Subaru introduced the Baja in 2003 as a rugged, all-wheel-drive (AWD) crew cab pickup with the comfort of a sedan and the cargo space of a truck. Most consumer reviews on the Subaru Baja were positive, citing its versatility and practicality as notable features. However, most do not know whether to call it a car, a truck, or a little of both. Either way, buyers seemed happy with it, despite its plain interior, limited back-seat legroom, and small truck bed.
This vehicle is easily distinguishable because of its short back bed and large, silver bumpers with silver surrounding the bottom half. Subaru began producing the Baja in a Base trim and Sport trim, and have now included a Turbo trim level that adds more engine power. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine is fitted on both models. The Sport model produces a good amount of horsepower (hp), but the Turbo kicks it up a notch with 210 hp. Boosting the horsepower does allow more power, but fuel economy suffers just a bit with the choice.
With increased power, the Subaru Baja is set to compete with its rival more effectively and would make a good choice for shoppers who are looking for something a little different.
Body Styles: crossover, sedan, pickup.
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Subaru Baja Sport Crew Cab Pickup, Subaru Baja Turbo Crew Cab Pickup
The 2005 Subaru Baja now offers a Sport Crew Cab and more powerful Turbo Crew Cab trim. Some of the features include painted alloy wheels, a folding back seat with a folding center storage/armrest, and a six-CD player. Also new for the 2005 model is installed wiring for roof rally lights
Both the Sport Crew Cab Pickup and Turbo Crew Cab Pickup feature 16-inch painted alloy wheels with all-season tires and an under-mounted spare, a painted bumper, a power glass sunroof, a roof rack, and cargo tie-downs. Both models have a 3.5-foot cargo bed, and the Turbo Crew Cab Pickup includes a hard bed cover.
The Sport Crew Cab Pickup features front vinyl and cloth bucket seats with a storage console, folding rear seats with a center storage/armrest, power doors, windows and mirrors, power steering, cruise control, a leather steering wheel, a clock, a tachometer, an external temperature display, an AM/FM radio, a CD player with four speakers, air-conditioning, and front and rear cup holders.
The Turbo Crew Cab Pickup also includes a six-disc CD player and six speakers, a height-adjustable driver’s seat with six-way power, multi-level heating, and lumbar support. The Turbo with leather package features leather front bucket seats, and a leather steering wheel and shift knob.
Optional features for the Sport Crew Cab Pickup with the manual transmission include a rear bed extender, auto-dimming mirrors with a compass, vertical and horizontal cargo nets, and an upgraded security system. Various Active Lifestyle kits for all models are available that include bed extenders, color splash guards, upgraded speakers, front tweeters, and subwoofers. Other optional features include a premium sound package, a bike carrier, sport activity lights, a hood protector, a moonroof air deflector, an air filtration system, and alloy wheel locks.
Performance & Handling
The 2005 Subaru Baja has all-wheel drive (AWD), which makes it suitable for all kinds of driving weather. Its four-wheel independent suspension provides a comfortable ride. However, the JD Power rating for the four-speed is three out of five, so don’t expect to blow off steam on or off the highway.
The Baja is a four-door pickup with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 165 hp with 166 lb-ft torque and is matched with either a four or five-speed transmission. There is also a more powerful turbo version of the same engine that has an output of 210 hp with 235 lb-ft torque. It is offered in three trims with plenty of factory-installed safety features. These pickups have a maximum payload of 1,070 pounds and a maximum towing ability of 2,400 pounds.
Both the Baja Sport and Turbo Crew Cab pickups include front and rear disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution, child seat anchors, rear door child safety locks, and a rear defogger. It should be noted that no safety tests have been performed on this vehicle.
EPA Fuel Economy
Subaru Baja Sport: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Subaru Baja Turbo manual: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Subaru Baja Turbo automatic: 16/21 mpg city/highway
- Comfortable ride
- Extra power of Turbo model
- Fuel efficient Sport trims
You Won't Like
- No special standard features
- Limited space in rear bed
- Tight legroom
- Limited towing ability
- No factory-installed airbags
The 2005 Subaru Baja can be a difficult sell, as its small rear-loading ability and loss of interior room make it neither a spacious family vehicle nor an efficient cargo-hauling vehicle. However, for those who see the benefit of both a car and pickup combined, it could be just the ticket.
If You Like This Vehicle
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