2003 Subaru Forester

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2003 Subaru Forester

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Available in 2 styles:  2003 Subaru Forester 4dr AWD shown
Asking Price Range
$3,155–$9,839
Estimated MPG

21 city / 27 hwy

Average Ratings

Overall

4.0 out of 5

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

12 out of 18 people recommended this car.


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Consumer Reviews

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    1-10 of 18 reviews

Great for fun and commute!

by 2nd Subaru owner from California | June 16, 2013

I love my 2003 Forester. Has 208,000 miles on it. Did the engine work, usual maintenance, and just bought another....they go forever! 24mpg commuting/26 road trips.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


A good, sturdy dog car

by Dawg Mom from Annapolis, MD | January 18, 2013

We purchased a used 2003 Subaru Forester with 164k miles from a private buyer through cars.com. It is a sturdy vehicle and, so far, dependable. Nice room for 2 70-lb. dogs, with the back seats folded down. And maybe even one more dog. Drives mostly like a car, versus a full-blown SUV. And, it's 4WD, which will make it my work car during bad weather. I'll bet it was really "stylin'" when it was new! (This particular car has all the bells and whistles.)

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Transporting family
Does recommend this car


blue forester

by car byuer from LONG BEACH CA | December 22, 2012

Nice car leaks oil from the drivers side head. Also had a vibration from the brakes and paul took care of it. But we had to pay him for that. We did not buy the car he was not willing to repair it. But it comes with a 50 50 warranty. So you will be paying 50% of the repair that he is aware of. We did not buy it . He cried he broke his first rule of selling cars. Then cried he lost money on turning the rotors. What he lost is us as customers. So we paid him to fix the brakes on a car we did not buy. If you let it run and warm up ... You will smell the oil burning. Just want you to be aware need to spend a little money on it.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does not recommend this car


some good, some bad

by car enthusiast from Chicago, IL | November 3, 2012

I bought my 2003 Subaru Forester new almost ten years ago. It now has 103,000 miles and I have always had preventative maintenance performed. Some things about the car I like very much, others not. With it's all wheel drive it's a great car in slippery/snowy conditions. However, the AWD really seems to affect the gas mileage. The Boxer 4 cylinder engine and automatic transmission get about 22 mpg combined city/highway and about 26 mpg on the highway. I would hope for better gas mileage with a 4 cylinder engine but I guess that's at the expense of the safer AWD performance. The flat 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine is peppy for a 4 cyl. engine but is barely adequate for the size of this vehicle. The flat 6 cyl. engine was not an option for this car. I have had more mechanical problems with this car than I would expect based on Subaru's reputation. I had to have both head gaskets replaced around 70,000 miles. That was expensive. I understand this is a common expensive problem with Subarus of this era. A rear wheel bearing went bad around 40,000 miles. The heated driver seat no longer heats up. Rear seat room is poor, especially for feet. I understand they improved the rear seat room on the latest model Forester. The car handles and brakes very well with all wheel disc brakes. Visibility is great from the inside. Heating and air conditioning work well. There have been no rust issues even though driven in the salty winters of the Midwest. These Foresters seem to hold good value money-wise. I would not hesitate to purchase a used one if I had it thoroughly checked out by an independent mechanic especially having the head gaskets inspected.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Transporting family
Does not recommend this car


2003 Forester

by stefko from Budd Lake,NJ | August 30, 2011

151K and still going strong. Just put $1000 in needed repairs. Will go past 200k with no problem. Great car for a new driver, safe and gives 24 mpg avg,

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


I wanted to like it

by Tweetweet from Birmingham, AL | February 10, 2011

I've owned Subarus since 1982 and really want to stick with them still. But my 2003 Forester has been a dud. Transmission and head gaskets went kaput way too early, and a terrible gas smell has been plaguing me for years. It's one thing after another, which I've heard from every other Subaru owner I know. I'm eager to switch to another car company, and very sad that such a reputable brand has let me down.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does not recommend this car


Satisfied Subaru owner

by Rally race fan from Fort Worth, Texas | December 14, 2010

I've had my Forester 4 years, awesome SUV. All wheel drive is great, always have traction and can go off road. Never had any issue with mine, driven about 26000 miles with 46000 total. It will pull a trailer, excellent for moving stuff inside as well. The Forester is the newer designed SUV by Subaru, Outbacks are slightly bigger and weight more. I got into watching off road rally racing, Subaru rules this area by far.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does recommend this car


Dealership shoos me away

by Fed up from Walnut Creek, CA | January 4, 2010

At about 62K, the troubles began. Needed new head gasket, probably from overheating. Took it in and the dealer mechanic tells me I have no reverse gear and need a new transmission. (Funny, I used reverse to get out of the driveway to get there...) Multi-thousands of dollars later ("It should run like a tank now!" Uh. It should've run like a tank when I bought it from you brand new!) it still overheats. Plugged radiator, so I need a new one of those. Looking back, the radiator likely caused the other two problems, right? They didn't know that. My letter to the local dealer went unacknowledged. For the past two winters, we noticed a strong gas smell. Took it in and they replaced some fuel pump part - and it did nothing for the strong gas smell! So I researched it on the net and found that it's a common problem - cold weather makes the clamp on the fuel line too loose; just needs a simple tightening. I did it, and the problem was fixed. Called the dealer to arrange a refund for their ineffective and expensive non-repair and they accused us of causing the problem, refusing again to have a reasonable discussion. Never again.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Transporting family
Does not recommend this car


frustrating car

by easydriver from new hampshire | June 21, 2009

Piston slap, failed catalytic converter, failed radio, original brakes problem, starting problems, all very frustrating. All this and only 65K miles with regular servicing.

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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does not recommend this car


great car

by captjim from New Smyrna Bch. Fl. | December 19, 2008

The best thing you can say abuot any purchase is that you would buy it again.And I will sure buy a Subaru again.

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Comfort
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Purchased a new car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does recommend this car



    1-10 of 18 reviews

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