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Old 02-05-2004, 02:46 PM   #1
huangbaolin
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Default Subaru ST-X?

I found an old Edmunds article about the Baja mentioning something about the ST-X.

"...the Baja Swithback system has a fixed glass window, and not the retractable window seen in the Subaru ST-X concept vehicle."

I did a search on the ST-X and found this old article with some nice, juicy pictures. Damn. Why did Subaru depart from their original concept? The ST-X had the same functionality as the Chevy Avalanche, with a B4 Legacy engine and a MacIntosh sound system. I'd buy this car in a heartbeat. Perhaps we might see this functionality in an upcoming Baja model?

-Trevor Bommerbach
Subaru Sales - Dowtown Subaru / Saab - Oakland, CA
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:57 PM   #2
BajaBratBoy
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That's what I was hoping for when they said "Switchback", but unfortunantly they did not go with the concept... I dont think they will every put it in. It would raise the price of the Baja. And since it's not doing well in sales, it would make it even less attractive to the public.
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Old 02-05-2004, 06:18 PM   #3
cadillacjake
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2004 Baja Turbo
Black Granite Pearl

Subaru Stars Switchback

The full-height Switchback (where the whole bulkhead drops) was more of a show car item. With its unibody structure, the Baja lacked the rigidity to hold its weight with the entire bulkhead removed, ala Avalanche. The Avalanche has a full ladder frame and thus can get away with almost anything. But I too wish that this configuration was possible, as it would expand the capabilities by leaps and bounds. If it were feasable at this point, I believe we would have seen it, and that the current Switchback was a comprimise of stiffness and accessibility.

As for the rest, I like the stereo that was installed into the Turbo models; you can have the original single DIN single disc unit. The main features I would have liked would be to make the sunroof an optional piece, the above mentioned midgate, and a 5-speed leather-equipped Turbo model.

But with the sales of the Baja off to such a lousy start, I doubt we'll see any of this. I think we'll be lucky to see a Baja made in '05 (with the new Outback body style maybe?).
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:48 AM   #4
SouthShoreBaja
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As far as the switchback i think they wanted to put out a "safe" model that wasn't too far out on the edge. As far as the Mac sound system and b4 engine, i'd say it was totally to do with the cost of mass-producing a vehicle of this caliber having no idea whether or not it would sell.

As we all can see now, the barebones, and now even the turbo are barely selling. This is mostly SOA's fault in their marketing strategy but its also just not a mainstream vehicle.

If they'd put it out with a B4 engine and interior upgrades like the Mac system the price would be considerably higher. They'd have to bring the interior up to scale with the Outback VDC because the current interior would underimpress consumers with the B4 and Mac system. To put out a brand new vehicle at this higher price would mean they'd have to really spend on marketing to push the vehicle, but functionally it would still be a niche vehicle. Yeah some people may switch over because of the B4, but i think it would be Subaru-to-Subaru switches much more than attracting more newbies to Subaru.

I like my Baja and plan on keeping it for a few more years. Its the first Subaru we've bought and i doubt it will be the last. But i've found that our usage of the bed isn't to the point of ever buying a pickup-style vehicle again.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:58 AM   #5
cadillacjake
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Black Granite Pearl

Subaru Stars

Yup. SOA has barely made an attempt at marketing the Baja as it is, not to mention trying to push a super-equipped version. It seems to be one of those cars where the prospective market goes looking for IT, unlike most (Outback, WRX) where SOA has to make it compete with others in is class.

I'm still waiting on my Baja-T to arrive (been 5 weeks already) and I can't wait. There just wasn't another compact pickup on the market that could be configured the way I wanted, especialy at the price I paid. The car/truck definitely isn't for everyone, though, and it shows through the sales figures.
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:45 AM   #6
BajaNut
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I think that most of the problem with the sales is that the bean counters are seeing the sales figures and are not going to give the advertizing $$ to the baja. So the baja sales won't go up because the people that don't know that Subaru has a car/truck for the best price on the market, then people won't go and see it and probally buy it after they drive it. So it is a catch 22.
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:07 PM   #7
SouthShoreBaja
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Its very similar to how Ford has treated the SVT line in the US.

Most people chuckle when the Ford Contour is brought up. But the SVT version of it was a legitimate high end sports car that could compete with any stock BMW. But Ford never attempted to make that distinguishment in their marketing and let it flounder. Meanwhile overseas the SVT lines sell like crazy.

I was a baby when the Brat was around, but since it left the market, i can only imagine it was marketed at the same intensity. Also those bed seats are pretty scary.
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:21 PM   #8
cadillacjake
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2004 Baja Turbo
Black Granite Pearl

Subaru Stars Induced Failure

I agree, unless SOA saw a sure thing, they wouldn't invest any money in promoting the Baja line. It's purely experimental, with the Outback and WRX being the mainstays of the Subaru lineup. Why you would spend the money to develop and produce a new model, but then not promote it, make a very limited number, and not offer any specials on it is beyond me.

Perhaps it's time for all concerned to let SOA know how they feel. The truck gets a very mixed reaction when others I know see it, and it's usually foavorable one once they learn what makes it up. But the rest of the world will never know what they're missing unless SOA tells them!
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:48 PM   #9
BajaNut
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leggtnut on lgt.com

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you sed it cadillacjake. when i have told people that I am purchasing a subaru baja, most people don't even know what I am talking about and when I tell them more about it and how mutch it cost and how it blew away the competition with confort and ride confort. I found that the ride in all of the Car/SUV/Trucks were too truck like and not car like, except for the baja. Even my dad, who really doesn't like the baja was extreamly pleased with the ride confort, power, ride hight, etc... and he is someone that really likes the big monstrosities like the ford SUV's and what not. At leaset he setteled on the VW Tourag. That is not too big of a SUV and at a nice price.

