2003 Subaru Forester Overview


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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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Subaru Forester Questions


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...

8,221 views with 42 answers (last answer 2 weeks ago)

2003 Subaru Forester

My 2003 Subaru forester overheated one day I limped it home and parked her. The next day when I tried to start it it started for a moment and coolant started shooting out the exhaust. Is there hop...

21 views with 2 answers (last answer about a month ago)
Franc Lucas

Tranny Swap

Can a 99 legacy b4 2.0 twin turbo sport shift tranny work on a 03 forester 2.0 twin turbo sport shift

6 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 months ago)

2003 Subaru Forester 2.5x With A Check Engine Light

Hey Scotty, got a 2003 Subaru Forester 2.5x with a check engine light. I think the engine code is 495 gas cap. Tried a generic and than put out $30 on a OEM. It is pretty consistent throwing the cod...

18 views with 1 answer (last answer 4 months ago)
Inn Attheridge

Whats Years Of A Forrester Have A Timing Chain?

I own a 2003 Forrester and my son owns a 2012 Forrester. Someone told me that the newer Forrester's have a Chain now. Can anyone tell me what year did the Forrester's Chain come into place? I own a ...

9,059 views with 2 answers (last answer 4 months ago)