Not quite a sedan, not quite a pickup truck, Subaru's mid-size Baja represents the modern-day equivalent of the old Chevrolet El Camino. This is basically a Legacy station wagon in which a small pickup bed has been grafted onto the vehicle's rear end, just behind the back seats. As with the full-size truck-based Chevrolet Avalanche it resembles in concept, a small cargo bed pass-through opening to the passenger compartment can expand the Baja's cargo-carrying abilities. However, since it's based on a car, rather than a truck platform, its hauling abilities are limited to relatively light-duty tasks. Base Baja Sport models are powered by a 165-horsepower horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, while the Baja Turbo benefits from a 210-horsepower version. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Standard features include four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, a CD stereo, power driver's seat and moonroof, fog lights, keyless entry, roof rails, leather upholstery and alloy wheels. Expect few changes for 2005.Enlarge Photo
2005 Subaru Baja
2004 Subaru Forester/Baja Turbo by John
Pearley Huffman (7/21/2003)
Blown, and better for it.