We have discussed why Subaru needs to offer its U.S. customers a small or midsize pick in North America. They could use the Ascent as a template for a midsize pickup with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine that would sell well in the U.S. market. Or, Subaru of America could offer a compact pickup with the Forester or Crosstrek as the base.
Subaru does sell a pickup, but it's not the one you want. Subaru Corporation sells a light-duty Sambar pickup in Japan with a small footprint and is easily maneuverable on Japan's streets.
The Sambar is powered by a three-cylinder 660cc dual overhead cam engine producing 45 horsepower and 44 lb. ft of torque. Subaru Corporation offers four trim levels of the Sambar pickup, Base, TA, TC, and Grand Cab.
The Subaru Sambar pickup comes with either two or four-wheel-drive models coupled with a 5-speed manual gearbox or CVT automatic. Both transmissions have a city mode, suburban mode, and highway mode.
The Subaru Sambar pickup would not sell in North America because it's too tiny and light-duty for U.S. customers. It's a great little pickup for Japanese farms throughout the country but not suited for North American needs.
We have written about Subaru of America offering a new 2024 Baja pickup for U.S. customers. The all-new Subaru Baja pickup could feature the brand's core values of safety, fun-to-drive, all-wheel-drive, fuel-efficient, and a low center of gravity. Subaru could even offer a new Baja Wilderness that would be more rugged and off-pavement ready.
Subaru'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 off the grid.
Ascent Baja midsize pickup - photo credit obw.adventures
A midsize 2024 Ascent-Baja pickup would be another great addition to Subaru's all-wheel-drive lineup, and it wouldn't be hard for the automaker to design one. Like Baja, which used Subaru's wagon platform as the vehicle's starting point, Subaru could use the new Ascent SUV as the midsize truck's launching platform. Cut off the back, make a few exterior design changes, and get a good-looking 4-door Subaru all-wheel-drive truck for U.S. customers.
Subaru does make the 2022 Subaru Sambar light-duty pickup for Japanese customers. It's time for Subaru of America to ask Subaru Corporation for a pickup that would fit its customer's needs. Would you buy a new 2024 Subaru Baja pickup built for North Americans? 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 Corporation