Not enough spread for the racks…
Not enough bed room to be useful and not enough interior room to be useful. A crippled Outback.
I tend to agree… I love my outback… wouldn’t trade it for the world. Big rack spread, large cargo space inside safe and dry, But cut the back of the wagon off, and make it a tiny bed… I guess I dont see the benefit of that.
Baja plus & minus
There is enough spread on the Baja roof for a kayak rack that will support whitewater and recreational kayaks. My son purchased Subaru’s kayak rack for his Baja and it holds our whitewater kayaks securely. There is probably not enough spread for a long sea kayak however, unless you went to extra effort to secure the ends to the front and back of the vehicle. As others have pointed out, there is not a lot of room in the bed, but it is intended to be versatile, not a substitute for a full-sized pickup truck. The interior is good for small and college-aged flexible folk, but the back seat is a little tight for full-sized adults. It is a sporty, fun vehicle that can be modified to meet a variety of needs. Plus it is a Subaru that runs forever and has great traction on difficult surfaces. But it is small and not for everyone. Test drive one and see if it fits you.
couple of things
The Baja at first glance seems to be the perfect all around car/truck.
I have looked at the Forrester and the Outback extensively and one of the things that I hate about a wagon is that whatever smells you bring with you are in the whole car. With my Echo, I put wet neoprene and spray skirts and boots into plastic containers that go into the trunk along with the rest of my gear leaving the car itself pretty clean.
I have seen lots of long boats on top of Bajas but I wonder if a set of Yakima towers instead of the factory rack would lengthen the spread and by how much. I always tie down front and back for highway driving with the Echo anyway.
the interior is very nice. I have no issues with it. Back seat is a bit small but i fit fine and would be ok for a few hours anyway if I had to.
It does have that 2.5 liter engine that everyone keeps talking about with the head gasket problems. the one I am looking at is new so don't know if it has been resolved by now?
I think that issue was mainly a few years, maybe '99 to '03…
Install a receiver on it
put a “T” bar in the receiver, plenty of bar spred…
(here’s a secret)
(for a $3000 deduct option you can get one with a solid bed cover (the wagon))
The new 2.5 shares only the block, the hg issues have apparently been resolved.
For some reason, car-based pickups like the baja are all the rage in Australia.
2nd gen 2.5l gasket issue
Yes, the gasket issue was with the 2nd generation 2.5l engines roughly in the late 90s timeframe. The 05+ is the 3rd generation in the outback line…
that is the entire appeal of this car. I will have the occasional workbench or fridge to carry since I am building a new home. Additionally, I can throw a couple of sot’s in the back and tie them down for the family while carrying my boat(s) on the roof.
Plus you keep some semblance of normalcy with the neoprene and the gear in the back instead of on the back seat etc.
paul-i am right there with you…
baja wise… (and a tempest owner tyring to lose weight)
i am lusting after a baja…i paddle more than a couple of times a week so the gear gets pretty wet and stinky…my wagon that i have right now is down right gross sometimes…to the point where my wife will not get in it…
i want the standard sport version…better mpg than the ‘cooler’ one…and i would be getting the Yakima Drydock for the long boats…the ww and rockhopper will fit right on the roof up against stackers…and the rest can go in the tail…i would get the hard top for camping tho-jsut to have a bigger dry space…and i would make a bungee net for around home paddling…
(who needs to find a baja in new england)
all kidding aside
I like it too - but I think it would be better with a “pass through” to the interior.
Being an outback owner I would love to swap my motor out for the turbo version. Power is lacking and the drop in MPG is pretty minimal.
But to have something that works as a truck, even with a minimized bed, that handles like a car, would be a pretty nice thing.
I thought it had a pass-through
I looked at an '07 in November and at 6’3", I’m way to tall for this buggy. Loved everything else about it, but just too little leg room for anyone but the vertically challenged (I guess that makes me what, “vertically successful?”)
Anyway. I could swear you could lay down the back seat and flip open the front of the bed to load longer items into the interior. It was a pretty small opening though, and the rear glass was fixed in place.
For a few thousand more you can have the Honda Ridgline with a much bigger and usable (albeit still not full size) truck bed with a locking in-bed trunk bigger than any car’s I’ve seen and more interior space for true 5 passenger seating than most things out there. We’ve had ours for a year and a half and absolutely love it. My 11’ rec yak fits diagonally in the bed only hanging out a few feet. Lot’s of tie down points. If you opt for the roof rack it seems about as solid as any out there. I didn’t (wish I did, but we lease) so I made a homemade, we’ll call it, “roof protector” rather than a rack, so I can haul my 16’ canoe.
You may be right about the baja.
Does the ridgeline have a pass through? I would love to get my hands on one of those…
The Baja’s “switchback” feature that opens up to the cabin is just a little hatch for long items like skis, not a full opening you can get big items into.
I agree that being able to put stinky items in the bed would be a plus, but with a maximum gross cargo capacity of 945 lbs (this includes the passengers) and a cargo box of 41 x 49 inches (or 39 between the wheel wells), you’d be hard pressed to carry a full sized fridge.
No. The one thing Honda screwed up about their truck. I always thought it would be awesome to have the entire rear window recess down, and then the back flip down, or in or something to open it up. That would make it truly stand out above anything else, combined with all of the other features.
Like I said we love ours. The only down side: we leased it for my WIFE to drive. I'm typically in outside sales (although I've was laid off March 1st and still unemployed) and drive way to many miles for a lease. In fact, not even close. On my last job I was doing 3K mi/month - triple the lease.
The upside of being unemployed has been losing the company car, a 2007 CRV. I say "upside" because at I've been getting a lot of seat time in the Ridgeline these past 7 weeks. ;-)
Waiting on an offer next week for a job, and the first thing I've got to do before I start back is go buy a car. I'll probably stick with Honda (I've owned or driven 4 now), but maybe an Accord. Car allowance won't cover a Ridgeline or I'd get another one.
SEAKAK: If you want one, consider the lease. 'Don't know what the special is now, but we put $1500 down and pay less than $300/month w/ taxes included. 12k/year, 42 months. You can't beat that if you don't mind walking away or buying it after the lease.
Autos are like kayaks - compromises abound…
If you need to haul - buy a pickup.
If you need to commute - keep your Echo.
The Baja is one of the worst compromises around in that its useless for hauling and worse as a commuter than your Echo.
I would keep your Echo for commuting, long trips w/kayaks, etc and buy an old used truck to do your hauling/remodeling type of work. You can get a used truck REALLY cheap.
However, if you just want a Baja for its “cool-factor” then go for it!
I have my 4x4 Ford F150 (lifted/35" tires/etc) and am looking to score a Scion XA or Mini Cooper now to commute with. (and do kayak hauling with) Guess I am on the other side of the equation from you, eh?
Have fun shopping!! At least the wives are more patient with us buying cars than buying boats!
Please specify, Rob…
“my wagon that i have right now is down right gross sometimes…to the point where my wife will not get in it…”
Is this an upside of owning a wagon, or a downside?
Maybe I can borrow some stinky paddling gear from someone…