual, worked every switch and dial and n...

    11,876 views with 45 answers (last answer about a month ago)
    10

    My Forrester Cruise Light Is Flashing And My Check Engine Light Is On Also

    Car stalled and cruise light is flashing and check engine light is on also

    398 views with 8 answers (last answer 2 months ago)
    20

    Overheating Subaru

    I have a 2003 Subaru Forester with the 2.5 just bought it and did timing belt plugs wires and coil. Ran great for about a month then started overheating so I put a new thermostat in made it to wor...

    47 views with 15 answers (last answer 3 months ago)
    5

    Where Is The Starter On A 2003 Subaru Forrester

    11 views with 2 answers (last answer 3 months ago)