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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.

Updated by Anonymous

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Subaru Forester Questions

160

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...

Towing For A 2003 Forester

Why does the tow rating for my 2003 Forester go down from 2400 pounds to 1000 pounds for trailers without brakes? The smallest cargo trailers (5x8) weigh about 1000 pounds unloaded, and NONE of them...

Revving Engine

I have had this issue a couple of times over the past 6 months. When I come up to a stop sign and push in the clutch and engage the brake my car would rev up to 3000 rpm and stay there for a couple...

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 ...

Please Advise On Problem Or Fix For Window Staying Down

My 2003 Subaru forester driver door window and front passenger window not coming up from driver control switch,, they both go down only from the switch, the passenger window goes up and down using t...