Hyundai just launched the all-new Santa Cruz, and Ford brings the new Maverick compact pickup. The Sport Adventure Vehicle (SAV) segment is just waiting to be exploited as it's the perfect blend of pickup and compact SUV. Subaru, are you listening?
If Subaru resurrected the Baja and offered a new compact pickup, it would likely be a big hit with a younger demographic of active customers. Subaru of America discontinued the Baja after the 2006 model year because it had some flaws, and it never sold well. But they could easily fix those problems with a next-generation 2023 Crosstrek-based compact pickup.
photo credit: Instagram user good_grief_graffix
The Baja would be about the same size as the popular Crosstrek and ride on the new Subaru Global Platform. It would be bigger than the Subaru Brat, have four doors, like the rendering below, and built in Lafayette, Indiana, alongside its Impreza sibling.
photo credit: KDesign AG (Kleber Silva)
Hyundai and Ford know there is a need in the U.S. market for a new SAV that will appeal to the "unspoken needs of a new generation of buyers," especially Millennials. Hyundai and Ford will launch into an untapped segment in America; now it's Subaru's turn to leap.
Subaru could do the same and give its U.S. customers a new Crosstrek-based Baja pickup with the subcompact SUVs go-anywhere capabilities. The brand's dual-function X-Mode system would be a perfect fit and would be a big hit with customers with active lifestyles who want to go off-road and get further away.
The all-new Subaru Baja pickup could feature the brand's core values of safety, fun-to-drive, all-weather capable, and a low center-of-gravity. The Baja pickup would be rugged and off-pavement ready.
Imagine an all-new Subaru Crosstrek Baja Wilderness with a 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine producing 260 horsepower. The more rugged Baja Wilderness trim could lead the segment with extra ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and underbody protection for off-road adventures.
It's time for Subaru of America to offer an all-new next-generation 2023 Subaru Crosstrek-based Baja Sport Activity Vehicle for its customers in North America and dive into the untapped compact pickup market. Would you buy a Subaru Crosstrek Baja? Leave your comments below.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru, Hyundai