Can I Turn My Bagged Subaru Baja Into A Do-Everything Tow Vehicle?

Yes, believe it or not, the question is regarding my bagged 2005 Subaru Baja Turbo, the one I had the audacity to compare to a 2016 STI. It’s a truck, kind of—less so since I got my hands on it—but can it tow stuff? Specifically, can it tow my drift car?

Photo by Raphael Orlove

I started learning to drift this spring with my other car, a 1989 Nissan 240SX. I quickly realized that things break pretty easily when you throw a car sideways. Putting my lack of experience behind the wheel (and under the hood) aside, I’d be lying if I said that I was driving as hard as I could at the track. Who wants to deal with the hassle of getting a broken car back to Brooklyn and then have to figure out how to repair it?

I know what you’re thinking: “This guy completely ruined the truck already, how in the world does he think he’ll be able to tow something with it?” Your train of thought isn’t entirely wrong. The ride height is lower than most static cars, and it’s got a vicious addiction to scraping its exhaust and transmission on pavement.

But consider this:

From Miguel Baera’s Facebook page- his Baja Turbo towing a Foxbody drag car.

Miguel Baera is one of nearly 2,000 members of the Subaru Baja Owners Club on Facebook. As you can see in the image above, he tows things with his Baja that easily weigh more than 2,400 pounds, which is the Baja’s tow capacity, according to Subaru. Baera travels 100 miles up and down the steep hills of Puerto Rico six times a year with the Fox body ‘Stang in tow. No problem.

No oil cooler, no transmission cooler, just basic bolt-on engine mods and an exhaust that puts him at just over 300 horses to the wheels (see what I did there?).

Another image from Miguel’s Facebook page. You can’t tell me that the car and trailer weighs less than 2,400 lbs.

Now it’s clear that my Baja Turbo is too low for it’s own good, but I’ve checked with Airlift Performance (the makers of my air suspension) who confirmed that their struts can handle the task. The question is, can my truck?


The motor in my Baja Turbo is supposedly new and pushes out 50 fewer horses than Miguel’s to the wheels. The rest of the truck, including the transmission, has more than 200,000 miles on it. It easily has an additional 100 pounds extra to it thanks to the air suspension components (where my rear seats used to be) and cap covering the tiny bed.

So, what do you think will happen if I try to tow a trailer, spare wheels, tools, and a Nissan 240SX? Will some sort of a chassis brace help strengthen it? Should I invest in a stronger transmission? Am I destined for a life of misery and disappointment?


Tell me how much you love or hate this idea.

I’m sure they’re wondering how much it tows too.

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About the author

Jared Auslander

Jared Auslander | Creative Video Editor And Shooter