2020 Subaru Crosstrek, 2019 Crosstrek, Subaru pickup
Denis Flierl's picture

Should Subaru Bring An All-New Crosstrek-Baja Pickup?

Forget about a mid-size Subaru pickup, what about a small Subaru Crosstrek-Baja all-wheel-drive truck? Would consumers buy it?
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Americans want big trucks, but would a small all-wheel-drive Subaru pickup sell in North America? According to reports, Ford is planning on bringing a global Mini truck (pictured below) to South American and is planning on selling it in North America.

GM is also working on a new car-based compact Chevy truck with unibody construction. The vehicle is so far unnamed and is set to serve as a replacement for the Chevrolet Montana, a small front-wheel-drive utility vehicle sold in Latin America. So why not Subaru?

baja

Why couldn’t the Japanese automaker take the new Global Platform that serves as the architecture for all new Subaru vehicles, and bring a new Outback-based small all-wheel-drive pickup? You might say they already tried that with the Brat (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) and the Legacy Outback-based Baja.

The Baja featured Subaru's great all-wheel-drive system, making it versatile in a variety of road and weather conditions and it was meant to appeal to young consumers with a taste for the active, outdoor lifestyle much like the Crosstrek does today.

Would you buy a compact Crosstrek pickup?

We don’t know why the Baja never really took off. It offered great fuel economy (up to 28 highway mpg), all-wheel-drive, and appeared to a young generation of buyers with active lifestyles, just like the Crosstrek. Baja lacked power but was offered as a fun turbo model in 2004 with 230-hp, but it had an unattractive appearance.

The small Baja pickup never sold well and had other flaws. There was no middle seat and it could only haul four people, and only a small portion of the rear bulkhead (the mid-gate) folded for cargo. The bed was small, and the ride height was only 7.3-inches but by the end of production was raised to 8.4-inches. Subaru dropped the Baja after the 2006 model year.

So why not use the Crosstrek as the basis for the new Subaru small pickup but don’t make the same mistakes. It would be the ideal size and could offer the same removable partition that expanded the Baja’s truck bed to nearly 7 feet. This time, make the opening as wide as the bed to accommodate a sheet of plywood or other large items. For power and towing, It could be offered with their new 2.4-liter direct injection four-cylinder boxer used in the Ascent. Will Subaru build a new Crosstrek-Baja small pickup to compete with the new Ford and Chevy mini-trucks? It’s fun to think about, but not likely.

You May Also Like: Should Subaru Build Ascent-Baja To Cash In On Mid-Size Truck Craze?

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Comments

No interest in a pickup from Subaru, or anyone else. If they stick with the 2.0NA engine for a pickup, I doubt anyone will buy it. If they can put a better engine in a Crosstrek based pickup, not sure why they would not offer it in the Crosstrek as well.
That's just stupid and ill- informed. Of course it would sell, mainly because of the safety, not to mention the all wheel drive. It should be based off of the Outback rather than the Crosstrek. The Baja was just to earily for its time. They are extremely versatile and extremely hard to find!
I absolutely loved my Baja and would buy this in a heartbeat. Ive had 10 different people offer to buy mine on the spot and dozens more ask me about it. It had about 200,000 miles on it when I sold it.
No! They should base it on the Ascent for better performance and towing.
If the Subaru Pickup came with CVT then no thanks :\ The Pickup must have 2 speed Four wheel drive, High & Low Range with a traditional automatic transmission as 8 speed Automatic transmission
Unfortunately, AFAIK, Subaru only has CVT's for auto transmissions, and no 8 spd's to source. Shame, as many of us prefer a good ol' fashioned torque converter automatic over those buzzy CVT's.
Totally agree, must be 4WD with high and low range not just AWD, and AT not CVT
Subaru only has AWD, so doubt 4wd would be a possibility
The whole article is confusing, it mentions the Crosstrek in the title, then mentions basing it off the Outback, which is a larger platform. While it makes more sense to base it off the Outback, as it is larger, and the newer platform, I would think basing it off the Crosstrek could be an advantage as there are really no compact pickups in the North American market currently, and could give Subaru a segment all their own for a while (Ford has expressed some plans to build one, but not coming out imminently). Then again, if they want to be be serious, I don't think anyone will will buy a pickup with their wimpy 2.0NA engine, especially with a CVT. I remember the original BRAT, and could not get past those rear facing seats in the pickup bed, and thinking how unsafe they were riding out in the open. Not sure they even had seat belts!
A lifted up Outback with a chopped off bed might sell. Very El Camino-y
For a import pick up..I'll stick with a Tacoma or tundra. I own a outback and a forester. I love them. I'm a fisherman in south FL.
The baja was what I really wanted when I purchased my Forester 5.5 years ago. I think it would need a larger engine than a 2.5L though. My Forester has to work a little harder than it should to tow a small trailer with my mower on it. The trailer is very lightweight and can be rolled around by hand so more HP should be a point to be addressed. Still need the AWD though - & still need the good MPH.