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Car reviews - Subaru - Liberty - Heritage 5-dr wagon

The Car

24 Feb 2001

Liberty Wagon comes in three models the 2.0-litre GX, the 2.5-litre RX and the 2.5-litre HeritageThe Outback models were developed independently from the Liberty Wagon from the clay model stage The four-speed automatic transmission is designed in-house by Subaru and is 7kg lighter and 33mm shorter The base model Liberty GX wagon now has anti-lock brakes and dual airbags as standard equipment The base model Outback comes complete with climate control air-conditioning, dual airbags and immobiliser The Outback range is topped by the Limited which comes equipped with leather upholstery, twin sunroofs, CD stacker and self-levelling suspension The Liberty Heritage is powered by a 2.5-litre powerplant that generates 115kW and 223Nm. A 3.0-litre, flat-six unit will also be offered Subaru says the engines have been designed to offer ample reserves of low and mid-range torque, rather than peak power at the expense of driveability The automatic transmission features a gated shift pattern similar to that used by Mercedes-Benz The automatic incorporates uphill and downhill slope control modes to adjust shift points according to the gradient of the road All models now incorporate four-wheel drive - in keeping with Subaru's philosophy of "all-wheel drive is all we do"Drive is distributed to the front and rear axles in varying proportions to ensure maximum traction in a range of conditions The rear suspension has been upgraded to a multi-link set-up which offers the dual advantages of better handling and greater space efficiency Subaru says the multi-link set-up provides an additional 134mm of cargo width and keeps the rear tyres perpendicular to the road surface at all times Torsional rigidity has been enhanced to provide greater occupant protection in a collision and the flanks have also been strengthened Externally, the car is distinguished from the old model by its open-mouthed grille and edge-style headlamps The rear end houses a prominent tail-light cluster and a V-shaped tailgate window The interior has been designed to create a European-car ambience The dash and console layout is simple and uncluttered with large, easy-to-read dials and user-friendly switchgear The driver is 30mm closer to the dash than in the previous Liberty The side cladding is now made of resin material that adds to damage and corrosion control

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Subaru says the Liberty is the world's first wagon that has been designed purely as a wagon and not the extension of a sedan

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