Owner Review

2005 Subaru Liberty 3.0R-B review

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Purchased in the summer of 2016, my MY05 Subaru Liberty (affectionately called Mia) has served me well. It had 199,000km on the clock at pick-up and now has 243,000km – and not a single failure to be noted.

The engine (EZ30) has no leaks, the transmission feels fairly tight and the ride is nice and supple. How much of this is due to Subaru's engineering, I can't say, as it is fairly modified in almost every aspect. However, my previous Subarus have all had the same kind of quality imbued in them, so I can't imagine it doesn't help.

Coilovers, bigger swaybars and a custom engine tune mean she's a fair walk from what she was coming out of the factory, but as she sits today, Mia is a great car in every aspect. Less than 8L/100km on the highway, but with enough grunt to get all four wheels spinning at motorkhanas, this car ticks all my boxes.

This car has a couple of additions in the way of a competition-grade sound system. The sound in the cabin and the sound in the tailpipe compete for title of best noise, but not at the same time. Fitted with an HKS exhaust, the Liberty screams at WOT and whispers at idle. The factory sound treatment throughout the car means that when cruising along country roads or on the highway, you can listen to music at whatever level takes your fancy without having to drown out any exhaust drone (of which there's almost none anyway).

For the few factory-fitted features left, though, I do quite enjoy use of the split-opening moonroof on almost any occasion. Unfortunately, the seats do leave something to be desired, though. With as much power as WRXs of the time and a more sophisticated driveline, it's all let down a bit by the fact that when you put your foot down through a corner, you'd be lucky not to fall out the window. That being said, they are quite comfortable for freeway use, which is what the Liberty's primary target is of course.

Mia is the perfect all-rounder. Adjustable suspension allows her to be capable on and off road. A large cabin and boot leave plenty of room for road trips or audio equipment, and the EZ30's advanced engine management allows for excellent economy and a healthy power output (mine has been dyno'd at 148awkW).

The looks are very modern compared to other cars of its release year, and its life cycle was pretty respectable by lasting until 2011 with only a single face-lift to keep it fresh.

The Subaru Liberty is a perfect example of Subaru Do, and in this case, Subaru do everything and do it well.