The new Subaru Liberty Exiga (pronounced x-e-ga in Australia) has made its way to our shores and is on sale now from a starting price of just $37,490. Subaru's first people mover has a lot to offer with an impressive feature list the kids would be proud of.
Referred to as the Exiga in Japan, Australia buyers are the first outside the homeland to have the opportunity to taste Subaru's latest offering. Although the Exiga is a seven-seater in its domestic market, Australian requirements for a five-star safety rating meant the seventh seat could not get away with simply a lap-belt, which is how it's configured, so Subaru Australia decided to import the car as a six-seater and maintain its five-star reputation.
As a people mover the Exiga is a brilliant car, it will happily seat a family of six in comfort and entertain the kids with its rear DVD entertainment system (nine-inch wide screen setup comes standard). For the first look of the Exiga Subaru took Australia's motoring press to Canberra for a long journey through rural NSW.
Before getting into one, the most notable feature of the Exiga is of course its styling. It's hard to say how it will go down with the buyers but it's worth noting that despite the current Liberty, Outback and Impreza being regarded by some as not-the-prettiest-of-cars, all three models are selling better than ever.
According to Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior, Subaru is not just another Japanese car company, a reason why the Fuju Heavy Industry owned manufacturer has stuck with its boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive, it may also explain the different approach to styling we've seen from the company recently.
The 2+2+2 seat configuration may look impractical at first and if you've been burnt by useless third rows found in some other cars, you'd be glad to know the Exiga's third row is not a compromise, rather an actual usable row that can even house adults.
Thanks to 60/40 split fold second row seats and 50/50 split fold third row seats, a range of passenger and cargo carrying options are available. As the second row seats are separate you can easily slide your seat up to 320mm independently of the adjacent seat. Rear doors also open nearly 90 degrees making entry to both second and third row a very simple task.
A storage tray between the seats is offered instead of a third seat in the second row, during our drive program my co-driver and I found the storage tray to be making its share of unnecessary noise on bumpy roads, once stored away the level of internal squeaks is practically non-existent.
Based on the Liberty platform, the Exiga is 125mm higher than the Liberty wagon which means 40mm more headroom as well.
Subaru believes Exiga buyers will fall into three categories; those looking for a second car that offers more versatility for the family on the weekends, traditional Subaru buyers with an expanding family but keen to stay with the brand and those who may not have considered Subaru in the past. Nick Senior believes the Exiga will give the brand more opportunity to retain current buyers who may have had to look elsewhere for lack of choice.
The Exiga is powered by the same 2.5-litre SOHC normally aspirated boxer engine found in the Liberty range. It offers 123kW and 229Nm of torque. For a car which weighs nearly 1,600kg (tare weight) it may not seem like a lot but it does get the job done. In Japan a turbo-charged version of the Exiga is also available but you may be waiting indefinitely for it to come here.
Coupled to the engine is Subaru's new Lineartronic CVT transmission first introduced in the Liberty range. To put it into a brief sentence, it only has one gear which adjusts with engine speed, however it has been designed to act and behave much like a conventional automatic. The difference is better fuel economy and drivability. You can read more about the new transmission in the Subaru Liberty Review.
Official fuel economy figures rate the Exiga at 8.6L/100km of 90-98 RON fuel and with a 65L tank you should expect around 750km per tank. Although real world driving may bring that figure to around the 700km mark, which is still a commendable feat.
Driving dynamics are typical Subaru, doesn't seem to matter what surface you're on, it grips, powers out of corners, never complains and simply gets the job done in a way only an All-Wheel drive can.
Perhaps here then is Subaru's greatest strength with the Exiga (and arguably all other models as well). Given how high safety is on the priority list for a people mover, Subaru has it one over the competition thanks to its all-wheel drive system which delivers power to all four wheels, unlike the competition which is primarily driven via the front wheels.
Helped along with Australian specific suspension setup, what all-wheel drive means in real-world terms is no torque steer, much better grip in corners, safer driving dynamics on wet surfaces and an overall greater feel of confidence. The only downside to the Exiga is its aerodynamics, given how high the car sits, it does have a tendency to catch a lot of wind and feel slightly floaty at high speeds.
Exiga safety is typical Subaru, five-star ANCAP rated, with six airbags standard. Servicing is conducted every 12,500km or six months.
There are two variants of the Exiga, the Exiga 2.5i ($37,490) and Exiga Premium ($41,990). The extra $4,500 will get you leather trim, power driver and front passenger seats, bluetooth enabled with voice recognition, reversing camera, satellite navigation and 17-inch alloy wheels. Subaru believes 60 per cent of buyers will opt out for the Premium variant.
With the new Exiga Subaru can now offer buyers everything from the Impreza to the Tribeca and most things in between. The Japanese company expects to sell around 50-75 Exiga units per month.
CarAdvice will bring you a complete road test of the Subaru Liberty Exiga in the near future.
Liberty Exiga model specifications at a glance:
- ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
- Brake Assist
- Child seat anchor points
- Curtain airbags
- Dual front airbags
- Dual front side airbags
- Fog lights – front
- Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. Double pretensioners on driver’s seatbelt
- Rear door child lock
- Side intrusion bars
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Vehicle Dynamics Control electronic stability program
- Climate control dual zone air conditioning
- Cargo area light
- Cup holders
- DVD entertainment system
- Height and reach adjustable steering column
- Height adjustable driver’s seat
- Immobiliser security system
- Lineartronic CVT transmission
- Map lights (2)
- Leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons
- Multi-function trip computer
- Paddle shift gear change
- Power steering, mirrors and windows
- Rear illumination LED instrument display
- Rear seats recline function
- Remote central locking
- Remote fuel lid release
- Six-stacker in-dash CD player with six speakers (non SatNav models)
- Steering wheel audio controls
- Two remote central locking keys
- Vanity mirror
- 60/40 split/fold second row seat; 50/50 split/fold third row
- 16-inch alloy wheels – space saver spare
- Chrome-surround grille
- Colour-coded mirrors and door handles
- Headlights auto off
- Privacy glass (rear)
- Rear roof spoiler
- Rear wiper
- DataDot security technology
- Electronic throttle control
- Auto unlock tailgate
- Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
- 2.5 litre SOHC horizontally opposed boxer engine - 123 Kilowatts of power at 5600 rpm and 229 Newtonmetres of torque at 4000 rpm.
Liberty Exiga Premium adds:
- Leather trim
- Power driver and front passenger seats – eight-way adjustable
- Bluetooth enabled with voice recognition
- Reversing camera
- Satellite navigation** - factory fitted
- 17-inch alloy wheels - space saver spare
** (Fitment of SatNav replaces six-stack with single disc CD)
MY10 Liberty Exiga Manufacturer’s List Pricing*
- Liberty Exiga 2.5i (from $37,490)
- Liberty Exiga 2.5i Premium (from $41,990)
|MY10 Liberty Exiga engine specifications|
|Type Cylinders Displacement Bore x stroke Compression ratio Cam-train system Fuel system Maximum power Maximum torque||Horizontally opposed|
99.5 mm x 79.0 mm
Multi Point Sequential Injection
123 kW/5600 rpm
229 Nm/4000 rpm
2.5i Premium - 1568
Double wishbone type independent
Vacuum assisted discs
Liberty Exiga Premium 17x7JJ 215/50R17 Yokohama