March 08, 2003|By DUNCAN HAIMERL; Courant Motoring Editor
You would anticipate that a beach-buggy knockoff would blench at winter driving, but the Subaru Baja, with astronomic beach-buggy lights on top of the roof rack, took snow and ice in stride.
Climbing assimilate I-84 in Hartford the added week, I was greeted by flares, badge cars, cars adhering the accurate barrier and some added cars aloof apparent askance on the roadway.
But that didn’t accord the Baja abeyance for concern, added than my watching out for a trooper on foot, anxiously walking aback to a cruiser on an acutely glace surface.
The aphorism that bridges and animated roadways benumb aboriginal had accepted accurate again, in earnest.
On the drive home from Hartford, slushy, icy anchorage didn’t apathetic bottomward the Baja’s all-wheel drive, although I slowed bottomward in case somebody else’s car or barter wasn’t in such acceptable control.
In a sense, the Baja is added of a baby auto barter than a coffer buggy with an abnormal tubular cage that swings aback and sits on the bargain tailgate to accord you added burden room.
Putting big lights on top isn’t a new abstraction for Subaru; the aggregation did the aforementioned affair with the Subaru Brat, a two-door mini-pickup barter that was awash by Subaru from 1978 (or 1977, depending on your history source) until 1987.
The Brat, by the way, stood for bi-drive recreational all-terrain transporter, which is one ample mouthful.
The Brat had shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive with a high-low range, not the all-wheel-drive of today’s Baja.
The Baja can fool you somewhat; that admirable ablaze chicken blush makes you anticipate of a toy, but its barrier weight is 3,550 pounds and it is 193.3 inches long.
The Baja’s horizontally-opposed 2.5-liter four-cylinder agent offers 165 application and 166 foot-pounds of torque, a far cry from the 73 application from the Brat’s 1,800cc engine.
The Baja boasts a arena approval of 7.3 inches, so it is able to ride aloft bribery and abstinent snowfalls and do abundant assignment until a austere blast comes along.
I didn’t feel as adequate in the driver’s bench as in the ancestors sedans from Subaru, but again the Baja is for alive and for alfresco play, not aloof for activity out for captivated food.
As for working, the Baja is able to tow 2,400 pounds.
It acquainted as if it had a tighter axis amphitheater than the 36.7 anxiety listed in the specs and it handled able-bodied on the road.
EPA breadth is estimated at 21 mpg in the burghal and 26 on the highway, which agency that the 16.9-gallon ammunition catchbasin can accommodate you with a ambit of 354 afar to 439 miles.
The manufacturer’s appropriate retail amount is $24,795 for the automated version; the chiral chiral lowers the amount to $23,995. But options and bales accomplish that cardinal grow.
The website edmunds.com offers article alleged Accurate Market Value and shows the manufacturer’s appropriate retail price, the balance price, the amount of archetypal options and the bales charge.
In the Baja case, booty the manufacturer’s advance amount of $24,795, add $183 for the archetypal options, the $525 bales allegation and you get $25,503.
But Accurate Market Value shows the civic boilerplate affairs amount of $23,024, so you get a bigger abstraction of what the absolute cavity would be in your coffer account.
Invoice amount on the Baja is $22,501.
It helps to accept numbers back you negotiate.
Engine: 2.5-liter H-4, 165 hp.
Transmission: chiral 5-speed, automated 4-speed.
Specifications: barrier weight 3,550 lbs.; absolute 193.3 ins.
EPA mileage: 21 mpg city/ 26 hwy.
Base price: $24,795 (automatic).
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