2018 Subaru Liberty Review | Asian Car Guide
February 18, 2020

2018 Subaru Liberty Review

2018 Subaru Liberty Road Test, Review

First debuted in 1989, current 6th generation arrived in 2015, the mid-generation updated car we drove launched in February 2018. Known as ‘Legacy’ outside Australia, but ‘Liberty’ here to avoid confusion with Defence Veterans association.

Subaru Outback is basically a taller SUV or Wagon, twin version of the Liberty, so if you prefer that style but like what Liberty offers, consider  Outback, however being lower to the ground means better handling for the Liberty.

This mid-size all-wheel-drive sedan has choice of economic 4 cylinder 2.5L petrol engine or ‘Commodore/Falcon substitute’ well performing naturally aspirated 3.6 Litre horizontally-opposed 6 cylinder boxer direct injected petrol. We test drove the 3.6L, and were impressed by its performance, thinking it the engine of choice if you enjoy opening a car up on the highway, or, maybe more practically, need to tow boats or trailers around. This car really is fun and satisfying to drive.

The CVT transmission has manual paddle shifters on the wheel for 6 preset gear ratios, sending power through the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with active torque splitting.

The CVT operates in the usual seamlessly well sorted Subaru manner, meaning basically that it is not an issue being CVT instead of Auto, and in its manual mode it is fast changing and smooth.

Because the engine has more power, gearing is set higher to allow the engine to push more. There is Macpherson strut front suspension and double wishbone at the rear, all giving the Liberty effortless acceleration, and good tight cornering abilities, if a little bouncy.

2018 Subaru Liberty 3.6R interiorThe all-round ventilated disc brakes work very well, pulling the car up effortlessly we found.

Drive modes are selected on the steering wheel, I (intelligent) has economical more restrained acceleration, then S (Sharp) mode makes the car take off and respond much more aggressively when called on, and S# even more so. We thought S should be left used most of the time.

There is very good all round visibility. Plenty of headroom in the front, and just ample in the rear for tall people due the the roof curvature in back. Comfortable seating and the clean minimal interior makes it feel good to be in the car.

Some competitors to the Liberty would be models such as Toyota Camry and Mazda 6, which offer comparable power and price, but the Liberty has a standout difference having not just rear but all-wheel drive, which, with the active torque vectoring, gets traction on the road effectively through all wheels, for better handling, acceleration, also safety.

The other strong point of the Liberty is its very comprehensive level of electronic equipment for driving aids and safety, starting with the now further improved stereo ‘eyesight’ system, which has fairly wide apart twin cameras (giving human vision style depth perception) at the top of the windscreen. It provides accurate judgements of surrounding conditions for adaptive cruise control – speeding or braking to keep a set distance from the vehicle in front, and lane keeping and more

Some of the features on the base spec 2.5i car are –

Integrated infotainment system, Rear view reverse camera, EyeSight tech, 18″ alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which are new features)

The 2.5i premium car gains –

Subaru Vision Assist, Heated front seats, LED Steering Responsive Headlights, Satellite navigation, Electric sunroof,

The 3.6L six cylinder engine, the 3.6R – adds to the above – 11 Harman Kardon speakers, subwoofer and amplifier, Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Vehicle Dynamics Control system features: Electronic Stability Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Traction Control System.

Vision Assist features: Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side/Front View Monitor, and Adaptive Driving Beam.

EyeSight Driver Assist features: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure/Sway Warning, Lead Vehicle Start Alert, Pre-Collision Braking System, Brake Assist, Throttle Management, and Brake Light Recognition.

Plus you have: Electronic park brake, Hill hold, Rear view cam, dual zone Air-con with rear vents, Electric power assisted steering, digital speedo alongside detected current speed limit.

2018 Subaru Liberty 3.6R rearSpecifications for Liberty 3.6R:

Engine: 3.6 Litre 6 cylinder horizontally-opposed boxer petrol, non-turbo

(Also available 2.5 L, 4 cylinder petrol)

Transmission: 7 speed Auto

Power:  191Nm @ 6,000rpm, Torque: 350Nm @ 4,400rpm

(versus 129kW @ 5,800rpm and 235Nm @ 4,000rpm for the 2.5L engine)

Fuel: unleaded, 9,9L/100km, (vs 7.3 L/100 km for 2.5L engine)

Co2 emissions: 230 g/km (vs 166)

Fuel tank: 60 Litre

Acceleration, 0–100km/h – 7.2 seconds (vs 9.6 for 2.5 L engine)

Dimensions mm: L 4,800 W 1,840 H 1,500 WB 2,750

Turning circle metres: 11.2

Tyres: 225/50 R18 95W, with full size spare wheel

Boot: 493 L, rear seats fold forward to extend storage from boot

Tare mass kg: 1,619

Towing kg: with trailer brakes, max 1,800, un-braked max 750

Drive-Away-Price from: 2.5i $34,806,   2.5i Premium $41,398,    3.6R 6 cylinder $48,107

12 months Roadside Assistance, 3 Year/Unlimited Kilometre Warranty and Capped Price Servicing.

5 star ANCAP safety rating.