2003 Subaru Baja Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2003 Subaru Baja - Road Test Specs

2003 Subaru Baja Pickup

(2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual 3.5 ft. Bed)


Model year2003
StyleAWD 4dr Crew Cab (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
Base MSRP$23,995
As-tested MSRP$25,065


Drive typeAWD
Engine typeflat 4
Displacement (cc/cu-in)2.5
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)165 @ 5,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)166 @ 4,000
Transmission type5-speed manual


Suspension, frontMacPherson-type struts with internal rebound springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearMulti-link, coil springs, shock absorbers, stabilizer bar
Steering typeRack-and-pinion, engine-speed controlled variable power assist
Tire brandBridgestone
Tire modelPotenza
Tire size, frontP225/60R16
Tire size, rearP225/60R16
Brakes, frontPower-assisted four-wheel discs

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)6.1
0-60 mph (sec.)9.9
0-75 mph (sec.)14.8
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)17.24 @ 80.17
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)N/A
60-0 mph (ft.)125.99
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)58.9
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)36.7
Sound level @ idle (dB)72
@ Full throttle (dB)94
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)91

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsThe best time came from a 4,000-rpm launch and shifting at 6,400 rpm (redline is 6,200). Even this effort only netted a 9.9-second 0-to-60 time and 17.2 seconds in the quarter mile. A noticeable bog occurred on every run as the clutch fully engaged (even when launched at 5,000 rpm), suggesting that the engine is fully taxed by the vehicle's weight. The all-wheel-drive system effectively kept the tires from spinning, further adding to the "bog effect." The Baja's shifter works well with no slop, relatively short throws, and just the right amount of resistance between gears. The wide-ratio transmission gears had the Baja through the quarter-mile before shifting to fourth.
Braking ratingNo Data
Braking commentsNo fade was apparent after three runs. The ABS system sends a fair amount of vibration through the pedal, but no more than is typical in today's vehicles. What was unexpected was the lack of pedal travel even when fully applying the brakes. This adds to stopping confidence compared to systems that allow the pedal to sink almost to the floor as the ABS kicks back. Front-end dive was minimal, particularly for a vehicle with this much ground clearance.
Handling ratingNo Data
Handling commentsThe same wide-ratio transmission gears that kept the Baja in third through the quarter mile proved annoying through the slalom. In second, the engine was just hitting the rev limiter at slalom speeds, but in third, engine rpms were too low to generate sufficient torque, especially when trying to power through the final cones. With no power to accelerate during a run, the only option was to carry as much speed as possible throughout the entire slalom course. This method worked because, despite rather slow steering, the rack was accurate and the car proved easy to place. In 10 runs, not a single cone was hit, despite substantial body roll. The best time came on a run that had the Baja almost spinning between the final two cones because of the high speed carried throughout the course. Thankfully, the "beauty of all-wheel drive" kept it pointed in the right direction. — Karl Brauer

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)85
Temperature (°F)68
Wind (mph, direction)1.5 mph

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)Auto 21/26 Manual 20/25
Edmunds observed (mpg)20
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)16.9

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3485
Length (in.)193.3
Width (in.)70.1
Height (in.)64.2
Wheelbase (in.)104.3
Legroom, front (in.)43.4
Legroom, rear (in.)33.5
Headroom, front (in.)38.3
Headroom, rear (in.)37.3
Seating capacity4


Bumper-to-bumper3 years / 36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years / 60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years / unlimited miles
Roadside assistance3 years / 36,000 miles


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsNot Available
Head airbagsNot Available
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsNot Available
Traction controlNot Available
Stability controlNot Available
Rollover protectionNot Available
Emergency assistance systemNot Available
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested

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