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I've always been a fan of the Baja, but felt like it's too dated for me at this point. When I saw the Santa Cruz, I got really excited that I could drive a modern Baja. I've seen quite a few other people make the comparison, but didn't realize just how similar their paths are marketing wise. Subaru's marketing also made the point to not call it a truck, but rather a "multiple choice vehicle" (compare to "Sport Adventure Vehicle") . This ad also seems to be marketing the same concept to the same demographic. Additionally both names obviously reference locations along the same Pacific coast. The abandoned yellow color for the SC also could draw comparison. As a fan of the Baja I think the similarities are really cool, but I just wonder why you take pages from a losing playbook (sales wise) unless you think the market has changed that much. But the Baja was brought out in large part because they thought demand for the brat concept had grown. They planned 24,000 units per year, but ended up making 30,000 in 4 years.

TLDR: The SC seems intentionally similar to the Baja. Why will the concept work now?
 

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TLDR: The SC seems intentionally similar to the Baja. Why will the concept work now?
In theory the SC is a combination of the two hottest selling vehicles: a pickup + CUV so it should be a home run. But as noted the Baja never sold well. I feel it could go either way... a 50/50 toss up. Not big enough for truck people and too unsecured (open bed) for CUV people. As CUVs are seen as "soccer mom" machines the truck-ness of the SC may capture some guys who are trying to compromise with their wives. I hope it sells very well because I want the aftermarket to support it and for factory parts / service to be readily available.
 

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There's one MAJOR difference between when the Baja launched and today. In the early 2000s you could still get a small truck. The Ranger was about the size the Santa Cruz will come in at - just a couple inches taller, a hair longer, and a few inches narrower. The Colorado/Canyon was still a small truck then. Even the Tacoma, although a bit more mid-sized, was smaller than today. Today's 'mid-size' trucks, formerly the compact segment, are the size of the old full-size trucks. So at that point, the Baja was actually up against TRUCKS in the same basic size. Also, Subaru was still a relatively niche product line without the extensive dealer networks of its competition. IE: I would have to drive four hours in either direction to get to one. Ford/GM/Chyrsler were 5 minutes away. Hyundai/Kia/Honda were 90 minutes away.

The market has also changed a lot since the early 00's. Sedans were still commonplace. Heck, Dodge put out a station wagon!! (I was a big Magnum fan, being a long-time lover of station wagons in general.) SUVs were far less ubiquitous than they are now. And there is DEFINITELY a segment who would like truck utility with SUV driving dynamics. Combine that with absolutely ZERO small truck options since GM up-sized the Canyorados and the Ranger was up-sized to match after the smaller version went away, there is definitely an opportunity here.
 

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The Baja has been the perfect vehicle for me for 15 years, but at 185,000 it's starting to show it's age and at my age (72) I no longer wish to drive an outdated and less dependable vehicle. Would have bought a new Baja years ago if Subaru had continued to produce them. Understand the Baja has never failed me, but at 15 years and 185,000, probably sooner than later some part will fail and leave me sitting somewhere. I Don't want or need some big assed truck that takes six acres to turn around in and three parking spots to park it in, so my next "truck" will be a Santa Cruz Limited. Can haul lawn clipping, mulch, one sheet of plywood, dirty car / motorcycle parts. I can longer lift more than that so Santa Cruz will be perfect for me.
 

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**** yeah - a Magnum Rampage would have been EPIC!! Sounds like the kind of custom job a person with an appropriate workshop, a bunch of extra money, and way too much free time could put together. Kinda like the infamous 'Truckla' project!
 

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HAHA! Yeah, I've seen the Smyth kits. My old boss wanted to do it to his HHR. I would think it would have been easier with the Magnum than a Charger though. Still, I like the work they do on those. Make it factory fresh with a warranty, and I'd be sold!
 

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Of course this is opinion but I think that the Baja was just too strange looking (I personally loved it, but really I think its ugly!). I think Hyundai did a great job with the look of this one and that will make all the difference in sales.
 
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