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Old 09-03-2002, 01:16 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 22041
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Mobile, Alabama
2007 Sports FXT

Default 03 Forester impressions

I bought a 03 Forester AT X on 7/31/02 and have put on 1500 miles on the car in three weeks (was out of town for a week). Generally pretty happy - and thought I'd give my impressions.
Around these parts there just arenít many Subarus; we've only had a real local dealer for about a year. Heís sold a fair number of WRXís but I have not seen any other 03 Foresters on the street Ė and my car does seem to be an eye magnet. The car is pretty sharp Ė although personally I have a slight preference for the 01 and 02 Forester body styling. Think they tried to make the 03 fit somewhere between the RAV/CRV/Mitsubishi cosmetically and it is a little bit taller this year. (02ís were available from my dealer Ė but that damned cup holder! Ė thatís fixed in the 03 you know.)
Performance wise the 2.5 is more than satisfactory. Iíve always been a lead-foot and almost always except the challenge of getting off first from the light and the car hasnít let me down against comparably powered vehicles. My last measured tank of gas mileage was a little better than 29mpg Ė higher than I expected.
The body roll on the 03 Forester does seem a little more pronounced that in the 02, but I have had 2 emergency maneuver incidents and the car went where I pointed it and didnít feel out of control.
I do have some fit and finish issues; there is a squeak/rattle that I hear from under the driver armrest controls area, and also inside the driver side front window pillar. IMHO itís too too early to be hearing rattles. Hopefully Mr. Dealer will make me happy and resolve that.
Speaking of the Dealer Ė I bought from Koby in Mobile Alabama. I was able to get about 6% over wholesale, a good cut off list price. The owner Roger Koby has a WRX that heís racing locally and seems to be a True Subaru Believer. Heís a MRT installer Ė Iím still waiting to hear back from him what he can do with my X with MRT parts.
Which leads me to my major source of frustration Ė I am somewhat bitten with tuner mania; but the choices are few compared to the impreza/wrx marketplace, and the car is soooo new. (Even the Japanese sites Iíve been browsing havenít really rolled out the 03 Forester mods yet)
My plans for the X start with a new exhaust, and probably a freer-flowing CAI, either ScoobySport or Cobb, although I like Ganz too. Next is strut tower braces and anti-sway bars. I may or may not wait to eat up the Geolanders (in a year or 2 or 3?) to go for some 17Ē wheels (those gunmetal Rota Tarmacs would look sooo good) and better tires. I think I may also try to get the STI springs for the X and live a little closer to the ground. Iím also going to DIY the grounding mod that I read here some weekend in the near future. Styling-wise Iím probably going to get the windows gray-tinted and get some of those pseudo-HID blue-ish PIAA halogens. Iíd sure like a nice plain Zero type grill (black hex mesh) but it looks like that will have do be another DIY project.
More laterÖ
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Old 09-03-2002, 03:41 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 12588
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Down by the sea
Four Count 'em


Congratulations on your new purchase and welcome to the I-Club Forester Forum - Good review of your initial impressions. Don't forget to catch up with Dan Kimball and his Forester Turbo install, that is if he's not too swamped with school and meeting new classmates (read partying his tuska off....).

Sounds like you've spent some time in the forums so you've probably heard the drill ... look first (ie., search) then jump on with a question/thought/comment. Of course, if you're in a hurry just indicate that and plunge right in. Everybody needs some quick advise now and again. Keep the info flow coming about your new ride and what you find out about your potential mods.

Br, Dale
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Old 09-03-2002, 03:01 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 7490
Join Date: Jun 2001
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: NS, Canada
2014 2.0i 5dr 5MT
Deep Sea Blue Pearl


Wecome to the Forester family. Sounds like you are developing your performance improvement plan. Lots of ideas in this forum to help you enhance your sube experience.

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Old 09-03-2002, 03:21 PM   #4
Ken S
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1895
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Bay Area, CA
05 Leg GT Ltd. W

Thumbs up

Nice review and welcome! I'd highly recommend the rear sway bar upgrade -- great bang for the buck!

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