2003 Subaru Baja 2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual 3.5 ft. Bed Consumer Review - Great concept, lacking execution
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2003 Subaru Baja - Consumer Review

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Performance
Comfort
Value
Fun-to-Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
Great concept, lacking execution
By Dave on

Vehicle

2003 Subaru Baja Sport AWD 4dr Crew Cab (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Review

With 40k high speed and around town (yes, Home Depot!) driving, I have fallen out of love with the Baja, but still respect it. Love the versatility and carrying capacity (quite amazing really, with some creativity). Handling at higher speeds is very good after replacement of the awful OEM tires. Fold down seats, bed extension, poke through door into bed, all great with signature AWD. With the base 2.5l, acceleration is by appointment only. Tranny seems confused and gets in its own way. Wind noise has been a consistent problem, even after service that helped, some. And at 40k this has had more "little" failures and issues than seems characteristic of Subaru.

Favorite Features

Capacity in a "car". High speed handling. AWD, fog lamps, rear bed light. Bed extender and tiedowns.

Suggested Improvements

Power! I should have waited for the turbo. Tranny gearing needs engineering help (this is not malfunctioning, just annoying). Wind noise should be addressed at multiple points. Complete redesign of front seats ... suggest a few 5-6 hour drives by the interior designers. Interior is overall merely OK.
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