Subaru Is Developing a Compact Pickup Truck, but There’s a Catch
Subaru says it’s considering a pickup truck like its iconic Brat and Baja from the 1970s and 1980s. The automaker could launch its own ute, but only if it received enough requests. Oh, and this Subaru truck would be available only in Australia.
Would Subaru really limit a new pickup truck to Australia?
Somehow, we don’t think the company would enter into developing a new model based solely on requests. And we find it odd that with compact truck sales so strong in the United States, as evidenced by the Ford Maverick, Subaru would limit production to only the Australian market. So let’s take out the guessing and say a successor to the Baja or Brat must already be in development.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz, which is how we expect Subaru will approach a pickup, sold 36,500 units in 2022. And in 2021, its first year of production, 10,000 Santa Cruz trucks were sold. As for the Maverick, Ford sold 13,258 in the compact pickup’s shortened first year and almost 75,000 in 2022.
How many Subaru Brats were sold in the U.S.?
Those aren’t F-150 numbers, but they’re significant enough to prompt a pickup spinoff of an existing model. In Australia, its competition would come from the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Nivara, and Mitsubishi Triton. They are huge sellers there. So, with that information, it shouldn’t be too hard to point Subaru toward a four-door pickup truck.
Subaru sold the Brat from 1978 to 1987 in the United States. Australia’s version, the Brumby, saw its last year of production in 1994. Though that was decades ago, the automaker had a good run selling upward of 100,000 in those 10 years of sales stateside, Quantrell Subaru reports.
What does Subaru say about a new pickup truck?
“It would be great,” Subaru’s Australian managing director, Blair Read, told CarsGuide. “We heard the feedback on Outback. We heard the demand from the public and the Subaru buyers saying they wanted a turbo Outback. Tick, it’s here. So we’re listening, we’re watching, we read the comments, we go to the forums, we see what customers are looking for, and it would be great.”
Taking Subaru’s Global Platform as the basis for the pickup, the Impreza, Crosstrek, Forester, or Outback could be the launch point. So the company wouldn’t need to tool up an entire vehicle from thin air. Let’s say around 75% to 85% of a pickup truck exists with those models.
Sounds like Subaru is making a pickup truck
“We are always listening,” Read added. “We always listen to the customer. It’s not ‘What do we think?’ It’s ‘What is the customer saying; what are they looking for? We hear the [Brumby] question all the time, and it has been a while — we get asked all the time. We go around Australia, and we get asked, and we’re listening.”
OK, then. That settles it. Our best bet is to expect a new Subaru Baja or Brat by 2024 or 2025.