2003 Subaru Outback Station Wagon from North America


It is OK, but I am weary


There is a leak in the rear hatch door tail lights.

General Comments:

It is an alright car, and very comfortable to travel in, but when it developed the leak; it gave me pause whether I would get another Subaru. There is no reason for any vehicle to develop a leak on its own without trauma to it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th December, 2008

2003 Subaru Outback from North America


Not sure now


Head gasket "oozing" at 78,000 miles. reported by mechanic to be driveable for now.

General Comments:

Overall have enjoyed driving the car and have been unaware of some of the issues with it until I started researching my problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th October, 2008

2003 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 H4 from North America


Stupid problems, huge price tag


I previously owned a 1998 Subaru Outback Limited station wagon, and around 80000 miles I had three of four wheel bearings go bad, and there was a tear in the driver's side drive axle CV boot, and the head gaskets leaked coolant into the oil.

What a surprise, I now own a 2003 Subaru Outback Limited station wagon and at 75000 miles I have had both front wheel bearings go bad, at 77000 miles a tear in the passenger side drive axle CV boot, and I am now waiting for the head gaskets to go. SUBARU SUCKS!!!

General Comments:

I hate Subaru. I have a GMC 1500 4x4 work truck that is a fleet vehicle for the company that I work for, and the other employees and myself run these vehicles hard and they hold up really well.

I am definitely going back to buying American, GMC.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th April, 2008

2003 Subaru Outback from North America


Great car


No problems yet.

General Comments:

A great car so far. Seems to be very well built. Handling is excellent, especially in the rain. Everything just feels tight and well constructed.

Only bad thing would be the power going up a grade -- 4 cylinder is a little weak. Fine on flat ground, though. Manual transmission is quick and responsive.

Road noise is average -- nature of the windows not being set in window frames.

Very versatile with the fold down seats.

Would buy same model next time.

Wish MPG was a little better. Come on Subaru -- get the hybrid going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2005

12th May 2005, 20:36

I am surprised you find your 2.5 5speed sluggish on Hills. I have a 04 Outback Ltd with this power train, and find it extremely powerful for a four cylinder - with out realizing it on a trip the the hills in West Virgina, I was flying up a long grade a 90 mph, and not pushing the motor. Slowed down nicely too - My only complaint is that it is so smooth and has so much low end torque that I do not realize the speed until I look down. Keep the RPM in the 2500-3000 range, and it pulls hills better than my 5.7 liter van with a 3:42 rear gear for trailer towing.

My previous Malibu v-6 would have been ready to blow up in the hills at 90 mph.

2003 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 from North America


Very good car, will continue to buy Subaru products


Plastic cap on windshield fluid tank in the engine bay broke off.

Front window got scratched by defective buffers for the frame-less windows - the dealer replaced them and removed the scratches under warranty.

Sound system speakers are awful and need replacing for even the casual listener.

Accelerator pedal makes a creaking noise when pressed - dealer could not fix.

Internal plastics on B-pillar scratch easily.

Wind-noise from passengers side.

Very sluggish engine. The car is very underpowered.

Fuel economy is not that great.

An immobilizer and security system did not come standard on this car. I had to pay extra for a dealer-installed option.

Leather seats are somewhat slippery.

General Comments:

All Wheel Drive system is perfect.

Engine is loud and rattles which is unexpected in a car of this size and price.

Handles very nicely in winter on snow and rain.

Two sunroofs are a nice feature.

Almost everything in the Limited version is standard, which means that you do not buy expensive accessories later on.

Subaru reliability and exclusivity and low price makes this a good car to own by families. This car is what a Volvo used to be 20 years ago.

Jacking system for spare tire is one of the best and easiest systems I have used in terms of vehicle stability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2005

18th Feb 2009, 03:27

You mentioned the quality and reliability is similar to Volvo of the 80s. Couldn't agree more. I've got a Volvo 245 with 250,000 miles and it's fine. It's as if the car could care less about the whole aging process. A friend has a 2001 Outback and I'm always blown away when we take it to the mountains.

29th Aug 2010, 21:55

Update by the original poster:

The car has 130,000 km on it. So far, nothing much else has gone wrong.

1. The outside mirror "triangles" paintwork wore off - I quickly replaced it under warranty just shy of two months.

2. The seat belt buckle place holder broke off - no safety issue, but nevertheless it is now requiring duct tape to prevent the buckle from sliding to the floor when not buckled up.

3. The OEM roof rack seized up - replaced under warranty.

4. The rear long light cluster cracked in the centre with resultant leakage of water into the light cluster. This costs $500 to replace + labour. Apparently this happens to more than just my car.

5. There is a very small leak of oil which I have not been able to pinpoint yet.

Luckily the gaskets did not blow (so far), although at one service interval I was informed there was a small leak and it was replaced.