Ben
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:35 PM   #10
cadillacjake
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2004 Baja Turbo
Black Granite Pearl

Subaru Stars

Thanks to my fascination, there's a few people at work now interested in seriously purchasing a Baja of their own. Most seem to regard it as something of a joke from the '03 year's underpowered 2.5L NA four. But once I mention the new turbo, their eyebrows raise, mention the price I'm going to pay and now the Baja's seen in a whole new light. Again, it's not for everyone, but it fits more people than any will ever know.

Yet I actually like its near cult status. I've always been one to drive odd vehicles (ergo my hot-rodded Coupe DeVille). Needless to say, my Baja-T will be no exception. I really want the Scorpion lift kit, a brush guard, some 17" wheels that match the Onyx body cladding, and some tires that could hold their own on the trail.
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Old 02-07-2004, 12:38 AM   #11
BajaNut
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I am with you on all that, but I think that my ride hight might be good for now. We will see after I get my baja T.
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Old 02-08-2004, 07:48 AM   #12
hatake
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Black

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We'll see. Baja T is on display at Chicago (versus only one impreza on the entire booth - everything else is Legacy based models), and SOA's attempt to push for the next model new body style (yes, they are thinking about it - that could mean not till next year, though). I think, with other makers trying to capitalize on sports truck, Baja could do much better in the future. Bring on ST-X, but with better color, I'd say. Unlike Outback which everyday non-outdoor mom & pop drive 90% of the segment, Baja is specific to outdoor and utility focused vehicle. I say this million times, but in order to appeal to this group, forced induction is a must item as at high altitude, even 3L engine loses its power considerably more than turbo. ST-X focused correctly (with SC), but the initial production did fail to hit its original target due to lack of the forced induction.
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:32 AM   #13
Samirr76
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2003 Baja 5MT
Yellow w/ 220,000 miles

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Well the turbo is helping and here's proof...

Every 2004 baja Turbo is now spoken for. They are all allocated so if you want one now you will have to wait for 2005.
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Old 02-09-2004, 10:41 AM   #14
hatake
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Really? 2000 units sold in less than 2 months? That's a great news as they were targetting around 1000 units per month (and hitting like 500 per month till last Nov). Get in and drive around, tell your friends about it...
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:37 PM   #15
Samirr76
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Yellow w/ 220,000 miles

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Not to worry though, 2005 Bajas are due out in late April of this year. Yes, even though the 2004s were just released in December. They will not share the front clip with the redesigned 05 Legacy line, they will continue to use the current generation Legacy specs. Even with the success of the Turbo the future of the Baja is uncertain. Who knows?
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Old 03-07-2004, 05:40 PM   #16
gstien
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Maroon

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I agree, the marketing could have been better. However, I am glad they didn't do such a good job. I have gotten so many "what is that" looks, I lost count! I have only seen 1 other Baja in my town, that's it. The dealer must have sent theirs to the auction, because they didn't sell them here. If something ever happens, I can blame it on the other guy, his is the same color as mine. LOL
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Old 03-08-2004, 05:54 AM   #17
cadillacjake
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2004 Baja Turbo
Black Granite Pearl

Talking Hate To Say It, But I Agree!

Okay, so if SOA had been better promoting it two things would have happened; I wouldn't have gotten such a good deal and no, it wouldn't be as unique as it is. My only concern is that when I go to sell it (many many moons from now) that the resale value is shot due to a lack of general interest in the car.
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Old 03-08-2004, 11:00 AM   #18
SouthShoreBaja
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Jake, if you stick to this site, and others like it, there won't be a lack of interest at all. A ton of cars get moved on these boards and this is a captive audience. I see alot of SVX's being sold on here.
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Old 03-08-2004, 08:57 PM   #19
gstien
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Maroon

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I agree. This site can provide a lot of info on the Baja, and in the future, you might just find someone to buy yours. I get a few comments each week about "Subaru." Usually it's from previous owners of the Brat (oddly enough). Each person has said that it was indestructable, and that they basically sold it because they got tired of it, after MANY years of use. Because of the bed, I do get the usual "is that a brat" question. It's got 4 letters and a few of them ARE the same, but it says BAJA, not Brat. LOL Every Subaru owner or former owner I have talked to, all say that they either love their car, or wish they had it back.
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:03 AM   #20
cadillacjake
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2004 Baja Turbo
Black Granite Pearl

Default I Hear Ya!

Oh I know! When I was working in the garage in Northern Michigan, Subarus were the thing to have unless you wanted a 1/2 ton 4x4. Most of the one that came through were 80's model GLs and some Legacy's, most with over 200K on the ticker. They just ran forever. That was when I began looking at the Subies seriously. I fell in love with the famous boxer motor and symmetrical drive system right away. But I do wish they'd held on to the part-time four wheel drive with the switch on the shifter like the XT's had. Seems like that could really save on the gas while cruising on dry freeway. I guess I'm not REALLY worried about the resale cost, as I plan to drive mine until it falls apart, which will probably be as far down the road as I do.
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