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Car reviews - Subaru - Liberty - GX sedan

Overview

Subaru logo1 Nov 1989

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

SUBARU'S first big car was the Legacy, a Toyota Camry-sized sedan and wagon available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive guises, powered by the company’s distinctive 100kW 2.2-litre ‘boxer’ 16-valve four-cylinder engine. Renamed Liberty in Australia to appease the RSL, the new Subaru won big acclaim and sales here but struggled elsewhere. It initially arrived in LX sedan and GX guises, with only the latter wagon available with the full-time 4WD option at first. However high demand prompted the release of the GX 4WD sedan in August ’90. By then all models featured air-conditioning and power steering. In October ’90 the luxury Heritage also joined the range, with the wagon version offering 4WD. From October '91 the facelifted Liberty boasted a revised front and rear styling, new seats and interior trim, a specification reshuffle and a 147kW turbocharged 2.0litre RS Turbo 4WD sedan. A RS wagon variant followed from October ’92. Its excellent performance was a forerunner to the iconic Impreza WRX that followed from 1994. Anti-lock brakes became available on higher-end models from mid-’92. At the same time, the recession prompted Subaru to bring a base LX wagon, while a well-equipped RX Rallye 4WD sedan also joined the range. Currency-fuelled price hikes forced Subaru to introduce a stripped DX base sedan and wagon from July ’93.
Model release date: 1 October 1989 to 1 June 1994

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