Liberty a reflection of personality

Liberty 2

What is it?

Take a look at the Subaru Liberty, and the term ‘understated class’ comes to mind.

It’s a conservatively styled, medium-sized sedan in a market being eroded by SUVs, but it attracts around 150 buyers around Australia each month and sits halfway in the medium sector sales chart.

That makes a strong case for the many folk who like to drive a car that reflects their personality, people who appreciate quality and spacious comfort without making a big noise about it.

And that’s what the latest Liberty 2.5 is all about.

Now in its sixth generation, the respected Japanese brand has had a subtle style makeover and some under the skin improvements, and comes in a range of three: the 2.5i, 2.5i Premium and six-cylinder 3.6R.

Liberty 3

What’s it cost?

We chose the 2.5 Premium, priced from  $36,640 that comes fitted with a plethora of luxuries, among them leather trim, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, active cruise control, powered and heated front seats, 8.0-inch touchscreen with satnav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-speaker audio with Bluetooth, glass sunroof and active LED headlights and daylight running lights.

Also part of the deal is Subaru’s EyeSight system that prevents the car from flattening errant pedestrians, running off course or into the vehicle in front — and also features lane keep assist.

The engine is the same 129kW/235Nm four-cylinder boxer engine from the previous model, which drives all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the car runs on attractive 18-inch alloys.

The CVT has a seven-speed manual mode, and there’s a choice of ‘Sport’ or ‘Intelligent’ drive modes, plus shift paddles and alloy pedals for keen drivers — even though the car is by no means sporty.

Hop inside and much of its appeal is immediately obvious. It’s blessed with an abundance of space, front and rear.

Back seat passengers have loads of hip, shoulder, leg and headroom, the use of a couple of USB ports, cup holders and air vents and the boot, which has a full-sized underfloor spare, is also big at almost 500 litres.

The back seat has a 60/40 split fold to liberate more space.

Liberty 4

What’s it go like?

The ride is what one would expect of a family sedan.

The suspension has been tweaked a bit to reduce body roll and rebound over bumps and the result is a slightly flatter ride.

Parking the car is aided by a reversing camera, side-view monitor and forward camera, so you get a clear colour picture of your immediate surrounds — hence there’s no need for beeping sensors.

Performance is fine, though it’s not a traffic light grand prix contender.

The sprint to 100km/h comes up in 10.0 seconds and the car runs along happily in the city or country and, thanks to all-wheel drive, it’s a delight around corners.

The official combined cycle fuel figure is 7.3L/100km but we got 9.0 on our usual cross-section of driving.

The Liberty has seven airbags and all the electronic safety bits and packs a five-star crash rating, which is comforting in these days of an increasing number of so-called drivers managing to crash into houses, let alone other cars.

Warranty? The standard one is three years, unlimited distance, but if you buy one  during a campaign period — you get five years with unlimited kilometres.

Tad complex. Why not join much of the rest of the auto world and start with five years — or match Kia’s seven years.

Liberty 5

What we like?

  • Spacious interior
  • Comprehensive equipment
  • Reversing and parking cameras
  • Handling
  • Safety features


What we don’t like?

  • Basic warranty

Liberty 6

The bottom line?

A well-engineered, super spacious and comfortable sedan, packed with more features than you’ll probably ever use, all in one prestigious package.


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Subaru Liberty 2.5 Premium, priced from  $36,640
  • Looks - 7.5/10
  • Performance - 7.5/10
  • Safety - 8.5/10
  • Thirst - 8.0/10
  • Practicality - 8.5/10
  • Comfort - 8.5/10
  • Tech - 8.0/10
  • Value - 8.0/10

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