Introduced in 2002, the Subaru Baja is an AWD, four-passenger, four-door coupe utility vehicle manufactured by Subaru until 2006. A turbocharged model was included in the lineup in 2004, which produced 210 horsepower. An added suspension upgrade gave a new ground clearance of 8.2Ē. And ever since, the Baja has been the plaything of off-roading enthusiasts the world over. Depending on whether youíre a performance junkie or just fixing your Baja up for other reasons, make sure you have a Subaru Baja service manual in your arsenal to combat any issues that rear their ugly head at you.
The Baja combined the passenger carrying characteristics and the handling of a traditional passenger vehicle with the open-bed versatility and load capacity of a pickup truck.
The unibody design used the same platform and sheet metal as the Subaru Legacy and Outback wagon. The Baja nameplate comes from Mexicoís Baja peninsula ó host of the Baja 1000 off-road race. Peter Tenn, Subaru senior designer, Tenn described the Baja as, ďThe Bajaís jarring look is a homage to rally-race trucks. Itís supposed to look funky, look different. It doesnít fit any category, and we knew that going in. Itís not like anything else on the road. And thatís important to a lot of people.
The Baja mimicked Subaruís ST-X (Sport Truck X-perimental) concept vehicle presented at the 2000 Los Angeles International Auto Show; the production groundwork for an Outback-based, four-door, car-truck hybrid.
The original 2003 model came with a power driverís seat, leather seats, and sunroof. The Sport model, equipped with manual seats and cloth interior, was unveiled later in that year. In 2004 a new 2.5 L Turbo model was offered with the option of leather or cloth interior and automatic or manual Sportshift transmissions. The Baja Sport offered different trim and paint options but remained much the same as in did in 2003. A few minor changes were made for the 2005 model.
Although Bajas are becoming ever rarer to find, on occasion one can still be spotted out driving around here or there. If you are one of the lucky ones who get to work on a Baja, whether youíre showing it some TLC or tuning it for performance reasons, make sure you got your trusty Subaru Baja repair manual with you.