I bought a six-cylinder Subaru because I was intrigued by the fact that such a curious concept only done in four-cylinders, the boxer engine (which had fascinated me from my first interest in car), had been re-invented alongside Porsche for an affordable everyday driver.
I was looking for a first car at the time as I'd just passed my licence test, and wouldn't be sated by a cheap two-litre beater. I discovered the EZ30 didn't suffer the all too familiar common issues most EJ (four-cylinder boxer) motors have from the factory, especially weak head gaskets.
My first drive of the Liberty 3.0R-B was most unlike the 2.3-litre Mazda 6 I'd learned to drive in, with a tight and notchy six-speed gearbox perfectly matched to the 3.0-litre six-cylinder boxer. There's a lovely punch of mid-range torque and super-smooth power delivery, with the ability to cruise at 110km/h on just over 2000rpm.
The leather, electric seats are well bolstered, holding you round the tight corners that the Bilstein dampers handle effortlessly. The air-con was still cool and crisp after the 230,000km and 11 years the car had lived through. Although, as much can't be said for the McIntosh stereo – with crackly, scratchy speakers and no CD or AM functionality left, the once brilliant-performing sound system is notorious among all fourth-generation Liberty owners.
Over the two years I owned the affectionately named 'Subie-doo', I was less than impressed with the average 12–13L/100km out of the 75L tank, but the performance over spirited drives up mountains and even once around Sydney Motorsport Park more than made up for it.
When standing on the outside, looking in, the Obsidian Black Pearl paintwork looked unbelievable in the sunlight, especially after a wash/light rain (usually in that order), and the bodywork does not have an unsexy angle. The face-lifted model released in 2006 is commonly suggested in the Subaru world to be the less preferred in terms of looks, and it's easy to agree when compared side by side, with the younger model looking more business than pleasure.
From the Audi-esque headlights to the concave curved tail-lights there are some beautiful curves, and it's hard to take my eyes off her as I walk into work.
Overall, the MY05 Subaru Liberty 3.0R Spec B is a fantastic first car for an enthusiast, a pleasure to take for a spirited drive, and even acceptable as a daily driver if you're comfortable with filling once a week. While it's now 13 years has degraded some parts, the majority has aged gracefully. I would certainly buy another one if given the opportunity, and feel confident this one could easily last another 200,000km or more!