I had my Liberty for just over 3 years and averaged 7.4 lt/100 which I thought was great fuel economy. Best I have seen was 6.2 lt/100 on a trip to Kiama. While no ball of fire it certainly had decent performance and would effortlessly hold the speed limit of the 113kmh GPS measured speed I would set it to. The cruise was actually better than my 2016 Forester XT Premium as it really clung to the set speed up hills with little variation, the turbo Forester tends to drop a few km/h up hills.
The seats were leather and very comfortable and I liked the two position memory setting, very handy. Handling-wise it is fine for cruising (I wouldn’t think you would buy one of these as a performance car, for me I was looking for comfort) but if you were feeling a little adventurous it didn’t instil a lot of confidence and would quickly go into push understeer on the twisty stuff and you had to purposely gun it upon turn in to gain any level of confidence and just stick with it until it felt like it was all gripped up and going to make it around the corner.
On the up side the brakes were awesome and the Liberty brakes always felt powerful and were never going to fade. Never looked into it but maybe they have the same brake package as the turbo model which might explain why they were so capable. The brakes on my Forester are nowhere near as strong. A real big disappointment was for its size the boot space. It’s bad to poor, very shallow and the rear seats don’t fold down. My old 2008 Corolla had massive boot space in comparison.
I travelled 60,000km and the car was faultless until about 40 days out of warranty when a torque clutch failed in the CVT and required both the CVT and the centre diff to be fully rebuilt. I had treated the liberty very well and never abused it by any measure. Luckily Subaru fixed it as a warranty item however I lost confidence in the car after that and didn’t want a drama in the future so I sold it and bought the Forester with a 5 year warranty.
If you don’t need much boot space then these are really good cars, really comfy, cheap to run, good roadholding and the stereo system as my young bloke tells me has really good bass.