2003 Subaru Forester 2.0 GT Boxer 2.0 turbo from Switzerland


Reliable and exciting all-rounder!


Nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

I have traveled around 8000 kilometers in the last 5 weeks after I collected this vehicle. I have been utterly impressed with the overall quality of the vehicle - compared to my old Land cruiser anyway! (If you drive a Rolls-Royce, then you might think it has a little too much plastic ;o)

I do 120 motorway kilometers every day to and from work, and does this extremely well. The 180 brake horse power engine allows very quick acceleration 0-100kph in around 8.5secs with a top speed of 210kph (for you imperialists... that's 0-60 in 8.5secs with a top speed of around 130mph).

At the weekend, I often take it up into the mountains (Swiss Alps)... It handles the snow and ice perfectly, and I haven't noticed any difference in performance at 2000m plus...

The engine is the same as the WRX Pro-drive (300bhp/ps) but has a soft-pressure turbo fitted instead. This engine has a reputation as being the most bullet-proof engine available at the moment, and at 180bhp/ps it is rather under-tuned, which should make for extreme reliability in the future.

To sum up, I was looking for a four wheel drive commuting vehicle which would handle mountainous terrain, snow and ice, accelerate like a sports car and be as comfortable as a luxury car. I bought the top-end model (with features like double sunroof, cruise-control, climate control, leather interior and 16" alloys as standard!!!) and it has been everything I hoped for.

And it even has room for the kids as well as all the ski gear!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2003

2nd Jun 2003, 00:50

The Forester GT would have to be one of the best all-round cars there is. Quick and confident on or off the road. Reliable, not too thirsty, well equipped and room for kids/junk. Not a standout in any one area, but the breadth of its talents make it a brilliant vehicle!

2003 Subaru Forester X 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Good first impression


No faults on delivery

No faults to report at first (1000 mile) service

Too early to make any other judgment (car is 6 weeks/1150 miles old)

General Comments:

This is the new 2003 Forester X. Ours is base model - the UK specification is 2 litre engine, manual gearbox, no turbo,15 inch wheels, climate control and hill holder clutch.

We ran a 1998 Forester 2litre manual for 5 years and liked it. The new Forester keeps all the good qualities of the old one, and has a much improved interior. The climate control and heated wiper blades worked well in very cold weather in the weeks after we got the car, but its been too cold to know how the aircon will perform in hot weather. Instrument layout and seat comfort is good, but a few minor switches are still scattered in awkward positions.

The car is nice to drive. The engine felt very stiff when new, and at 1000 miles is just beginning to loosen up. Too early to judge fuel economy, but a 160 mile trip running on main road at steady 50 - 70 miles per hour gave 33 miles per gallon (US readers remember that's the bigger imperial gallons!) That's probably not very representative, but looks a good start.

The radio/CD player is better quality than the previous model Forester, but the controls are awful. Tiny push buttons and incredibly small lettering -very difficult to do more than a simple channel change when driving.

This is a preliminary report after only 6 weeks/1150 miles of ownership. First impressions are very good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2003

10th Mar 2003, 11:03


We have now completed a fuel consumption test, carried out accurately by measuring from a brim full tank to brim full tank. Results are.

Miles traveled 638 (1026.73 Km)

Fuel used 101.4 Litres (22.30 Imperial Gallons)

(= 26.79 U.S. Gallons)

This gives a consumption of 28.6 Miles per imperial gallon or 23.8 miles per US Gallon.

About 300 miles were at more or less constant speed of

50 - 70 miles per hour on long distance running, and the remainder were journeys of about 3 - 4 miles where the engine hardly got warmed up. It also includes several mornings of freezing conditions, where the car was left running while stationary at our house for 10 minutes to warm up. The car has done less than 2000 miles since new, so the engine is still fairly tight.

Taken all together, this is probably a fairly harsh test for fuel consumption, and is likely to report worse figures than may be achieved in normal driving. However, the best figure achieved on steady long distance running was about 33 miles per imperial gallon, so a fair reckoning would be to say that the new Forester X will deliver an average consumption of about 29 - 33 miles per gallon depending on driving conditions.

There are no other comments to add to the original report. The climate control continues to work well ; - the sensors change the fan setting and direction of heat to suit conditions, and seems efficient. The only slightly unusual feature is that sometimes when the sensors decide the car is too hot they blow a little cold air from the vents, until the temperature comes down. It feels a little odd compared to simply having the heater on full all the time on a cold day.