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Subaru Baja

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Comments

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    Most people (here) seem to think the silver-on-silver to be the best looking. Both silver ones at Stohlman's were automatics, IIRC.

    Bob
  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    Ride: I drove a short course near Herb Gordon (formerly Tischer) Subaru, Silver Spring, MD, w/a salesman so I was light on the throttle and steering. Salesman said the front struts have less rebound than 2002 Outbacks due to (?) springs (forgot the name) for dampening. I noted some stiffness that might have been tire (over)pressure.

    Features: The pass-through is neat. Some wind noise from the crossbars with the moonroof open (as with all crossbars). The bed seems well thought-out, with drain holes, a gate-mounted license plate holder that folds so it's visible with the gate down, notches for cross supports (creating a two-level bed), and light.

    Herb Gordon will receive a 5MT Baja next week. No brochures (nor at subaru.com).

    I drove a Regatta Red/Silver Stone Metallic. A Baja Yellow arrived as I was talking to the salesman; it might have a bit too much orange for me but it does look nice. Funny that Subarus arrived on a covered truck carrier, while Mercedes-Benzs unloaded nearby arrived on (gasp!) uncovered trucks. (Usually, I see MB on covered trucks, this was an anomaly AFAIK.)

    Cheers,

    ..Mike

    ..Mike

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    I believe they're called "internal rebound springs."

    Regarding the 2-tier loading in the bed: Did you notice the slots, for the cross slats, have a small lip at the top, to keep the slats from bouncing out of their pockets. Question: How do you get the cross slats into those pockets, with that lip in place? You can get one end in, but you can't get the other end in, with that lip in place!?

    I'm wondering if Subaru will be offering some sort of a spring-loaded slat, that you can compress just a bit, so that you can insert that cross-slat into the pocket?

    What did you think of the styling? I think they look better in person, than in pictures.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    When I was at the Tyson's dealer yesterday, the sales guy and I (with much help from the owner's manual) figured out how to secure the optional bed extender in place with the tailgate down. If you don't secure the bed extender in place, it will bounce up and down on rough roads, and you risk loosing your cargo.

    There are are 2 small straps, with attachment clips, that slide on the bed extender. When the tailgate is down, you insert each strap-clip into the latch on both sides of the open tailgate. You need to insert until you hear "2 clicks" You then snug up the straps as needed. Then it's secure.

    To unlatch those clips, when you want to close the tailgate, you use the tailgate release handle, as you would do when you want to lower the tailgate. That releases the straps/clips.

    Also, when you want to remove the bed extender, you raise it vertically 90º, and it lifts right out! It's great for thieves...

    Bob
  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    "Internal rebound springs", that might have been what he said; thanks, Bob.

    C'mon Bob, they wouldn't call me Mr. Cup Holder if I neglected minutiae. Of course I looked at the slots! ;) Glad you asked. The salesman said some pickups have slots to accept 2x4 lumber to create the 2nd tier. Subaru has a slot designed to work with dedicated cross slat members, not 2x4s. I don't recall if he said Subaru or the aftermarket would provide cross slat members. He said Subaru expects many aftermarket bed accessories, such as a bed cover.

    Do any owners know more?

    Styling: Definitely looks better in person. Normally, cladding isn't for me (why we choose GT monotone over Outback two-tone w/cladding) but if I were buying a Baja, I'd want it. I can't decide if it's overdone. It'll probably grow on me, like most things.

    I just wish that Baja Yellow one had the protective white plastic wrap removed so I could get better handle how the Baja wears the color and cladding.

    ..Mike

    ..Mike

  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    From www.media.subaru.com, Product Info, Baja, 07/31/2002 Subaru Core Technology Empowers the Baja™ and Defines the Brand:
    The 2003 Baja retains the proven strut-type suspension design in front for packaging efficiency. The rear uses a multi-link design. This suspension design provides excellent lateral rigidity and geometry, as well as optimal control of bump-steer and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The front struts are all new and incorporate internal rebound springs, coil spring rate changes and improved shock valve tuning to reduce body roll and further refine ride quality. The internal rebound springs also increase longitudinal stability by reducing lift on acceleration.
    ..Mike

    ..Mike

  • Test-drove a Baja with automatic the other day. Lift on acceleration is not one of my big concerns, and I don't think it's because of the rebound springs...

