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    2003 Subaru Forester Review, Skiball25

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Subaru Forester XS (Premium Package)

 ModelSubaru Forester XS (Premium Package)
 What things have gone wrong with the car?Slow transmission response. If you're agressive or choppy, get the manual transmission.
Could use better designed front cupholders
 General comments?So far I've been satisfied with my Forester. The engine is smooth, and it has plenty of power (though it may require a downshift to find the power) for a 4 cyl. You can't expect the power of a V8 out of a 4 cyl. But for getting around the city and on dirt roads it does great. Sometimes when I floor it and the transmission downshifts, it is kinda slow reacting. That is annoying more than anything. When I put the pedal to the metal I want it to go, not hesitate. But that is not normally a big deal. I'm an agressive and choppy driver so maybe other people won't have this issue.
The interior is fantastic. I got the leather package and it's well worth the money. It looks very nice. The black dash, tan leather, and silver console really look nice together. The factory sound system is pretty good for a factory system. I of course had to replace it because I'm an audiophile but for most people, it it nice. The weatherband included on the radio is a nice touch.
It has so many pockets everywhere to store stuff. I love it. I need to have a lot of stuff handy while I drive and there is no shortage of space to put stuff within the drivers reach. (I have the armrest extension which gives you extra space too.) The cup holders aren't ideal as a normal sized cup sits loose in them and a big cup won't fit. I would like an adjustable cup holder but it's not a huge deal.
This is my first time with heated seats and heated mirrors. I have to tell you that the heated seats are awesome. I thought that the heated mirrors and wipers were a joke at first but now that's it's wintertime, they are indespensible. (I hate foggy more.)
Backseat room is good for a small vehicle. But you need a narrow backside to sit in the middle spot. Not a backseat for three fattys. The middle seatbelt is a plus because it retracts completley out of the way.
Cargo space is pretty good too. If you're hauling a ton of stuff, then get a minivan or a suburban bur for everyday stuff it it ideal. I also love all the cool cubby compartments under the cargo area by the spare tire. I can put all kinds of cool safety gadgets there as well.
Another thing I like is the three 12 volt outlets. With phone chargers and stuff like that now-a-days, you can always use extra outlets.
As for exterior, I think it has great styling. I personally love the way they look. They kinda look sporty but not really. At the same time they look like an old lady car. But when you want to buy a car that does everything, that is what you get. And seriously, that is what this car is. It is a little of everyting all mixed in one.
As for the way it drives, (besides the slow transmission) it is great. Handling curves is a cinch with it. When you accelerate through a curve it seems to buckle down and hold to the road very well. Not what you'd expect from a compact sport-ute. It kinda has a sports car feel.
As for off road handling it's the best I've ever driven. I've tried to get it to slide sideways on gravel roads and it's not easy. The AWD system really does it's job under low traction circumstances. I haven't had any ice or snow here yet but I'll see how it does. Other people who have had ice and snow condition say that it is awesome under those conditions though.
The brakes are awesome. This can stop on a dime. (even with no hands) For my test drive, they made me accelerate up to 60 m.p.h. and then take my hands off the wheel and then slam on the brakes. It stopped super fast and straight as an arrow. I have to admit I was a little nervous about slaming on the brakes without my hands on the steering wheel. But it handle perfect. So I know that the ABS works good.
The more I learn about the safety features of the Subaru makes me feel safe, considering the side air bags, side door beams, roof strength, and fire mat over the engine. Comercials on TV even say that it is the safest SUV they've ever tested. I believe them too.
It's just a well thought out car.
Oh I almost forgot the GINORMOUS sunroof. That is one of the reasons why I bought it. The double sized sunroof is awesome. Having it open is almost like having a convertible.
So all in all, if you want a car that is a little bit of everything, get this car. It's not the best in any one particular area (except for traction) but it does everything well.
 Previous carTest drove the Toyota Matrix and Honda CRV but 4WD system just doesn't compare to the AWD traction of a Subaru.

Review 2003 Subaru Forester Skiball25
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007