2003 Subaru Forester
1-10 of 24 reviews
Test drive review

All around wonderful car

by from South Lake Tahoe on September 7, 2017

It handles well and with my studded snow tires in the winter I feel safe. It runs well and is fairly quick on take off and and even higher speeds. I'm rough on cars and this so far has been a very de...
It handles well and with my studded snow tires in the winter I feel safe. It runs well and is fairly quick on take off and and even higher speeds. I'm rough on cars and this so far has been a very dependable vehicle.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

very reliable and fun

by from Ilion, NY on August 24, 2017

this car is definitely the best car i have ever owned. the gas mileage is not horrible and though the car isn't fast it is very reliable. very nice and fun to drive during the winter time.
this car is definitely the best car i have ever owned. the gas mileage is not horrible and though the car isn't fast it is very reliable. very nice and fun to drive during the winter time.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Turbo was nice but the rest...

by from Harrisburg, pa on July 16, 2017

So the car had get up and go, but the a/c did not work, the hatch did not open, there was a problem with the steering at low speeds. If the dealer would have fixed the problems i might have bought it.
So the car had get up and go, but the a/c did not work, the hatch did not open, there was a problem with the steering at low speeds. If the dealer would have fixed the problems i might have bought it.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Not Rated Reliability

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

Money well spent!

by on June 30, 2017

I love this car so much, I would totally get a Subaru again in the future and recommend Subaru to my friends and family . The only down fall is if you I forget and lock my keys is the car, I'll have t...
I love this car so much, I would totally get a Subaru again in the future and recommend Subaru to my friends and family . The only down fall is if you I forget and lock my keys is the car, I'll have to call up my mom to drop off the spare keys.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Just Purchased For Work Vehicle

by from Tunnelton, WV on March 9, 2017

Just purchased this 2003 Subaru Forester with 118K miles. It is running great and so far everything is working well on it.
Just purchased this 2003 Subaru Forester with 118K miles. It is running great and so far everything is working well on it.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

still going strong

by from Kingston Ontario on October 23, 2015

2003 Red Subaru Forester, still going strong. Reliable, fun to drive, EASY TO PARK!!!, great in areas that have wind and snow issues. Car was purchased used in 2005, because of need for all wheel dr...
2003 Red Subaru Forester, still going strong. Reliable, fun to drive, EASY TO PARK!!!, great in areas that have wind and snow issues. Car was purchased used in 2005, because of need for all wheel drive in snow belt of Ontario. Great for safety, consistent excellent performance in all kinds of weather, especially wind, snow and freezing rain. Air conditioning isn't as strong as newer vehicles, but adequate even in heat. Love it for city driving, fast acceleration, ( nickname: red rocket), great visibility. Have spent very little on service.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Great for fun and commute!

by from California on 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.
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.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

A good, sturdy dog car

by from Annapolis, MD on 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 ...
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.)
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

blue forester

by from LONG BEACH CA on 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. Bu...
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.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

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Test drive review

some good, some bad

by from Chicago, IL on 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. Wi...
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.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does not recommend this car

22 out of 22 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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Our Expert Review: 2003 Subaru Forester