Subaru Baja

The Subaru Baja was a compact four-door crossover between a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle (SUV). The vehicle was initially offered as a light-utility, four-door, all-wheel drive, open-bed vehicle. Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Inc. manufactures the vehicle in its assembly factory located in Lafayette, Indiana.

More on the Subaru Baja
Subaru Baja Origins

The vehicle’s name comes from the Baja California peninsula, where the popular Baja 1000 off-road race takes place. The turbocharged engine was the prime feature of Baja Turbo, which was added to the Baja lineup in 2004. The Subaru Baja design combined the load capacity of a pickup, the versatility of an open-bed truck, and the passenger-carrying and handling capabilities of a passenger car. The pickup truck-like aspect of the Baja held less importance than other aspects. The Subaru Baja borrowed much of its unibody design from existing wagons such as the Subaru Legacy and Outback. Production of the vehicle began in the middle of 2002, preparing the model for its 2003 release.

The following year, Subaru installed a new net-type center storage space for the back seat. Additionally, the 12-volt power outlet moved to the storage box console. All Baja models are pre-wired for the optional high-powered Baja lights. The upgraded Baja Turbo has a hard-bed cover and the Leather Package.

The 2006 model of the car offered a keyless entry and a new standard security system. These were the only changes made to the model in 2006.

The assertive styling of the Subaru Baja gave the car a distinctive appearance. The turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, horizontally-opposed engine could generate 210 hp. The regular four-passenger, four-wheel-drive Baja Sport contained a 165-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.

About the Subaru Baja

Those looking for an SUV with the touch of a mini pickup can go for the Baja. If you are the adventurous type who hits the mountain trails, or if off-road driving fascinates you, the Subaru Baja was one of the best options at your disposal. The car provided ample storage space, which interests many outdoor enthusiasts.

Subaru Baja Features

Save for the small cargo bed at the back of the vehicle, the Subaru Baja bears a resemblance to the Forester SUV due to its sports-enlarged front fenders and foldable and large-body colored mirrors. The protective stone guards had integrated fog lights behind them, and the car showed off a unique grille. The powered moonroof came as a standard feature in all Baja variants. The car had a 104.3-inch wheelbase and a ground clearance of 8.4 inches.

The Baja seated four occupants and includes remote keyless entry; air-conditioning; power windows, mirrors, and locks; and an outside temperature gauge as standard features. The Turbo Leather Package offered a six-way power driver’s seat, as well as heated front seats.

The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, horizontally-opposed engine generated 165 hp in the Baja Sport variant, while the Turbo variant had a turbocharged 2.5-liter, 210 hp, four-cylinder engine that delivers 234 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed manual transmission with symmetrical all-wheel drive came as a standard component in all models, while the four-speed automatic transmission was optional. Drivers of Turbo models could opt for an automatic transmission with a manual-shift provision.

When it came to safety, all available variants of the Subaru Baja had de-powered front airbags that came with a front-passenger dual-stage airbag. The front seat belts had load limiters and pretensioners.

The Baja offered a surprisingly smooth and quiet drive. The steering wheel had a sporty feel and ensures smooth maneuverability even in unfavorable conditions. While the ride was firm, it wasn’t unpleasant even in off-road conditions. The vehicle offered good acceleration and reasonable back-seat legroom.

Subaru Baja Evolution

The 2003 model of the Subaru Baja had an open cargo bed. The car was considered a niche vehicle that catered only to those with an active lifestyle. The 2003 version utilized the Legacy platform. The car’s front fascia bore a striking resemblance to that of the Outback. Subaru was one of the pioneers in the crossover segment in 2003, and the Baja made it easy for both customers and critics to see why. Most automobile connoisseurs and aficionados had never seen a car like this before. On the appearance front, the Baja had a pervasive lower-body cladding. The car came in several attractive colors. The 165 horsepower engine offered a good blend of fuel efficiency and performance. Subaru offered two types of all-wheel drive technologies for the vehicle.

The 2006 version of the Subaru Baja had a crew-cab, car-based pickup design. It was based on the 2000-2004 model of the Subaru Outback. In fact, both cars had the same 104.3 inch wheelbase, but the Baja measured six inches longer when it comes to the rear overhang. The seating could easily accommodate four adults, but it offered noticeably less back-seat legroom than the Outback.

Select a Subaru Baja Year

2006 Subaru Baja

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Subaru Baja is a truly unique vehicle in appearance and overall design.

2005 Subaru Baja

Truck, Utility/Offroad

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.

2004 Subaru Baja

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2004 Subaru Baja seems as much like a pickup truck as a sport utility vehicle.

2003 Subaru Baja

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2003 Subaru Baja blends the comfort of a car with the ruggedness of a pickup truck.