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


    How To Change A Valve Cover Gasket On A 2003 Subaru Outback?

    Leaking valve cover gasket

    15 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 weeks ago)

    03 Outback Vdc Mac Head Unit Problem

    On the Mac head I only get static on weather band. Sometimes can control volume but no other buttons work. Any ideas? I can't find a replacement unit and the aftermarket ones are $500+.

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

    Subaru 2001 Forester And 2003 Subaru Outback Engine Compatability

    I have available a 2001 Subaru Forester with 80,000 miles on it and have a 2003 Subaru Outback with a blown engine. Both Vehicle ID's have #6 at 6th position on ID plate. Some one told me that the Int...

    549 views with 10 answers (last answer 2 months ago)

    Is It Possible To Just Buy And Old Car For The Body/frame (i.e. Grand Wagon...

    How can I do it safely because it's probably going to happen one way or another.

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

    I Have A 2003 Subaru Outback With A Throttle Response Or Acceleration Probl...

    When I pull up to a stop sign the revs drop to a normal idle. Then as I attempt to pull away it just lugs and limps forward for about 6 seconds till the rpms get to about 1100, then it jets off and ...

    64 views with 3 answers (last answer 5 months ago)