Used 2003 Subaru Baja Consumer Reviews
This is my 4th Subaru, my 1st was a GL- 10 loaded 5 speed w/4wh pneumatic air lift shocks 22 mpg. I bought one for each of my kids for safety and dependability, and wanted this vehicle since the BRAT hit the street. I'm glad I waited, this is better. 22 mpg. 6 mile commute. 98,000 miles runs like a top. My GL-10 could air lift 3 inches for more ground clearance. A great feature for this one. Air noise, yep, it's a truck not a limo. Shift slock between 15 and 20, yep, but it makes up it own mind. AWD yep, but I'm not so sure about reverse. Maybe that why it has the hooks on the back. Michigan snow,no problem. Gawkers, yep,it's a guy thing. Not a babe magnet. I would buy another one in a minute.
Bought this 2003 Baja with 105,000 miles on it because of Subaru's supposed reliability. Thought it would be a good car for my college bound kid. Ran fine for 6 months then I got a misfire code that turned out to be scorched exhaust valve (Subaru uses subpar valves according to my regular mechanic, who used to work at a Subaru dealership). $4000 later (at this reputable mechanic) I had new valves, head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, water pump, thermostat, throw out bearing, rear struts (yeah they went bad) and so on and so on. Within 1300 miles after the new head gaskets, started having overheating problem when I had been on the highway about 2 hours. never did it in town. never had overheating problem before all that work. took it to local Subaru dealership and their tests indicated hydrocarbons in the coolant (diagnosis: bad head gaskets), bad turn signal switch assembly. Took it back to original place and they warranted the head gaskets and throw out bearing and flush (including heater core - no blockages and no charge). Got the car back, replaced the turn signal switch assembly and flasher relay just for kicks and ran it up our local mountain pass (highway) for about 45 minutes. Ran great no problems. 1 day later, after driving on the highway for about 2 hours on relatively flat highway, temp gauge crept up to about 3/4. Pulled off and let it cool down before overheat could occur. Time to pull the bandaid off and kick this one to the curb. Do yourself a favor. Avoid subarus. Known cooling problem that causes head gasket failure. If I'd only know before I bought it from that guy....
In 2003 I first drove a Baja, liked it so much my son and I each bought one. This car has been a blast, from driving in a Blizzard in Vermont, to the rains of Hurricane Ivan in VA., to the north woods of Canada, the Beaches of Assateaque Island, and through the Rockies in Yellowstone for 5 months. Last year I got 35 mpg in the Rockies and up to 37 mpg on the way back to PA. It still amazes me that people still stop and look at the car. I have the differential cage added, tow package, an alpine stereo system, and a tonneau rear cover, + off Road light bar. This car is one of my favorites, both my son and I refuse to part with them. Mine is red and silver, his the yellow only produced in 2003.
I own a 03 Baja. I have an engine knock that just won't go away. I have reported, with every trip to the dealer, and I get the same response, "We know about but there is anything to do about it. It is the way the engine is mounted." Sounds like a lot of BS to me. I also have complained about a damp musty smell, like wet towels left in the sun, and again they cannot find the problem. I plan to sell my Baja ASAP
When we wanted to trade our gas sucking Bronco, this was the only option. Car like performance, truck like utility and unique looks combined into one. We've gotten up to 31 mpg highway and average 23-24 mixed city/suburban driving. We're looking for a new "car" now, but our only option is an 06 Baja (since sadly, Subaru discontinued these in 06). We love the Subaru AWD and reliability but won't settle for a station wagon or minivan which is all they really offer now. This was the BEST of all automotive worlds!