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It’s Time For Subaru To Drop The Legacy Sedan And Offer A New Baja Compact Pickup

The 2021 Subaru Legacy is the worst performing carline for Subaru of America. Is it time to replace it with a pickup?

Is it time for Subaru to drop the Legacy sedan as they did in Australia? Subaru of America reported 2021 Legacy sales for May, and the sedan is the worst performing carline for Subaru of America. The Camden, N.J. automaker says 10,870 Legacy models were delivered to customers through May 2021. Even the performance Subaru WRX and STI have more sales than Legacy this year (11,918).

How does the 2021 Subaru Legacy compare with other sedans in the U.S.? A recent report reveals the Legacy is seventh in sales behind the Toyota Camry (145,766 year-to-date), Honda Accord (93,925), Hyundai Sonata (44,260), Toyota Prius (32,935), Kia K5 (32,837), and Ford Fusion (10,937).

2021 Subaru Legacy, pricing, features

The Subaru Legacy is manufactured at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana, and a new pickup truck could be an excellent vehicle to replace the Legacy on the assembly line. The small to medium pickup truck segment is one of the fastest-growing in North America.

Ford has the right idea with the all-new 2022 Maverick compact truck recently revealed. Why doesn’t Subaru resurrect the Baja and offer a new compact pickup? Subaru of America discontinued the Baja after the 2006 model year because it has some flaws, and it never sold well.

2021 Subaru Legacy, pricing, features
photo credit: KDesign AG (Kleber Silva)

Now could be the time to build a new compact Baja pickup that would ride on the Subaru Global Platform, and it could be built alongside the Outback and Ascent SUVs in Indiana.

The Japanese automaker could give its U.S. customers the traditional Subaru go-anywhere capabilities. The brand’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system would be a perfect fit for a compact pickup and would likely be a big hit with customers with active lifestyles who want to go off-road and get further away.

The 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 Baja pickup with a 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine producing 260 horsepower. Or Subaru could offer a more rugged Baja Wilderness trim with extra ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and underbody protection for off-road adventures.

It’s time for Subaru of America to drop the Legacy sedan and offer a new Baja compact pickup for its customers in North America.

You Might Also Like: The New 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Is The Brand’s Halo SUV And More Is Coming

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, main image KDesign AG (Kleber Silva)


Dave Skolnik (not verified)    June 11, 2021 - 9:39AM

Having sold Subaru's from 2007-2012, and being an owner of one, I would be excited to see Subaru have a truck in their line-up. But please, not another Baja. If Subaru wants to offer a truck, let it have the utility that even smaller or mid-sized trucks offer. Yes, I want the all terrain capability, but the truck needs to have a beed that can accomodate items larger than a cooler. To me, that was the downfall of the Baja. No truck utility.

Sue Wnek (not verified)    July 5, 2021 - 9:32PM

In reply to by Dave Skolnik (not verified)

Obviously you NEVER knew the complete and utter joy of owning a Baja. No it's NOT giant truck . We don't want that. It's the convenience of a truck but not so much that "friends" want to borrow it all the time for their "pick up truck" needs. It's the ability to buy a bedroom set .. And have it ALL fit, or go to the nursery and buy plants,or trees, for your garden. Or pick up 6 boxes of hardwood flooring; and have it totally fit inside the bed. Did you forget about that HOLE in the area behind the backseat when you lay it down. Or how convenient it is to be able to put a BIG DOG kennel in the back, while your Great Pyrenees rides inside in air conditioned comfort. Or the ability to carry loads of antique brick pavers. NO you have Never owned a Subaru Baja. You've missed a lot. Hopefully you'll get a second chance to experience all a Baja has to offer. Best wishes. Sue. P.S. If you take off all but the first and last brand letters on the back of the tailgate, it'll spell: SU. Bet you won't forget that.

Cole (not verified)    June 12, 2021 - 11:27AM


Subaru should resurect the compact pick up. They should drop the legacy sedan and instead bring the sport oriented lavorg wagon to the US to replace it. Now returning to the compact pick up they should make different trims but each trim should be named differently. For example Ford's f-150 has the raptor and tremor, and Ram has the 1500 and then the rebel trx.

I THINK this is the important part that Subaru should make the baja a lower to the ground UTE with the normal trims (limited, premium, etc.). THEN offer a more off road/sport version called the BRAT to pay tribute to their first compact pick up. Offering a manual trans in both and maybe adding the DCCD to a sti-esk version of the brat. Seperating the two truck models similar to the wrx and the wrx sti.

With the way the market is going back to wagons, crossovers, and light duty pick ups this would be the best way to go for the company.

(Someone push this along to subaru america)

John Alderhan (not verified)    June 13, 2021 - 7:26AM

Eliminating the Legacy sedan is tone-deaf. Where I live, the sedan is a top seller for people who need more utility than the little hatchback or want something that handles better than the pokey wagon.

