Thursday, February 2, 2023
News The Subaru Baja is a Rarity and a Future Classic

The Subaru Baja is a Rarity and a Future Classic

Subaru should probably bring the Baja back

  • This one is for sale on Brig a Trailer.

  • It features the desirable turbocharged 2.5L flat-4.

We’re going to end this week on a light note, and not to mention, a cool one. The Subaru Baja was sold between 2003 and 2006. It was presented as the spiritual successor to the Brat (1971-1981), was based on the Outback, and is extremely rare. This is your chance to get your hands on one.

No Reserve: 2006 Subaru Baja Turbo

Subaru had big plans for the Baja in the early 2000s. At the time, small trucks (Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S10, Nissan Frontier, etc.) were very popular and the small Japanese automaker wanted in. Their plan seemed bulletproof as they took their ultra-popular Outback wagon, shrunk the roofline, extended the rear overhang, and traded the hatch for a tailgate. Although the bed was small at just over 40 inches in length, it could be increased thanks to an extender and the opened tailgate. What’s more, the Switchback gate could, with the rear bench folded, further increase the bed’s capacity. The Baja could not fail.

It did, and massively. Subaru’s plans were to sell about 24,000 per year in the US but only managed to deliver roughly 30,000 over its four-year run. It was equipped with Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system that could be mated to a naturally aspirated 2.5L boxer-4-cylinder engine and later, to a turbocharged 2.5L flat-4. Transmission choices resided between a 4-speed automatic and a 5-speed manual.

2005 Subaru Baja | Photo: Subaru

Although we couldn’t find the NA/Turbo ratio, we’re convinced that there are far fewer boosted versions still out there. And though this one is automatic, there are some manual turbos still out there in Canada and the US.

This example, for sale on Bring a Trailer is gorgeous in monochrome in Atlantic Blue Pearl and looks extremely clean indoors.

We think, given the return of the small truck craze (Ford Ranger, Ford Maverick, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, etc.), that Subaru would probably manage to sell more than 24,000 this time around.

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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