Product Reviews

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Subaru Forester 2003 4-door SUV
Trim Shown: Sport Utility
Freshened for 2003, the Forester is our top-rated small SUV. This car-based SUV/wagon rides compliantly and handles well, with good steering feel. Braking is excellent. The engine provides adequate acceleration, and the optional automatic transmission shifts responsively. Standard AWD helps in all weather conditions and on the occasional dirt trail. Inside, you'll find lots of useful compartments. The front seats are firm and well shaped, and the rear has been improved slightly. The square cargo space is very usable. The 2.5 X is an excellent value at $22,000. Crash-test results are impressive. A new turbo model with 210 hp arrives this summer.

See Reliability page for the latest 2003 Subaru Forester recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS available, standard from 2001. Side air bags available from 2001, standard from 2003. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags standard from 2009.

Road Test

The Forester rides and handles like a good sedan. It also provides decent acceleration and good fuel economy for this class. The controls are well laid out and the interior is nicely finished. Access is easy and seat comfort is very good. Impressive...


  • Ride, agility, steering, fuel economy, controls and displays, crash tests.


  • Gated shifter.


2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (165 hp)