By ObiJuanAK on
2003 Subaru Baja AWD 4dr Crew Cab (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
The Baja has everything I expected from this vehicle. As long as you don't expect a pickup's hauling ability and volume, it meets my requirements (hauling, commuting and all weather capability) to a T. The frigid Interior Alaska winters have not uncovered any shortcomings, other than the silly thermometer that only records down to -22 ºF. Fuel economy could be better, but not bad for an AWD vehicle. Good long distance comfort, not so fun on tight and twisty roads. The precision of the gearbox leave a lot to be desired. A little tight for two people in full winter gear, but in the summer it is just right. Shame Subaru decided to discontinue the Baja.
The bed, of course! AWD handling and traction in the winter. Comfortable and quiet.
Dreadful gearbox. Improved transmission and engine mounts should handle most of the problem, with a better short throw linkage to complete the package. Cargo capacity could be improved a bit. It would be nice to have a lowering rear window like the Chevrolet Avalanche.