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Driven: Subaru takes samurai sword to Liberty prices

Price point: Subaru’s new sixth-generation Liberty adds sharp pricing to its armoury, alongside all-wheel-drive traction and EyeSight anti-collision system across the range.

Prices of new-generation Subaru Liberty slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia

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Subaru logo17 Dec 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

SUBARU Australia has slashed recommended retail prices of its all-new sixth-generation Liberty mid-sized sedan by up to 25 per cent, under-cutting import rivals such as the Mazda6 by up to $3500.

The company has attributed the cuts to the imminent Japanese-Australia free-trade agreement that will eliminate the five per cent import duty on all Japanese vehicle imports, along with a more favourable yen exchange rate and savings at the factory.

Landing in Australian showrooms next month, the new all-wheel-drive Liberty starts at $29,990 plus on-road costs for the entry level four-cylinder 2.5i CVT – a cut of $3000 or 9.1 per cent.

This makes it $500 cheaper than the locally built, top-selling Toyota Camry Altise, and $3470 cheaper than the most affordable Mazda6, the 2.5 Sport.

It also undercuts other rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord Euro and Hyundai i40, all of which have recommended retail prices starting above $30,000.

The biggest price cut comes with the top-of-the-range six-cylinder Liberty 3.6R that now has a recommended retail price of $41,990 – a reduction of $14,000 or 25 per cent over the price of the previous 3.6X at $55,990.

This makes it substantially cheaper than Mazda’s flagship four-cylinder $47,210 Mazda6 Atenza and $2000 more expensive than the flagship Camry Atara SL.

The sister Outback crossover wagon – based on the same all-new platform and launched simultaneously with the Liberty in Australia – also enjoys price cuts of between 4.6 and 17.2 per cent, with the six-cylinder version, the 3.6R, again getting the biggest cut of $10,000 or 17.2 per cent, bringing its price down to $47,990.

The Outback range now starts at $35,990 for the 2.5i CVT – a drop of $3000 or 7.7 per cent.

Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said several factors had prompted the shift.

“Most notably the exchange rate, the Japanese Free Trade Agreement and more efficient manufacturing, driving reduced costs,” he said.

“Currency is always going to have the biggest impact on imported goods. It is clear that the Yen Australian dollar equation has moved into a more favourable range for us.

“We have factored in the Free Trade Agreement, because we know it will be legislated in the near future. Therefore, it is prudent to act now.

“Also, the Europeans have moved into more mainstream segments and we too have changed strategy with Liberty in particular – making the price versus specification ratio more attractive than ever before.

“Finally, there are obvious benefits from all of FHI’s (Fuji Heavy Industry) efforts to constantly improve manufacturing efficiency, leading to reduced costs.”

Unlike the Outback that comes with a diesel alternative, the Liberty is a petrol-only affair, with a choice of 2.5-litre boxer four-cylinder engine and 3.6-litre flat six, both now mated with a continuously variable transmission.

Both vehicles come with Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system and EyeSight anti-collision system as standard equipment across the range.

Subaru Liberty pricing*
2.5i (a)$29,990 (-$3000)
2.5i Premium (a)$35,490 (-$4000)
3.6R (a)$41,990 (-$14,000)
*Excludes on-road costs.

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** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

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