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Subaru Baja



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dan: congrats first and foremost.

    I'd go back to the dealer to cancel your order and let them know how and why they lost your business, in the hopes that they'll improve their service for the next guy. The $50 is not important IMO.

    Bob: if the new Legacy arrives in 2005, I bet the Baja comes a year later.

    Patti said something about driving in a figure 8 pattern a couple of times to break-in the AWD system. Try that and see if the tranny (drivetrain really) feels smoother.

    But I agree with paisan - you've got 5 driveshafts slowing you down when you let off the gas.

    Brown usually likes Subies, he gave the 2001 Forester a rave review, even mentioning the 2.5l felt like a 6 cylinder (he reached 60 in 9.1s with an auto), much quicker than his Sante Fe V6.

    In a scale from 1 to 10, I'd give him about a 6 on technical accuracy though. 24 mpg is fantastic, no pickup could come close.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    They state that the H-6 is slated for MY04, as an option!


  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    You mean to tell me that only way I'll get an H6 in something other than an Outback is to get a Baja? >:-(

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    LOL! Life is NOT fair...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    First time I heard that rumor, finally.

    I say put the H6 along in the current model, call it the 3.0. Then create a cheaper 2.5 model with cloth seats, and maybe make the moonroof optional.

    Actually went to a dealer yesterday, but they were swapping out the water pump for that recall IIRC. It was pre-sold, too, so I'm still waiting to sample one.

  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Totally second your line of thinking! I've been saying the same all along. If anything could use the grunt of the H6, it would be the Baja. It could only help in the arena of towing and loads in the cargo area.

  • Squiredogs wrote: At around 37-40 MPH, the car seems to engine brake a little if I let up on the gas to coast in traffic. Is that the AWD, the weight of the vehicle, or the auto transmission doing a downshift? Or a problem? If I remember correctly, the RPMs are under 2K, and stay that way when this is happening. This may be what some people describe as "hunting for gears", but I don't know. Maybe part of the break-in? Or I could be paranoid, but I do feel a pulling down in that situation, although very slight. REPLY: My 2000 Outback has the same transmission and drivetrain, and I think this is normal. All modern automatics have lockup torque converters. Unless you are flooring it, the tranny is locking up the TC in 4th gear at this speed, so if you let off on the gas, you will get a bit of engine braking. You need to learn this behavior and drive with a light foot in traffic. The Subaru does not free-wheel. In the mountains (where I live) you want the tranny to brake a bit for you, note how 3 and D are in the same gate, making the 4-3 downshift easy and avoiding 2 unless you move to the next (right) gate.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I was over in Tysons Corner today, which is not far from your place. The dealer over there (Stholmans on Rt. 7) had 4 Bajas (yellow, red, silver, & silver) in stock, two of which were 5-speeds. I took another 5-speed out. They have a neat test course over a very winding road, then ending up on the the Dulles Toll Road (the sales guy paid the tolls!)

    You ought to head over there to drive one. The one I took out was yellow.

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  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    I saw my first Baja "live" at a dealer yesterday.
    It was red and the extensive cladding, to my eye, looked very "plactic-like" against that color. I was frankly pretty disappointed. The pass through into the cab is a neat idea though.

    Per recommendation above, I'll be off to Stohlman's to check out other colors. My gut tells me the cladding is going to look best against a silver background.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Most people (here) seem to think the silver-on-silver to be the best looking. Both silver ones at Stohlman's were automatics, IIRC.

  • 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

    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.)




  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    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.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    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...

  • 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.



  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    From, 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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