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Several of the industry’s largest automakers are working on small pickup truck models to compete with the innovative Ford Maverick. The Maverick has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. There’s a clear demand for small pickup trucks like the Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Is it time for Subaru to produce a pickup truck?

Subaru has what it takes to produce a great off-road pickup truck

A Blue 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness small off-road SUV is parked on a trail.
2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness | Subaru

Japanese automaker Subaru’s SUVs are value-oriented, safe, and rugged. Every Subaru SUV in the automaker’s portfolio has a degree of off-roading prowess. Subaru offers trim levels that improve off-roading capabilities by adding skid plates, suspension upgrades, all-terrain tires, and more.

Subaru knows how to create a great off-roading SUV. The popularity of the Crosstrek and Forester proves that the brand knows what consumers want from an off-roading vehicle. That knowledge could translate perfectly to a small or midsize pickup truck nameplate.

TorqueNews claims that the automaker could be missing out on a huge opportunity if it doesn’t compete in the vehicle segment. If Subaru did produce a pickup truck model in the near future, chances are it would have great ground clearance, optimal approach and departure angles, and a trim designed for the most hardcore off-roading enthusiasts.

Subaru would either produce a direct competitor to the Jeep Gladiator or something smaller that occupied a lane of its own, similar to the Ford Maverick FX4 package.

Does Subaru make a truck?

Subaru doesn’t currently produce a pickup truck, but the company has produced trucks before. Back in 1978, the company sold a pickup truck called the Subaru BRAT (short for Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter). More recently, the brand produced the Subaru Baja, a truck that debuted as a 2003 model year. It only lasted three model years before it was given the axe.

So it’s been over a decade since Subaru has made any pickup trucks for the North American market. Gearheads and automotive fans are beginning to speculate that a Subaru pickup is in the works because of the rising popularity of small trucks.

What do we want from a Subaru truck?

If Subaru makes a pickup truck, there’s little doubt that it would have off-roading prowess. Ideally, a Subaru truck would have Wilderness-level toughness or at least a Wilderness trim like the Forester and Outback. Even Subaru’s new small electric SUV is marketed as trail-ready, so the idea of a Subaru off-road pickup truck isn’t much of a stretch.

Affordability is also important to a Subaru truck. The 2023 Jeep Gladiator has a starting price of $38,775. If Subaru produces a Gladiator rival, expect it to start between $32,000-$35,000. If the Japanese automaker goes even smaller to challenge the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz, expect a starting price closer to $24,000-$28,000.

A Subaru truck should be affordable, capable, and above all, safe. The possibilities are endless and there’s a real opportunity for the brand to make a huge impact on a niche market with the creation of a small off-road pickup truck. Will Subaru answer the prayers of auto enthusiasts, or is the small truck market too small for the company to take a chance on?