    I will probably buy one, but it won't be because of its looks. Hey, has anyone seen the kayak carrier that is an option for the roof rack? I'm told I'll have to pay for it (non-refundable) before my dealer will order one. Not too helpful.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks for the tip, Bob. Check out the Cafe for my surprising test of the Pilot.

    I think all Crew Cabs look, well, awkward. It's just not a well proportional body style. The Sport Trac isn't pretty. The Tacoma is plain but boring, and the Frontier is downright ugly now that they went overboard. The Dakota is the least offensive of the compacts.

    -juice
  • Got a silver one, automatic, with bed extender, tweeters, no other options on it. Ordered a hitch and a differential protector. $500 over invoice, and I was able to apply the $2000 in vouchers I had built up over many years in the credit card loyalty program.

    I'm satisfied with the power, tried it in a couple of freeway situations. Not as quick as the Mazda Protege I'm retiring, but quick enough.

    Yeah, I was writing the check when I realized the date. But I figured I was already driving a weird car, no need to start worrying about what other rules I was breaking.

    Mark
  • What more can I say, I love it. Its not even worth comparing it to my old Tacoma, but it is a much better ride than even our 98 Outback. Same engine, same hp, torque, max rpms, etc. but the Baja feels like it has a 30-40 hp advantage. Maybe thats just the difference between the AT and the 5-speed manual. The suspension is a huge improvement, no body roll at all, and bumps you feel in the Outback barely register in the Baja. The steering is excellent, probably due to the larger wheels and low profile tires, but I read somwhere about the Baja having some kind of "speed tuned" steering. Anyway, I am very happy with it.
    The dealership here in Plano TX still does not have a replacement for the one I grabbed and have no idea when they will get another. There were only 3 Bajas, all silver, delivered to the 3 dealerships in the Dallas area 2 weeks ago so for the moment I still have a fairly unique vehicle in an area where Subarus are not that common anyway. I have not had that many looks but so far all I've been doing is commuting and running around a bit on weekends. Since lots of people here drive Suburbans, F250 Super Duty trucks, etc. as commuter/mall shopping vehicles I am probably beneath their notice. I'm still on my first tank of gas and having a great ride. I hope Subaru comes out with more monotone color options for the Baja, the 2-tone colors really overemphasize all the plastic cladding.

    Cheers!
    http://www.mcgaughey.org/webpage/images/baja/
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    with you about offering more color choices for the Baja. Right now you either have high-contrast choices (Red/Silver, Black/Silver % Yellow/Silver), or the no-contrast Silver/Silver.

    I would like to see a couple of subtle-contrast colors offered, such as: Titanium/Silver and SeaMist Pearl/Silver. The Titanium and SeaMist Pearl are currently offered on the Legacy and Outback models.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    or lack-there-of...

    Subaru marketers really dropped the ball on this exciting new vehicle. The Baja has been on dealer lots now for almost two weeks, and no dealer (that I'm aware of) has gotten any brochures to hand out to interested customers!

    Here you have an excited audience, about a really new product, and little information is available! The Baja web site does little to help. It's nothing more than a teaser to get you into the showroom; nothing more.

    Only the barest of specifications is currently available, and little info on options. The sales people are equally at a loss. People come in with questions, and the sales people have few answers, because they don't know anything either. It does not reflect well on SOA, at all.

    Bob
  • Can anyone recommend a northern NJ dealer? There is one Nissan/Subie dealership in Morris County that I was advised to avoid if I wanted straight talk and a straight deal. Any firsthand advice?
  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    A few NJ folks have posted their recommendations in the Owners Club, Subaru Crew: Best Service Facilities discussion. The Edmunds search engine may or may not return results, so you might have to browse 20 posts at a time.

