2003 Subaru Outback Overview

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2003 Subaru Outback Overview

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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2003 Subaru Outback Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2003 Subaru Outback 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 Outback Questions

    Subaru Engine Swap

    I have a base model '03 Subaru Outback with a 5 speed. It has a junk engine. I found a '97 Impreza with a working engine. I was wondering if that would be an easy swap?

    2 views with 1 answer (last answer about a day ago)

    2003 Outback. Key Fob All Buttons Work, But Alarm Sets Even When Not Using ...

    2003 wagon; 4 cyl engine. Seller had no idea why alarm was doing it.

    7 views with no answers yet

    2003 Subaru Outback Oil Light On

    I have a 2003 Outback. Yesterday, the oil pressure light came on a few miles into my commute, and stayed on. Once I shut the car off, and let it cool, when restarted the light was out and stayed off t...

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

    At Oil Temp Light Flashing

    AT oil temp light is flashing and transmission is not shifting correctly, what can cause this?

    404 views with 2 answers (last answer about a month ago)

    What Are The Benefits, If Any, Of Using Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer And...

    My mechanic also used synthetic oil which caused the car to burn it off quickly and I had to go for another oil change to get conventional put in. Now seems to be running fine but he texted me about t...

    34 views with 8 answers (last answer 2 months ago)