2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition 2.5


Good car for around town commutes or older drivers


Head gasket blew at 42,000 miles, fixed under warranty.

Rear light assembly began leaking at 31,000, fixed under warranty.

General Comments:

OEM Bridgestone tires were terrible, now running Goodyear Tripletread and the tires are great. Handles very good.

If want to drive auto sporty, then you have to manually change gears. Doing this will allow thr best handling, taking advantage of AWD in cornering.

The ride is very firm and not suitable for long interstate driving. The seat is hard and doesn't adjust, which also is not suitable for long distance driving.

MPG is around 22, best was 25.

The car is quiet compared for older Subaru's.

Speakers were a cheap paper cone type. I upgraded the speakers, which was simple plug and play, and the stereo is great. Added a Subaru subwoofer and tweeter kit, very very easy to do.

AWD not as 'instant' in engaging on automatic models as the previous Legacy. Front wheels will spin about one revolution before AWD engages with a 'thump'.

Very disappointed in the head gasket blowing so early in life; 42k miles.

Car is OK, but, for $21k in 2003, can't complain. However Suzuki now has AWD for less, so, Subaru better watch out. ;)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st August, 2007

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition 2.5L 4 cylinder


Honda, Toyota are much better


Horrible gas mileage! At 16 City/22 Hwy, it's a gas guzzler. The sticker said 23 city/28 Hwy. Even a huge SUV like Ford Expedition gives that much. Took the car to dealer. He said its computerized, he can't change anything. Called Subaru, they bluntly refused, saying they can't help me. I feel cheated.

Auto transmission is highly erratic when cruise control is on. It suddenly downshifts at the slightest gradient and kicks the RPM above 5000.

Rear wiper rubber tore away after 4 months of use.

Got into a fender bender. The repair was a shocking $2200 to change side fender and head lamps.

Audio system shuts off on engine start once in a while. Comes back on after a few minutes. Very strange.

Whistling noise from top of driver's window between 30 and 50 mph.

General Comments:

I like the space and comfort. Looks good. They should put more hooks and sturdy ones in the back for shopping bags. Good lighting inside. The AWD wasn't as much use in the snow though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th October, 2004

13th Jun 2005, 09:05

I agree with your comments on the cruise control. Mine revs to 4250 on every slight hill and holds there until the crest. Seems to be very hard on the transmission and engine. The automatic transmission is very apprehensive on this car and I get a lot of up-shifitng and down-shifting. It "thumps" into gear sometimes as well because it doesn't seem to know which gear is best at the moment. However, I am getting around 25-26 mpg because I use synthetic oil at a thicker grade (10-30) and I change it every 5-6K so the cost is about the same. I would buy another Subaru, but I would have to have a turbo or a flat six and a manual transmission. The seats are too hard for long trips, but it handles and drives really tight for a wagon. The All Wheel Drive is awesome in the snow as well.

2003 Subaru Legacy L Special Edition 2.5


Great value, medium performance wagon


No problems.

General Comments:

The Legacy Wagon L Special Edition has many 'included' features that cost extra on previous models. It has the suspension from the Legacy GT. It has 4 wheel, 4 channel ABS disc brakes. Of course, as with all Subaru's, All-Wheel Drive. The dual power moon roofs are a great feature. The 4 speed transmission tries to be too smart, but this has been addressed on new 2005 model. It seems to lug the engine and often selects a lower gear when going down hill around a sharp curve, which is annoying. The engine could use more power, but, if you push it, and/or change the gears yourself, you can keep it in its optimum power band, giving you lots of power while sacrificing gas mileage. It is prewired for additional tweeter speakers, which are a breeze to install (less than 1 minute per side) and help a lot. The car is very, very quite, rides good with a firm controlled GT stance. Rubber floor mats are great. Also have noticed that the carpet is low pile with a rubber backing which allows you to clean and dry up spills easily. You can also fold the rear seats flat which allows you to increase your cargo capacity. Only true complaint is with the Bridgestone tires that 'bump' or develop flat spots when cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2004

2003 Subaru Legacy L 35th Aniversary Edition 4 Cylinder


Major mistake


Stiff uncomfortable ride.

Very hard drivers seat.

Poor gas mileage.

Erratic automatic transmission.

Parent company's indifference to our complaint's.

General Comments:

Take this car for a long test drive before considering buying it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th November, 2003

23rd Jun 2005, 09:25

I agree with you on most points with this car. I was getting good mileage with mine though. I think this was due to the use of synthetic oil and I also used 10-30 instead of 5-30 which is thicker and made it run cooler. I hated the auto transmission as it was very apprehensive and never seemed to know which gear it wanted to be in. I actually traded it in recently for a turbo car with a 5 speed. Much better set up and plenty of power to spare. I did, however, never have any problems with the Legacy.

22nd Sep 2008, 18:56

5W-30 is thinner than 10W-30. Check your owner's manual, you will note in your owners manual that in winter you should run a 5W-30 and in summer, if you want, switch to 10W-30. I live in Canada, 5W-30 year round is just fine. If I lived in Phoenix, AZ, I'd use 10W-30.

16th Sep 2009, 15:24

"5W-30 is thinner than 10W-30."

Yeah, that was my point, only I said it kind of in reverse. Thicker oil made the car run cooler...

7th Jul 2010, 20:45

I disagree with you. I enjoy the sporty ride. The electric seat is very adjustable and allows me to get the perfect setting.

I do agree about the transmission but they have taken care of that issue on the new Legacy models.