    ..Mike Smith

    ..Mike

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree with Bob, the Sea Mist Green looks good, as does a monotone Gold color, and that pearlescent white with or without the two-tone.

    That white is the VDC's prettiest color, IMO.

    -juice
  • Here's my solution for carrying 4'x8' plywood sheets and longer timbers with the Baja.

    Maybe there will be some professional looking after-market option like this one day. Since

    I don't have my bed extender yet, I can't really tell if it would interfere with this. If intersted, check it out. http://www.mcgaughey.org/webpage/images/baja/baja_review.html#09162002


    Paul.

  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    Nice project, Paul, it looks great! You forgot to list the number of Coronas needed for the job. ;)

    ..Mike Smith

    ..Mike

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Way to go, well documented, parts listed, and you even chose good beer! :-)

    Uh, where's the lime?

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    I'm hoping that Subaru (or some accessory manufacturer) would offer an option similar to this, as an option. These kinds of racks are commonly available for full size commercially-oriented pickups.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I doubt Subaru would do it because of the limited payload. Something like that would just urge some folks to go overboard (not implying you would, BTW).

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,675
    The Baja roof rack is only rated at 100 pounds.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, but you're divinding the weight of the lumbar a bit, probably half the load is on the custom-made rack.

    But I still wouldn't haul more than maybe 150 lbs or so.

    -juice
  • I probably wouldn't need to carry more than 100lbs anyway, its just that if I need to carry a few timbers or sheets of plywood on the weekends, I can now do it with this contraption. Previously that was a limitation of this vehicle that I did not have with my Tacoma. I'm a happy camper now that I've solved this issue - for me anyway. But I'm not planning to use the Baja as a work truck or anything :)
    FYI it took 3 Coronas to build this thing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Corona light. Light duty pickup, light beer, right? :-)

    -juice
  • Am I correct? No V6 option? Ugggghhh! My brother was excited about the baja. He asked about engine size./ When I said 4 cyl only, he said no thanks. Why oh why is there no V6.
    Alsdo, I think its about time that GM/Subaru hired some designers.

    Tom
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    All Subaru's use flat (Horizontally opposed) engines, so it would be an H6.

    Unfortunately, the H6 isn't available right now. Although there are rumors that it will be. Some magazine (or web site) said that Subaru said we'll get it. That was one of the biggest complaints when the specs were announced. Especially since the concept version had a supercharged engine.

    Don't knock the torquey flat 4 until you've tried it. :-)

    -Dennis
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If we see a V layout, it would mean a GM-sourced engine. Run, do not walk.

    Some pubs are already mentioning a more powerful Baja will be sold next year. I'm sure Subaru is waiting to see how well the Baja sells, and haven't made a final decision yet.

    But I bet it will have the H6 in MY2004. It's a truck for CAFE purposes, so fuel mileage is completely a non-issue. They could put as much power as they want, basically.

    -juice
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I agree that there's a H6 in the Baja's future, the question being when? Look at DC, they are just now offering a turbo option for the PT Cruiser so MY-04 for the Baja might be a bit soon. I think it depends on sales. If the Baja flies off the dealer lots, then there'll be less of an incentive to add an H6 option.

    -Frank P.

    P.S. Saw my first Baja on the road last week.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Still no Baja sightings here. I think DC dealers got them a little later than some other areas, though.

    -juice
  • I placed a $500 deposit on a Baja on Wednesday. The owner of the dealership told me he'd have a VIN for me in two days - so far nada. I called the salesman on Friday and he told me they haven't found one yet. I told him I'd also take a black one. They have two Bajas on the lot, a red one and a black one, but both are automatics and I am dead-set on a 5 speed. I drove one of the autos - it was adequate and sold me on the vehicle, but I'm looking for something a little more fun (FYI I tested a WRX wagon also - but that's another story). I plan to give them until Wednesday again before I start rattling their cages. Does anyone know much about the inventory listed on the Web sites? They seem to be pretty uniform from dealer to dealer. I noticed a dealer down in Tampa had a black 5-speed on the web site, but since my local dealer had 4 listed on their web site, I wasn't sure how reliable that info is.
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