24th Jun 2007, 17:41
I've had my Baja Sport four years now. It can be driven offroad, but not very far. I got stuck in mud twice and hung up on a rock once. It's really very good for nasty road conditions with the caveat that like all large vehicles in slippery conditions, sometimes Newton's Laws will win and you will not.
Can haul most things, but plywood is still a problem. I experimented once with a 4 by 8 sheet of drywall and had trouble getting between the chrome "D" pillars.
Reliable beyond belief, but then I used to own Fords... Having spent it's life as a beast of burden, it's definitely not pristine, gets washed once a year and is generally full of tools. Nice big scratches where the bungee cords have tried their best to maim me. I am a fanatic about regular maintenance though. So far, only oil changes and a window adjustment in 52,000 miles. 28 miles to the gallon at 70 MPH or better. This is with the roof rack taken down and tires at 35 PSI all the around.
Looks, well they grow on you. I like the two tone look now. Also incredibly easy to find in a parking lot.
About the design... it did not come from Japan, it's the same team that came up with the Avalanche. It was also built in Indiana.
24th Jun 2007, 17:49
No, no. Don't take those chrome bars off. They are actually your "D" pillars and are needed for structural integrity.
16th Aug 2007, 09:53
I've owned my Baja for 18 months. I live on dirt roads and have a small ranch. I got tired of paying insurance and high gas bills for my ranch truck, a Ford F150, and wanted to replace it with a daily driver that could be used to haul items as I need.
I use my Baja extensively for hauling feed. Yesterday, I hauled 700 pounds of bagged feed from the feed store. The feed store is not far away and I drove slowly with no problem. I've also hauled a jacuzzi bathtub, large desks, building materials, hundreds of pounds of pavers, long pieces of wood using the backseat door, and many other large items too numerous to list, and have scooted around town with four people comfortably.
I get over 30 mpg on the highway, probably even higher when driving conservatively.
I'm a skier, and regularly drive into the blizzards of the Northern Sierra Nevada mountains (I live at 5,900 feet and the resorts are at 8,000 feet), and have never had a problem getting anywhere any other bigger SUV or truck can go. In fact, during storms, I pass many larger vehicles that have slid off of the road, and I don't stop to help them. I wouldn't try to tow them out, and they have to pay a tow truck for that, and I feel they need to have some consequence for driving their large top-heavy vehicles too fast anyway.
The only limitation is when we have R3 road controls. At that point the sheriff is checking IDs, and only letting local residents through anyway, and the ski resorts are usually closed, snowed in or the winds are too high, so I don't bother.
I'm a mid-40s woman and find this vehicle to be the perfect mini quad-cab pickup for the rugged tomboy or outdoor type. I am able to spontaneously pick up large items when driving home from work. I also have two utility trailers and rarely use them, the Baja is so great.
I laugh at those driving the larger SUVs and trucks; most people don't haul anything more than I do, or have four people in the vehicle any more frequently than I do, and I'm a lot happier at the pump.
I love this car and hope that someday Subaru ramps up production again; this time with a hybrid engine.
18th Jul 2008, 05:45
I have owned my baja since March of 2004 and let me say, it's the best vehicle I've owned. The practicality of the baja is great. Like some have stated, I love the fact that I can throw my camping gear in the back & take my mountain bikes without having to put anything in the cab. The baja has also helped me when I had to move & not have to depend on someone with a truck to move somewhat large items like TV's, coffee tables, love seats and plastic totes filled with items. I love this because it saves on tearing the interior & I don't have to make as many trips either. With the way gas prices are, this is a huge plus.. I love having the AWD system too. People tend to think by having awd, you can drive like ya normally would when the roads are dry. I'm still cautious though I do feel safer in it. The baja isn't for everyone but it's a lifestyle. I chose the baja for my lifestyle. If ya want a vehicle that's all about style & conversion or rugged, buy a truck or sedan/sports car. All the power to ya. I won't be the one calling to help move small items or putting small items in my truck because they won't fit in my wife's car & waste gas.
I never had any problems with my car since I got it, I keep the maintenance up which on it. I will admit, I don't take to the dealership cause it's a rip-off. I do admit one thing, the price. For the price, I wish it came with a few accessories. Even though this bothered me, I thought of the practicality and how it was going to fit my lifestyle. The best choice I made. I wish they didn't stop making them but its more of a reason to keep it forever. I won't take punches at people who choose to buy something different because that's their choice. What's important to them isn't important to me. I do love the way it looks. When I looked at, it said this vehicle is for the well grounded person who is reserved & has the sense for adventure & exploration. You can take me to work & you can take me to the mountains. I LOVE THE BAJA!!!
2nd Sep 2009, 12:08
What about towing behind an RV? I would like to understand the ACTUAL technical problems of towing an automatic AWD Subaru "4-wheels down". Assume that I have skills to add a transmission-fluid recirc pumping system (to keep the tranny internals lubricated) even though no kit is sold to accomplish this (such as by Remco Towing). If the problem lies in the differentials, or electric clutching or??? Tell me your thoughts as to why such a part would be endangered in this scenario. Keep in mind, in an all-wheels-down towed environment, 99 percent of my travels (Interstate) would have all four wheels turning essentially the same RPM (e.g., all tires are essentially new and identical size, mounted on Subaru rims, etc.).
17th Nov 2009, 03:32
I purchased my 2003 "Classic Baja" brand new in March 2003 and has now over 74,000 miles on it. Last week, I went off the road to avoid a big pick-up truck going towards me "head on" since the driver passed out. I ended up in a ditch. For me to go back to the road I had to go thru sharp incline and stones 7 to 10 inches in diameter. Thanks to my Baja, I was able to go back the road. The damages were scratches in my bumper and side panel. Baja is a great car. I have driven it thru heavy snow storm to get to hospital to respond to emergency calls and have pulled other cars stranded in snow or mud. I have carried in its bed from stones, sand, cabinets, etc. Gas mileage is great- 26-27miles to a gallon. I hope a similar car will be made again.