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Old 09-26-2004, 11:25 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 35495
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Chicago
2015 STi

Question list of questions from a soon-to-be baja turbo owner

i have so many questions that i just decided to post a list in here and hope they get answered instead of hijacking other threads for responses. i got a letter in the mail from subaru that gaurantees me $18,100 for my 03 wrx trade in and $500 subaru bucks, so it looks like it would be stupid to pass this up. my job sometimes requires hauling around some cabinets and trim molding so the baja seems like a perfect candidate. please note that i am converting from an 03 wrx 5-speed. i can answer alot of my questions if i can just find a 5-speed to test drive in my area. they are scarce.

1) is this car setup for heel-toe driving? i know the tranny is fully synchronized but still like to heel-toe. i am hoping the pedals are set up the same way as the wrx.

2) is the transmission stronger than the one found in the wrx?

3) does the baja shock you during winter or dry weather like the wrx does? (i am talking about electric shock from the steering wheel or even the body of the car during exit of the vehicle.)

4) is there wind noise from the weather strips that support the mirrors?

5) the weather strips again, are they prone to squeakin like the wrx?

6) does the car "bounce" when you let off the gas, especially in low gears, like 2nd?

7) is reverse a pain to get into like the wrx?

8) turbo boost gauge, how high does the needle go, or what psi max is this car pushing?

9) can the Tonneau bed cover be rolled up and put in the back seat in case you need to utilize the cargo bed to fit tall items?

10) how is the overal visibility while driving?

11) do the windshield whipers have intermitent delay settings or are there only 3 modes of operation? (my wife's 03 legacy only has 3 settings but my 03 wrx has intermitent settings)

12) are there 2 power outlets in the cockpit or just one?

13) there has been alot of talk of possible the baja being underated in terms of HP. for those that may have experience, is the baja 5-speed as fast as a stock wrx 5-speed? seat-of-the-pants feel is all i am asking.

14) is the ride softer than a wrx?

15) is the paint considered thin like the wrx?

16) do the stock speakers vibrate like they do in the wrx, especially when listening to talk radio with normal bass levels?

i will post more if i remember to add anything.
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:02 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 36905
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Kirkland, WA
2014 Outback SAP
leggtnut on lgt.com


Well, I can only answer a few of the questions becuase i have a turbo with the 4eat sportshift (love it).
3) I have not been shocked mutch by my baja, less than every other car that I have owned.
4) I don't knotice any wind noise at all in the baja, the quietest car that I have ever driven
5) don't know yet. too new. but I don't get any leakage durring washings.
8) I have the stock boost gsuge and it is raded in mpa and it maxes out at about .07 or .7, I don't remember exactly which.
9) The OEM vynel can be rolled up and stored just next to the roll bars, but would require a screw driver to remove the plastic piece betwen the roll bars and the cab.
10) the visibility is not an issue in mine. it is about 1 or 2% less than a legacy sedan.
15) it is a subaru and they paint them all the same.
16) The turbo with lether and auto comes with the premiem sound system and it sounds really good under all types of music and talk. No ratteling no squeaking, etc... aftermarket would sound better, but these sound the best for stock.

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Old 09-27-2004, 09:29 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 41307
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Texas
2003 Baja
Regatta Red/Silver Stone


I don't have a WRX nor have I driven one for any length of time, so I'll answer the questions that I can. For point of reference, I have a 2003 non-turbo.

3) I live in Texas and while we've had some dry weather over the last year (since I bought my Baja), I've never been shocked. My wife's Geo used to shock the heck out of me but I've never noticed anything at all on the Baja.

6) I've noticed a bit of bounce when you let off the gas, especially at lower speeds. I've always attributed it to the AWD not being able to coast as freely as any other FWD or RWD.

7) I have had the occasion where the car didn't want to go into reverse and I had to rev it in neutral to get the gear shift to slide into place. It's as if the gears aren't lining up right.

9) The vinyl cover could probably be removed quicky if needed, and there are some third party (wood and vinyl) covers that can actually be removed and stored in the back seat.

10) Compared to some other cars I've driven (VW Beetle, Geo Prism, Buick Regal), the visibility is a bit more restrictive, but not so much that I feel like I'm driving blind. The mirrors are really good and well placed as well. They seem to make up for the slighly restrictive rear window. Also, I think I'd be happier if the headrests in the back were removable just to gain a bit more visibility. I usualy take them out in my Wife's Beetle just for added visibility. So long as no one is sitting back there of course.

