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2003 Subaru Outback

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 635 Ratings for the 1996 - 2004 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10
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Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25

2001 Outback LL Bean, it's a Winner!

By on Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "LL Bean with the 3.0 L engine is a great car!"

Cons: "Only 1 real cup holder, otherwise no complaints"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I wrote a review for a 1997 Outback as well, and I also own a 2001 Outback LL Bean. I like this 2001 even more than my 1997. I bought the 2001 in 2007 for $10K with 100K miles. My wife has since put 55K miles on it for a total of 155K miles. The car has had only minor problems, and thanks to it having the 3.0 liter engine, no headgasket failure (phew), and no need to replace the timing belt because it is instead equipped with a timing chain which is far more robust. I recently replaced the brake pads and rotors because the front rotors tend to warp, which causes vibration in the steering wheel while braking. I have replaced a couple of tensioner pulleys on the front of the engine that are driven by the serpentine belt, plus the fuel filter and spark plugs and O2 sensors (on the exhaust pipe)...All very easy to work on once a few of the other accessories have been removed/moved. Next I plan to replace the power steering pump because the bearing has developed a whine, especially while the engine is cold. I really like being able to work on this car myself. I recently bought a 2002 Outback LL Bean for myself and will pass my 1997 Outback down to my kids. I bought the 2002 Outback because I love our 2001 Outback LL Bean so much. After I drive the 2002 for awhile, I will add a review, but I am optimistic the 2002 will be every bit as good as the 2001 :)"

16 people out of 16 found this review helpful

2001 Subaru Outback Wagon

By on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought this well cared for 01 wagon used w/ 42K miles. Owned it for six years now and it just turned 92K Miles. Still has lots of life and has been very reliable and inexpensive to run. Other than basic scheduled maintenance repairs have been minor eg. torn rubber steering boot & axle boot, wind shield washer pump. Private shop labor rates are quite reasonable, unlike those for my previous VW (might as well own a Porsche). For half it's life this Subie has lived in San Francisco and dealt w/ it's hills (clutch still orig) and now lives in the Sierra where it also like the mtns & snow. The AWD system is second to none, in fact half my neighbors own Subies, testimony to the AWD system. I've driven this car all over CA both urban and rural, often loaded w/ gear, in all climates and it has never let me down. I'm 6'-3" and there's plenty of leg and headroom. Wind noise can be an issue but thats 'cos of the bike rack. Styling is a bit dated but hey, the car's almost a decade old. I'll keep it for a long time to come and most likely buy another 3 yr old Subie as replacement."

14 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"I love this car. Drive over mountain lots and it always gets me through the snow. Before I bought this car lots of adds said replaced head gasket, water pump and timing belt. Took it to my mechanic and He said if someone or a dealership is trying to tell you that these have never been changed then if the car is over 100,000 miles you will soon need them replaced. He said that is just the way they were built. Mine had been replaced with the cost of the car so I have no worries. Glad it was done so now I dont have to worry about those things going out. Please check that out before you buy one."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Good car so far

By on Saturday, December 22, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"We have had very little problems with our subaru. Here in Seattle, this is the official car of the lower yuppie class. There are 8 on our block. We have never had any reliability issues. When it was new I did however find a few things wrong with it like the seat cushion was unstitching, and one taillight was holding water. The dealer fixed these issues right away without question. We like the space, 4WD, handling, and low road noise. The only detractors are a cheap plastic interior, poor acceleration, and not the best gas mileage for such poor pep...(20mpg avg). I had an old 1985 subie wagon with a pathetic 96hp 4cyl that got 34mpg. I wish they would target a 30mpg car with moderate performance."

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great Car, second Subaru Outback, will buy another

By on Friday, September 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 246,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Inexpensive used car, comfortable and reilable."

Cons: "Haven't been able to get cruise control working"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my 1996 Outback used almost 6 years ago, it had almost 150K on it at the time. Minor mechanical repairs since then, drive it to work each day, great in the snow, decent mileage. I've got over 246K on it now and its still going strong. Definitely recommend Subaru. My next car will be another outback."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Good driving / handling car

By on Monday, May 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 301,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Was very reliable."

Cons: "Head Gasket issues, CatConverter/O2 sensors."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Bought this Outback used with 260k on it for $2500. Reportedly had a new motor put in at 220k!? Had a perpetual oil leak but ran like a champ and with a 5-speed, was just fun to drive. Had typical rust spots at rear wheel wells. Replaced a muffler and driveshaft at 290k. Has had CEL issues due to catalytic converter and O2 sensor codes, but inspectors helped me through it. Just recently went to severe overheating issues (mechanics say likely Head Gasket) so forced to junk it as it also needs tires and brakes. Definitely looking for another 5-speed Outback."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

great car. horrible engine

By on Monday, April 08, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great to drive"

Cons: "Heads and Gaskets are flawed."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"We have had to replace the heads four times since we got it in 2008. Have had to replace head gaskets just as often. Car drives like a dream though great on gas mileage. great for long trips too. Wish the engine was better though. We have put about $10,000 in the engine alone."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Be Careful

By on Thursday, February 28, 2008

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

"Am on my 2nd one, and it's in the shop for the same reason I had to get rid of my first one- motor problems. The headgaskets are notorious for going bad on these cars- I would highly encourage you to do your research before making the decision to buy one. It's sad too, because I love the car itself. We live in Michigan, and the cars are tanks through snow and bad weather. I had 98,000 miles on my 1998 when it puked, and now 145,000 on my 2001. I had hoped to get 200,000 easily, based on what I had heard. Great cars if you only have them for 75,000 miles. If you plan on keeping it for 200,000 miles, do your homework."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The car that just won't quit

By on Friday, October 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 194,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliable durable and worth the price"

Cons: "sound system is weak"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I live in upstate ny and the winters are cold and the snow gets deep. I have never been stuck somewhere because of the weather. General maint. and a little tlc and this car is going to drive me for another 100K easily. I don't do any mechanical work so it does get a little expensive around break and rotor changing time, but other than that I put $1500 into her over the last 2 years in tires and preventative maint. Tape deck and cloth seats are the only con. Never thought I would own one car this long. My wife bought the 2011 model when she needed an upgrade from her camry. She will never own a two wheel drive car again. We will always have two Subaru's in the driveway! Love this car"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Value, Useful, Sporty(see complete review)

By on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Drives nice, goes everywhere, HAULS STUFF"

Cons: "Roof rack adjstmnt screws, wind noise at side mirr"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Looks blue but it's really green.

"We had the heads redone due to oil leaks $2K. I replaced the antiroll bars with heavier ones from RalliTek $300.00 and changed the shock/struts to KYBs $400.00. K&N air filter $40.00. Weatherstripped the side mirror to stop the wind noise $3.00. The thing drives like a new car! More power and handles much better. It's a keeper!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Looks blue but it's really green.

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