In the early 2000s Subaru had itself a neat, reliable, and capable station wagon in the third-generation Legacy/Outback model. The Japanese presumably then got bored with such a fine vehicle and started messing around with it to end up with the Subaru Baja.
Now, during the Seventies and Eighties Subaru used to make the brilliantly named Brat, which was a cool little car-based single-cab pick-up truck when nobody was really doing such things, so in a way Subaru was pioneering something back then and that was a good and righteous thing to do as far as car enthusiasts were concerned.
Fast-forward to the 2000s, and a small pick-up truck wasn’t exactly a novel idea any more. Subaru decided to bring back the Brat’s spirit anyway, or at least tried to. So the company kind of ruined the Outback, and started giving customers the option of a more useless Outback called the Subaru Baja which they produced only from 2003 and 2006.
This was basically a station wagon with a pick-up bed, although measuring in at only 41in by 48in it was useless for hauling anything. What’s more, the design made the rear seats useless too which meant that even though it was essentially a double-cab body-style, no adults could feasibly use the rear seats either way. And when it came to the question of reviving the Brat’s rear-facing bed seats from an era when health and safety didn’t exist, that was a definite no-go for the 2000s Baja.
Naturally people just looked at one and then the other, and bought the estate body style. No wonder Subaru killed the model after just three years on the market.