2003 Subaru Outback

  • 2003 Subaru Outback Base Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      212/210
    • ENGINE
      3.0L H6
    • MSRP
      $28,695
  • 2003 Subaru Outback Base Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      212/210
    • ENGINE
      3.0L H4
    • MSRP
      $26,995
  • 2003 Subaru Outback Limited Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      28
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      165/166
    • ENGINE
      2.5L H6
    • MSRP
      $26,495
  • 2003 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      27
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      165/166
    • ENGINE
      2.5L H4
    • MSRP
      $27,595
  • 2003 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      212/210
    • ENGINE
      3.0L H6
    • MSRP
      $30,195
  • 2003 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      27
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      165/166
    • ENGINE
      2.5L H4
    • MSRP
      $23,245
  • 2003 Subaru Outback VDC Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      212/210
    • ENGINE
      3.0L H6
    • MSRP
      $30,895
  • 2003 Subaru Outback VDC Wagon
    • MAX MPG
      26
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      212/210
    • ENGINE
      3.0L H6
    • MSRP
      $32,395
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2003 Subaru Outback Review

High-class alternative to mainstream crossover vehicles.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Subaru Outback was billed ""The World’s First Sport-Utility Wagon"" in 1996 and the 2003 model outruns the competition in many ways when the pavement disappears. It has a solid reputation of durability and quality and has seven different models available.

The Range

Body Styles: wagon, sedan
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Subaru Outback, Subaru Outback Limited, Subaru Outback H6-3.0, Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition, Subaru Outback VDC

What's New

The 2003 Subaru Outback makes minor changes to this model. Front-end styling is refreshed and front struts are revised. Struts also feature internal rebound springs. Formerly option, the All-Weather Package is standard in four-cylinder-powered models. The base model now has a standard CD player and Limited models have an upgraded audio system with in-dash six-disc CD changer. Six-cylinder models now have the OnStar Communication system. The H-6 3.0 VDC’s premium McIntosh audio system is now fitted with an in-dash six-disc CD changer.

Exterior

Consumers can choose among a variety of colors: bright silver/titanium pearl, mystic blue pearl/titanium pearl, regatta red pearl/titanium pearl, sea mist green pearl/titanium pearl, timberline green pearl/titanium pearl, and white front pearl/titanium pearl. The standard tires and wheels package includes 16x6.5 in. alloy wheels, a steel spare wheel, P225/60R H tires, and all-season tires. Variable intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, intermittent rear wiper, and a roof rack are part of the standard roof and glass package. Cargo tie downs also come standard in base models. It measures at 68.7 inches wide, 63.3 inches tall, and has a length of 187.4 inches long. Ground clearance measures at 7.3 inches, front track is 57.9 inches, rear track is 57.7 inches, and the wheelbase is 104.3 inches. Maximum towing capacity is 68.6 cubic feet.

Interior

The 2003 Subaru Outback base and Limited models have a high level of standard equipment including air-conditioning, a six-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats and side mirrors, cruise control, a CD player, and keyless entry. The Limited sedan features a dual power moonroof, upgraded audio and leather upholstery. HG models include automatic climate control, an air filtration system, an eight-way power driver’s seat, and wood grain patterned trim. The L.L. Bean Edition goes even further with special leather trim and a three-year scheduled maintenance package. The VDC sedan and wagon models both with a stability control system (VDC) and a McIntosh audio system. Front head room measures in at 40.2 inches, front hip room are 51.4 inches, front leg room is 43.3 inches, and front shoulder room measures in at 53.9 inches. The passenger seat come heated standard, and seats come in either beige or gray. Rear seatbacks are split folding.

The 2003 Subaru Outback provides power features, including remote power door locks, power mirrors, heated mirrors, and one-touch power windows. Standard convenience highlights are cruise control, front console with storage, front and rear cup holders, overhead console with storage, front seatback storage, power steering, 12-volt front and 12-volt cargo area power outlets, and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. Air-conditioning and a cargo area light are standard, as well as simulated wood trim on the dash and doors, front reading lights, front, rear, and cargo floor mats, and dual illuminating vanity mirrors. Standard instrumentation includes a clock, tachometer, external temperature display, and a low fuel level warning. Passengers will enjoy music on their drive through four speakers, an 80-watt stereo output, and an AM/FM in-dash single CD player stereo.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Subaru Outback comes with all-wheel drive, viscous center differential, center and rear limited slip differential, modified MacPherson front strut suspension, multi-link rear suspension, and four-wheel independent suspension.

Safety

The 2003 Subaru Outback offers an all-wheel drive system that makes it safer on dry and wet roads. Safety and security base features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, child seat anchors, ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, auto delay off headlamps, two front and three rear headrests, rear center three-point belt, front seatbelt pretensioners, electronic brake force distribution, and front height adjustable headrests. The NHTSA crash test ratings are five out of five stars for side impact front and rear. The rollover test received four out of five stars. Reliability ratings by Identifix rated five out of five in the following categories: transmission and driveline, steering and suspension, brakes, heating and air-conditioning, starting and charging, and accessories. The engine has periodic problem with failing of the cylinder head gaskets.

EPA Fuel Economy

Subaru Outback: 18/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Comfortable on pavement
  • Capable on dirt
  • Nice interior

You Won't Like

  • Expensive upscale model
  • Four-cylinder model lacks oomph

Sum Up

High-class alternative to mainstream crossover vehicles.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Pilot
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Nissan Xterra

See the New 2015 Outback.

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