The sixth generation Subaru Liberty is better looking and more feature packed than before.
The nameplate had become a little uninspiring in its previous incarnation, the Liberty is back.
What a change from the previous generation – it’s not as boxy looking, with more sophisticated, European inspired lines.
This is the top-of-the-line Liberty 3.6-R, the range starts with the 2.5i, the mid-spec is the 2.5i Premium. All get 18-inch alloy wheels too.
It’s generous for a medium sedan – almost 4.8 metres long and more than 1.8 metres wide.
The boot is nice and deep, but it’s a shallow opening so maneuvering odd shaped objects in to the space could get tricky – the standard 60:40 split fold rear seats may help.
All bar the entry level 2.5i get a boot release button on the lid.
I’ve previously owned an older Liberty and its amazing how the smell of the new one is so familiar.
There’s a lot of changes up front compared to the previous generation – not only is it around 14 grand cheaper than it used to be, it has more kit.
A 7-inch touchscreen, with satellite navigation, access to Pandora, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, CD player, iPod connectivity and two USB ports.
It’s also got Subaru’s eyesight safety system with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, collision warning, reverse view camera but no front or rear parking sensors – that’s not even an option.
Seat comfort – electrically adjustable, storage, cabin materials and ambience.
The 3.6 R gets a massive 3.6-litre six-cylinder boxter petrol engine producing 191kW at 6000rpm and 350Nm at 4400rpm.
That’s quite a jump from the other two variants that have Subaru’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxter engine putting out 129kw and 235Nm. This is a hell of a lot more fun.
Now continually variable transmissions or CVT’s cop a lot of flack – but Subaru have pulled off the seemingly impossible, the transmission works seamlessly with the engine – minus that annoying CVT drone.
The ride is perhaps a little on the firm side, but when you’re driving it’s smooth and just seems to glide along whether you’re crawling through the urban jungle or hitting the open road.
It’s also nice and quiet, very little road or engine noise infiltrating the cabin.
Another trademark for Subaru is the all-wheel-drive system and it just feels so solid and stuck to the road – even in the wet.
Combined fuel consumption is a claimed 9.9-litres per hundred kays, not bad for an engine of this size and power.
Priced at $41,990 before on-road costs, the 3.6R is around a whopping $14,000 cheaper than it used to be.
That’s great for new buyers, not so good for those that forked out for the previous gen.
Subaru offers a three-year unlimited kilometer warranty with a three-year capped price servicing program, but its also among the most expensive to service, you’d be looking at about a thousand dollars a year with servicing every six months or twelve and a half thousand kilometres.
The Subaru Liberty has returned to true form, offering a dynamic drive wrapped in an aggressively styled package.