In scenario you hadn’t found, there is a resurgence of intriguing new car or truck-centered pickup vans about to hit the current market. The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are set to be a part of the Honda Ridgeline to supply exclusive requires on the softer, additional manageable truck formula. But historical past is in fact whole of carlike pickups, from the outdated Ford Ranchero and Chevy El Camino to the a lot less commonly remembered Dodge Rampage. Of system there have been other individuals, but the one particular we’re heading to hone in on in this short article is the Subaru Baja.
The Baja was Subaru’s next foray into the truck marketplace below in The usa, pursuing the traditional Brat (which is well worth its personal post for a further time). While the Brat had vestigial seats mounted suitable in the truck bed, the Baja was a a lot more refined style and design that shared most of its mechanical bits with the Legacy and Outback.
Oh, and the Baja has a extremely … exclusive physical appearance.
Why the Subaru Baja?
As we pointed out at the outset of this write-up, there is a authentic industry for small, carlike pickup vehicles. The Baja was not the most successful consider on the method, obtaining marketed just all around 30,000 models throughout its generation operate from 2003-2006, but it was one of the strangest. It truly is generally a comfy Subaru Legacy sedan besides that it’s acquired a smaller truck bed grafted on the back again. Additionally, there is a little move-by way of from the mattress to the cabin and a mattress extender that enable owners to haul objects up to 7.5 feet in length. That’s truly beneficial.
Plus, staying primarily based on the Outback signifies it has common all-wheel push and is incredibly able in modest off-street configurations. It also usually means it is roomy inside with seating for four grownup passengers and that it rides comfortably even about very poor road surfaces. The Baja’s floor clearance of up to 8.4 inches is fantastic for the kind of rutty filth roads that often guide to fantastic camping, hiking or fishing chances.
Two engines ended up presented in excess of the system of the Baja’s manufacturing run. A conventional four-cylinder provided 165 horsepower, despatched to all 4 wheels by means of either a 5-speed guide or four-pace computerized transmission. A turbocharged selection was extra in 2004, and in that exact same calendar year the trip peak was lifted. The turbo delivers 210 horsepower and 235 pound-ft of torque. Most Bajas had been marketed with computerized transmissions, but a several turbocharged manuals designed their way out of the factory.
The Baja scored rather properly with house owners. J.D. Electricity survey responders named it the Most Desirable Compact Pickup in 2003 and 2004. Shopper Reports gave the Baja the highest marks for predicted reliability of all pickup vehicles in 2006.
Which Subaru Baja to choose?
We might frequently recommend seeking for a turbocharged model, but the base 2.5-liter boxer-4 isn’t really a entire pet dog when mated to a guide transmission. If you can obtain a Baja Turbo with the really rare guide transmission, we might suggest that you strongly think about it. The motor is fundamentally a detuned WRX STI powerplant, and with a good clutch pedal and all-wheel push, it truly is a sprightly performer.
Unfortunately, Subaru did not promote pretty mana Bajas more than its abbreviated generation operate. That usually means clear, minimal-mileage illustrations can be rather tricky to discover. You may well need to have to cast a broader web than you’d ordinarily take into account to obtain the best Baja in your price tag range.
Our utilised auto listings can be helpful to find a fantastic offer near you. Slender the offerings down by a radius all around your ZIP code, and shell out awareness to the deal score on each listing to see how a vehicle compares with many others in a comparable place.
What else to take into consideration?
The Baja is exclusive. There were not many car or truck-based pickup vehicles during the Subaru’s manufacturing run, but if which is what you are wanting for you can expect to discover a myriad of vintage choices, which includes the longtime section-defining Chevrolet El Camino. A lot more realistically, the Honda Ridgeline features a very similar expertise to the Baja, but with increased functionality and a large amount less quirk.
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