Subaru Baja - auto or manual

I am planning to buy a used Subaru Baja to satisfy my desire for a small comfortable vehicle to occasionaly haul stuff in. I’d like to find a manual, but my wife thinks it should be an automatic. Is there really any reason to get a manual? I know it is rated higher for towing capacity and it may get better gas mileage, but the auto is convenient…I guess it looses on the “machismo” argument before it can even start…

If your wife will be driving it, get the automatic. Happy wife, happy life.

If you’re worried about towing capacity you’re looking at the wrong vehicle. The Baja is not a truck. It’s a station wagon with the rear section of the roof removed.

If your’e worried about “machismo” I can’t help you.

There’s no reason to get a manual.
There’s an excellent reason to get an automatic…your wife wants one.

As to machismo, nobody outside the car is going to know, or care, whether you have a manual or an automatic anyway. If it’s machismo you seek, grow a furry mustache.

There aren’t that many Bajas available so you might not have a choice. I’d go for a manual if you could find one. You get a 5 or 6 speed instead of 4 with an auto. The car will feel zippier and I’d think more fun to drive. The manual would get 2 mpg better fuel economy. Replacing a clutch is less expensive than replacing an auto transmission. If you get an auto be sure to get the fluid changed every 30K miles.

If your wife is adamant about an auto and she is going to drive the Baja, then go automatic.

Subaru manual transmissions are infamous for having short-lived clutches… or as my buddy the mechanic says: “Subaru clutches are crap!”. Even Tom and Ray have told listeners to get an automatic transmission when buying Subaru… I assume because they have seen the same problem at their shop. If you want a manual tranny, buy a Porsche… as for Subie, stick with an automatic, and you’ll save $1,000 every 50,000 miles (the cost and distance when replace Subaru clutches)

Most of the Baja’s sold (90%) were equipped with automatics.

Just say “no” to a Subaru with a manual transmission. The slight savings in gas will be outweighed by the cost of replacing your clutch every 50,000 miles.

I agree there may not be a big reason to buy the manual. But, I would look for the BEST car you can find and let the transmission “chips” fall where it may. You may have little choice and I wouldn’t let a cream puff auto slip by because of it.

That is bs. 187000 miles on original clutch and I am not alone. If anything I would steer someone away from an automatic (more than usual) because the manual tranny subes have a better awd system, which is why most people want a sube to begin with (awd). Look at the website, automatics operate more like a ford escape or crv than a real awd.

My 2003 Baja has 103K miles with original everything including the clutch, which shows no signs of wearing out. I’ve known several people who have had trouble with Subaru turbos; mine does not have one. The Baja is a great car but it’s a little underpowered. No towing capacity and the shocks are not designed for heavy loads (as we found out with a load of tile). If you are tall headroom will be tight. You will get negative machismo points in the Baja, especially the yellow one like mine. What I don’t like is it’s a 5-speed but runs 3500 rpm at 75 mph (hwy speed limit in my state).