My sedans have gotten me to work through conditions that stop lesser vehicles; and the balanced handling doesn't come at a price of a cop-magnet.

The Legacy fills a unique niche and should remain in production. Add a pickup, sure, but don't mess with success.

Timothy Parker (not verified)    June 13, 2021 - 6:03PM

I'd love to see a compact pickup, but make it a single row seat with a 6-foot bed. I don't want to see another pickup that is just an SUV with an open trunk.

Steve (not verified)    June 13, 2021 - 11:53PM

I dont really agree with this. If they want to add a pick up fine. Is it really their thing though? And it needs to be practical if it is a pick up. I dont agree with dropping the Legacy. I think its a really nice midsize sedan. But i would also rather drop the legacy for the levorg than anything else

EndUser2021 (not verified)    June 14, 2021 - 3:16AM

The legacy is still a fine vehicle ... Axing it to bring in the Baja? Yeah... I don't think so , also they bringing back a turbo legacy this year too ... I must be a minority who sees a mini truck as a waste of time ... If you want a truck get a full 4x4 truck...

As for off-road Crosstrek has been getting that fun and if I were in market to replace my own 99 legacy sedan I'd only do it because it's beyond repair which mine ain't ... Still I'd be looking at a Crosstrek or Forrester before I went to a Baja ...

If I going truck I would want to be able to do some serious towing with it which unfortunately Subaru does not have something that can tow 5000 lbs of enclosed trailer... So again if that was something i we're looking for it wouldn't be a Subaru I look to ... They just not that sort of company so it'd be a Ford or perhaps a Toyota...

David Z (not verified)    June 14, 2021 - 9:25AM

I completely disagree, I've owned 7 Subarus including a 2009 Legacy GT limited. My 09 LGT was an amazing car, looked great, performed great and fun to drive . The reason Legacies aren't selling is because the design is boring, and the base model engine is weak . Subaru needs to add a turbo on the base model and maybe lower the displacement like Honda did with the Accord . I leased a 2021 Accord Sport because Legacies were difficult to find, higher base price, boring design, and slow acceleration. I would have loved to have purchased a Limited XT, but styling is not exciting, and priced higher than what I was looking to spend . I think Subaru needs to hire new designers like KIA did , and offer a turbo with base engine.

Bob (not verified)    June 14, 2021 - 11:36PM

The Legacy hasn't been relevant since Subaru of America forced it to become an American family sedan version of the Outback.

There was a time when the Legacy was a sporty premium Japanese sedan and wagon car that sold well worldwide. I think the fourth generation ending in 2009 was the last good versions of Legacy. After that they chased after big FWD American Family sedans that were appliance like, slow and handled like boats. Even the new XT turbo version is not that fast and handles poorly.

They should replace the current Legacy with the Levorg.

There is no where for BRZ, WRX or STI drivers to go if they want a bigger sporty car within Subaru. They basically go to the turbo AWD luxury German cars, KIA stinger(which is what the Legacy should have turned into) Lexus IS or Acura TLX.

Subaru had a sporty turbo sedan, with the Legacy, and just gave up on it before every good manufacturer started cloning what the old Legacy used to be.

Now everyone is adding AWD to their big American family sedans and Subaru is now just making another big family sedan that no one really cares about.

John Saunders (not verified)    August 3, 2021 - 9:10PM

I have a '21 Legacy XT. Love it. The design is why I chose it over the Camry or Accord. Handles great and plenty of power for a sedan. The Baja was cute but too small of a bed. Reconfigure the Accent to have a truck bed or just buy one of the many trucks out there. With Ford dropping the Fusion, Chevy dumping the Impala the Legacy will pick up some of those sales. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to drive a SUV or a truck even a wannbe every day.

victoria greenberg (not verified)    September 15, 2021 - 3:10PM

I have a 2015 Legacy and it is the best!! You are all out of your mind, including Subaru, if you want to get rid of the Legacy. I plan on purchasing a new Legacy this year

wishfrog (not verified)    February 5, 2022 - 2:49PM

Yes, Subaru, please bring back an updated Baja as a small utility vehicle! Getting back from the feed store without having completely wiped out the interior of my current car would be a dream.

Bob M. (not verified)    February 7, 2022 - 8:59AM

If Subaru wants to bring back a "novelty" utility vehicle, fine. But, I don't think dropping the Legacy to do it is a good idea. The bed is tiny...our Outback can carry as much (we'll have that refrigerator that we purchase every decade delivered and they can haul out the old one too) so I don't get it. There are already enough small pickups with more capacity. The Legacy (and I have owned 3 now including my new XT model) would sell better if it was advertised more. I actually discovered it when we were buying an Outback. I bought my first one six months after buying my wife's Outback. Great car-not everybody wants to drive an SUV, believe it or not. As far as numbers-I would venture to say Subaru would not sell any more Bajas than they do the Legacy models. Well, maybe the first year due to heavy advertising.