2003 Subaru Outback 6 cylinder from North America




This is a great little car. It is very reliable, runs smooth, is quite and there's plenty of room.

I'm really sensitive to noise. It seems there is an air leak around the front windows. I have also thought that the rear view mirrors may be the culprit for this annoying whistle. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also, there seems to be an exhaust leak as I've noticed a little clatter when pulling hills.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2004

7th Mar 2005, 01:23

I have a 2003 Subaru Outback, I asked about the noise when having other concerns checked out and the dealership replaced a gusset on each of the mirrors that has helped tremendously. My concern with my Subaru (an automatic) is that when the tires slip on ice sometimes when they engage the "clunk" sound it makes on the rear axle is very alarming. Is this of concern?


4th Nov 2007, 07:24

I found that the wind noise in the Outback front windows comes from the triangular seal where the mirror is attached. I roll the window down completely and then 'pinch' the outer and inner gaskets. They are stiff and if I pinch hard enough I can bend then towards each other slightly. This usually solves the problem for a few months. Over time, the action of the window and door open/close eventually bends these back to the point where you hear wind noise. You can test this very simply. While driving, put your finger on the inner mirror seal and gently press on it towards the window. You should notice that the wind noise decreases or completely vanishes. It seems that a stiffer backing by Subaru would fix this all together.

2003 Subaru Outback 2.5L from North America


Overall good car, but not a very good clutch design


I have a 2003 Subaru Outback with a five speed manual transmission. Since it has been new I have experienced clutch chatter when first starting out (clutch not warmed up yet). The car now has 31,000 miles on it and the chatter seems to be getting more frequent. It will chatter longer after the initial start-up and will sometimes chatter when shifting to 2nd gear now. The clutch works fine and when it gets warmed up it is very smooth. However, when it is cold it is extremely annoying. It also seems to be worse when it is relatively humid. One dealer has said they know there is an issue and that there is a new clutch design available, but would not replace the clutch since they personally could not get it to chatter (since the car was warm since I just drove it to the dealership). Another dealer says it is considered normal to have chatter in first gear. I do not agree with this, and really don't feel like leaving it at a dealer over night only for them to tell me this is normal. Has anyone else had any similar experiences? Advice?

Other than that I am generally happy with the car.

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

Review Date: 4th August, 2004

18th Sep 2004, 09:51

I had the same problem in a 2001 Outback. I left it at the dealer over night and they confirmed the shutter. They replaced the clutch, no problem. Check the comments under the 2001 Outbacks, it might be a transmission problem. Since then the car was totaled in a hurricane by water damage, so I don't have a longer term follow up. I did replace it with a 2005 OB.

In my '95 Outback at 89,000 miles I had a noise coming from the transmission, local dealer said since it was out of warranty, they couldn't do anything. Since I have been a loyal customer (that was our 4th Subaru) and a mechanical engineer, I didn't feel that a transmission should fail so soon and they should repair at their cost. I tracked down the District manager and he drove the car along with the head mechanic from the dealership. They admitted there was a problem, but didn't know what it was. They thought it was in the viscous coupling unit. I told them they should fix it at their costs. We agreed, Subaru pay for parts plus a car rental and I'd pay labor. After pulling the transmission, they couldn't get the necessary parts (questions supply availability) so they ended up putting in a used (55K miles) transmission. It cost me $600-$700, but I know they spent over $2,000 on parts and the car rental, so I was satisfied and impressed they took responsibility for an unknown problem.

2003 Subaru Outback Wagon H6-3.0 from North America


A very smooth, capable wagon. Excellent value


Nothing at all.

General Comments:

It's a wonderful, quiet, smooth, capable vehicle. It's excellent in the snow as well as light off-roading. It has plenty of room for our dog and camping gear, etc. The motor is extremely smooth and quiet.

For the negotiated price of the car there was not a better wagon out there. The Volvos and Passat wagons are way overpriced for what you get and when you configure them with the same options that come standard on the Outback (AWD, 6-cylinder, etc), they are at least $10k more expensive.

No complaints so far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2003