Customer Reviews for 2003_Subaru_Forester

2003_Subaru_Forester

Average Customer Rating:
4 of 5
4
 of 
5
(18 Reviews) 18
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (18 reviews)
5 stars
10
4 stars
2
3 stars
3
2 stars
2
1 star
1
12 of 18(67%)customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Review 1 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Subaru Forester - Not only fun, but a good value!

August 7, 2006
By scher818
from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Handling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"The Subaru Forester is not only highly rated by consumer magazines as one of the best small SUVs available, it's a great value for the money.
The Forester 2.5 XS has a great variety of features; both fun and safety. When the weather calls for it, you can open the very large sunroof, power down the windows and feel as though you're in a convertible - that's how open this car is. Lots of windows for clear viewing all around, leather seats, 6 CD changer with great sound and too much more to mention.
An all around terrific car that holds it's value over time and has one of the best ratings on reliability."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
+4points
5out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great for fun and commute!

June 16, 2013
By 2nd Subaru owner
from California
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"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 would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
Primary use for this car: Commuting
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A good, sturdy dog car

January 18, 2013
By Dawg Mom
from Annapolis, MD
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Reliability
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
"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.)"
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
Primary use for this car: Transporting family
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

blue forester

December 22, 2012
By car byuer
from LONG BEACH CA
Comfort
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Reliability
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
"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.
"
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: No
Primary use for this car: Commuting
-2points
0out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

some good, some bad

November 3, 2012
By car enthusiast
from Chicago, IL
Comfort
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Reliability
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"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."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: No
This vehicle was purchased: New
Primary use for this car: Transporting family
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 6 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

2003 Forester

August 30, 2011
By stefko
from Budd Lake,NJ
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"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,"
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: New
Primary use for this car: Commuting
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 7 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

I wanted to like it

February 10, 2011
By Tweetweet
from Birmingham, AL
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Reliability
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
"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."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: No
This vehicle was purchased: New
Primary use for this car: Just getting around
+1point
5out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Satisfied Subaru owner

December 14, 2010
By Rally race fan
from Fort Worth, Texas
Comfort
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"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.
"
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
Primary use for this car: Just getting around
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Dealership shoos me away

January 4, 2010
By Fed up
from Walnut Creek, CA
Comfort
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Handling
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Exterior Styling
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Interior Design
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value for the Money
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Reliability
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
"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."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: No
This vehicle was purchased: New
Primary use for this car: Transporting family
+14points
14out of 14found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

frustrating car

June 21, 2009
By easydriver
from new hampshire
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Handling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Reliability
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
"Piston slap, failed catalytic converter, failed radio, original brakes problem, starting problems, all very frustrating. All this and only 65K miles with regular servicing."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: No
This vehicle was purchased: New
Primary use for this car: Just getting around
+9points
9out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

great car

December 19, 2008
By captjim
from New Smyrna Bch. Fl.
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Handling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"The best thing you can say abuot any purchase is that you would buy it again.And I will sure buy a Subaru again."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
Primary use for this car: Just getting around
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

"Still" InExpensive and Built to Stay That Way

September 14, 2008
By Healthcare traveller
from Columbia, South Carolina
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Handling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"I purchased my vehicle new in August of 2002 when the new styling was released. I have driven it daily since then and have never had a vehicle as trouble free as this one, ever.
I am preparing to take it in for its 105,000 scheduled timing belt change out and recognized that I had not had but two repairs, one I feel I may have contributed to.
In over 100,000 miles, I have never had to charnge out a starter, change out an alternator, etc. Things you generally anticipate you will have to at some point, however, not yet for me.
If you have the need and the opportunity, you would be well served to at least consider one. Being able to ignore my repairman is worth its weight in gold.
"
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: New
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 13 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A fantastic automobile

April 2, 2008
By Ryan
from Minneapolis
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Handling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"I've put nearly 100,000 miles on this car, and the only thing I've replaced are the tires, brake pads, and a small (cheap fix) gasket. I'm 6'6", and I get plenty of head room, though the seat isn't made for tall folk (nor are many others though). The AWD has torn though anything Mother Nature has thrown at it with ease. It hauls just about anything I've ever thought to put into it just fine. Quite simply, its one of the best cars I've ever driven."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 14 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

History of head gasket repair

March 29, 2008
By Soon to be former Subaru owner
from Illinois
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Handling
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Exterior Styling
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value for the Money
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Reliability
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
"My 2003 Forester has 39,500 miles and has been carefully maintained. However, now I find that the head gaskets are going and that this has been an ongoing problem with this engine in previous years. The internet is rife with sites devoted to Subaru owners with the same problem.
I wish I could say that this has been a dependable car but this repair is evidence otherwise.
"
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: No
This vehicle was purchased: New
0points
2out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 15 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Current Subaru Owner

June 29, 2006
By ORL Hurricane Survivor
from Maitland, Florida
Comfort
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Handling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"We currently own a 99 Forester and have been very satisified with it. It has been very reliable and maintenance costs have been low. This 03 model has an much larger feel than our 99 and the interior is much nicer (maybe more modern is a better way of saying it). The alloy wheels on this one make the car look much sportier. We love the size because we spend most of our time in the city and its great to be able to park and still open your doors. We are trying to decide whether to purchase a newer one to have the additional warranty coverage, but my wife says why spend the extra money since we never used the warranty on our current Forester."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 16 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

03 Subaru Forester Review

June 29, 2006
By Robert from Jax
from Jacksonville, Fl
Comfort
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Handling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Exterior Styling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"This car has a very solid feel and feels very sure footed. It handles really well. The car is clean and seem to have been well taken care of. I really like the air conditioning system because it is so easy to adjust. The doors open wide so the car is easy to get in and out of."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 17 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Love it!

May 24, 2006
By Subaru In the City II
from Chicago, IL
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Handling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Totally reliable car. Love the heated seats and improved cup holder design. Highly recommend some of the optional accessories --- floor mat and organizer for the hatch area."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 18 for 2003_Subaru_Forester
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Bang for the Buck Small SUV

May 10, 2006
By Subaru in the City
from Chicago, IL
Comfort
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Handling
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Exterior Styling
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Interior Design
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for the Money
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reliability
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"We love our Forester, which we bought barely used in 2003 with 2500 miles on it. The car now has 33,000 trouble-free miles on the clock. We most appreciate the Forester's utility and features. The boxy rear end swallows up an amazing amount of cargo, especially with the back seats folded down. And for a vehicle in this price range, there are a lot of amenities, including heated seats, heated mirrors and wipers, 6-CD changer with cassette and power windows/locks and alarm. Gas mileage is great -- routinely 30 MPG on highway trips, and 24 or so in the city. Only a couple of complaints: The LED lights that indicate the climate control settings are hard to see in bright sunlight. And the climate control system is a little wonky -- if you set it to a fixed temperature, like 70 degrees in the winter, the AC will kick on whenever the cabin temp exceeds that. It would be better if the system were a little smoother in transition, rather than blasting cold air, only to have the heat kick back on a couple minutes later."
I would recommend this vehicle to a friend: Yes
This vehicle was purchased: Used
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.