11) The wipers have high, low, and variable intermittent with a little dial for adjusting the speed of the intermittent through about 5 different speeds.

12) There's only one power outlet in the entire car unless something's changed since 2003. I've really wished for a second one in the back seat on occasion.
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Old 09-27-2004, 11:15 AM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 36905
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Kirkland, WA
2014 Outback SAP
leggtnut on lgt.com


I forgot one:
12) I read something on the Subaru web site about the 05 baja turbo and it said that it has another outlet in the arm rest. I haven't gotten into one to make sure, but that is what it said.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:49 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 70052
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pittsburgh
2005 Baja Tubo 5spd
Monteray Silver/Silver

Post Answers to the best of my ability.

I've never driven a WRX, but I do own a 2005 Baja turbo 5-spd.

1. I doubt it's going to handle like a WRX, but I think it's fun to drive.
2. Recent flooding in the area left a bunch of mud/silt on the roads and I did slide the rear end around a sharp bend.
3. Even if it does, mix about a 2 teaspoons of liquid fabric softener with water in a spray bottle and spray the seats and carpet lightly. Works like a charm and smells good.
4. Even at highway speeds the car is pretty quite inside.
5. No squeaks, but mine is still new.
6. If you are talking about trying to drift along in slow moving traffic? My Neon bounced like mad when I did this, but the Baja has been smooth.
7. I haven't had any problems, but it seems like 5th is way out there.
8. It's still new so I haven't been too hard on it, but it's been up to about 8-9
9. Soft tonneau, can be rolled up to the bars, has velcro straps. You lose about 6-8 between the bars and the rear window when the cover is installed.
10. No complaints
11. high, low, adjustable intermittent and pull to activate quick wipe.
12. Second power outlet is on the back of the armrest. Kind of an odd spot, but it's there. Hard to reach while driving.
13. Probably not, but the Baja T has a great torque feel to it.
14. Probably the WRX is mad for that, but the Baja feels pretty stiff to me.
15. Don't know. I like the way mine looks.
16. Haven't noticed it.

It feels great on twisty back country roads, which makes my wife nervous, but it corners really well. My old wheels was a modified DOHC '97Dodge NEON that dyno'd at 187hp. I also stiffened the suspension while racing with the local SCCA club just for fun. I'm older now, but still love to drive hard and enjoy my Baja. I would have liked the leather and power seats, but didn't like the sport-shift at all.

The cargo area isn't near that of a truck, even with the switchback and bed extender. so you might want to double check if it will fit your needs. The trim shouldn't be a problem, but cabinets might be another issue. The bed extender mounts to the inside of the bed and is tubular, so you loose about 6-8 width wise. As it's been stated, you also loose room the tonneau cover mount, behind the roll bars.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:06 PM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 55662
Join Date: Feb 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: RaceComp/GTworx
2004 Baja Turbo 5spd
Mystic Blue w/ stickers:)


You should see if the dealership will let you take a Baja for a few hours. Mine offered it to me but I already knew I wanted it. The paint is thin tho mine already has paint chips...but I love it and will deal with it..just like its was my boyfriend hehe.
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:58 PM   #7
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 35495
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Chicago
2015 STi


well i test drove one yesturday, and i made the purchase today!

the first negative thing i noticed was that the clutch pedal was very light and short. it sort of reminded me of my 99 saturn 5-speed. i should be able to adjust though. it is not a sporty clutch pedal at all.

i was dissapointed in the power output as well. although i did not really push the car, i could clearly tell that the hp numbers are not under-rated. this car needs a performance reflash and it should be pretty good then. or maybe it just needs to be broken in.

visibility is not as good as in the wrx, especially the front windshield. it is smaller in height.

the 5-speed seemed to pull as hard as the automatic, but then again i took the automatic to redline while i did not on the 5-speed (probably becuase i knew i would buy it and didn't want to beat on it).

i did like the smooth ride though. also the engine and interior were nice and quiet.

Last edited by SpeedShift; 09-29-2004 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 09-29-2004, 12:03 AM   #8
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 36607
Join Date: May 2003
Location: norcal

Nice, congrats on your purchase, that's a real good price out the door!

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