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Subaru loads up Liberty

More Liberty: Subaru mid-sizer no longer offers 2.0-litre boxer power.

More power, safety and equipment for Subaru’s Liberty and Outback model twins

14 Aug 2007

A SUBARU new-model avalanche is about to arrive in the shape of a redesigned Impreza hatch (September), upgraded Tribeca SUV (October) and all-new Forester compact (March), but the company’s fourth model line has not missed out.

Subaru has seen fit to upgrade its popular Liberty and Outback models – and reduce their entry-level prices – just a year after its mid-size twins received a midlife facelift.

The third-generation Liberty-based range was launched here in September 2003 and three years later received cosmetic, safety and equipment enhancements, including Subaru Intelligent Drive for 3.0-litre and turbocharged Libertys – plus price-cuts of up to 3.8 per cent.

Now, as part of an MY2008 model update that aims to spruce up sales, stability control comes standard on all 2.5i Sportshift (automatic) variants of both model lines, as it does on the Liberty/Outback 3.0R Premium auto and both auto and manual versions of the Liberty 3.0R spec.B, while both the Outback 2.5i and 3.0R now comprise side curtain airbags as standard.

Most variants receive extra equipment and Variable Valve Lift (VVL) technology sees the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre flat four in Liberty and Outback offer five per cent more power (127kW at 6000rpm) and lower fuel consumption, in a range-wide upgrade that also brings the Heritage nameplate back to the Liberty line-up on four additional variants.

What's more, there are price reductions of up to 7.1 per cent for Liberty and 1.3 per cent for Outback.

Gaining most are entry-level Liberty 2.5i manual buyers, who pay $2500 less (now $32,490) and benefit from more power and lower fuel consumption.

It is not all good news, however.

Manual-transmission examples of the Liberty/Outback 2.5i and Liberty GT miss out on Subaru's Vehicle Dynamic Control as either standard or optional equipment, and the entry-level Liberty 2.0R has been discontinued - along with the Liberty's $31,990 opening price.

2 center image Left: Liberty Wagon, Outback wagon Thanks to a $2500 price slash, however, the more powerful 2.5i manual sedan now opens the Liberty range only $500 higher at $32,490 – down 7.1 per cent from $34,990. Similarly, the Liberty 2.5i auto ($36,990), 2.5i wagon manual ($34,490) and auto ($36,990) are all down $2000.

Prices for higher-grade Liberty variants have increased, with the 2.5i Premium auto sedan and wagon up 3.1 and 2.9 per cent respectively, and the GT auto sedan and wagon both up 0.9 per cent.

The 2.5-litre Heritage variants slot in between the 2.5i entry and Premium lines, and start from $37,990 for the 2.5i Heritage manual sedan. Liberty 3.0R and GT spec.B prices are unchanged.

Similarly, MY08 Outback pricing now starts at $36,490 for the entry 2.5i manual (down $500 from $36,990), while the 2.5i Premium manual is now $41,990 (down from $42,490) and the 3.0R Premium auto is $54,290 (up from $52,990). There are no other changes.

The new Heritage variant adds rear privacy glass, black leather trim, eight-way driver's seat adjustment and memory and a sunroof to the MY08 2.5i menu, which it self gains VDC on auto versions, more power and lower fuel consumption.

The latter drops from 9.4 to 9.0L/100km for the manual Liberty sedan, and from 9.5 to 9.3L/100km for the automatic Liberty sedan. The same figures apply to the Liberty and Outback wagons.

Compared to the $1300-cheaper MY07 version, the Liberty 2.5i Premium adds more power, VDC for autos, a McIntosh premium audio system and self-levelling bi-Xenon headlights with pop-up washers.

The MY08 Liberty GT offers the same 184kW/339Nm 2.5-litre turbo four but gains VDC for auto versions, a front passenger seat with eight-way power adjustment and rear air-conditioning vents, while the Liberty GT spec.B adds the same equipment excluding VDC.

Both six-speed manual and auto versions of the MY08 Liberty 3.0R spec.B, which continue to offer a 180kW/297Nm 3.0-litre flat six, benefit from VDC.

On the MY08 Outback front, the base 2.5i adds more power, curtain airbags and, on auto versions, VDC. The 2.5i Premium adds more power and VDC for autos, but already had side curtains.

Finally, the MY08 Outback 3.0R adds side curtain airbags, while the Outback 3.0R Premium adds a Mcintosh premium sound system.

"We are adding more value and variety to the Liberty and Outback ranges," said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior. "Combined with our all-wheel drive ability, five-star safety, retained value and reliability, these cars are a great whole-of-life proposition.

"The long list of standard features in these cars underlines Subaru's commitment to premium positioning combined with fantastic value for money.

"It is an exciting time for Subaru. This is the first of our significant 2008 model year launches.

"After Liberty and Outback we will welcome new-generation Impreza at the end of August, then later in the year we have the MY08 Tribeca and, of course, in March next year, our all-new Forester.

"It has been relatively quiet for us on the model front for us, but the avalanche is here."
2008 Liberty pricing:
Liberty 2.5i sedan $32,490 (was $34,990, - 7.1 %)
Liberty 2.5i sedan (a) $34,990 (was $36,990, -5.4 %)
Liberty 2.5i wagon $34,490 (was $36,990, -6.7 %)
Liberty 2.5i wagon (a) $36,990 (was $38,990, -5.1 %)
Liberty 2.5i Heritage sedan $37,990 (new)
Liberty 2.5i Heritage sedan (a) $40,490 (new)
Liberty 2.5i Heritage wagon $39,990 (new)
Liberty 2.5i Heritage wagon (a) $42,490 (new)
Liberty 2.5i Premium sedan (a) $42,790 (was $41,490, +3.1 %)
Liberty 2.5i Premium wagon (a) $44,790 (was $43,490, +2.9 %)
Liberty 3.0R Premium sedan (a) $50,990 (no change)
Liberty 3.0R Premium wagon (a) $52,990 (no change)
Liberty 3.0R spec.B sedan $52,490 (no change)
Liberty 3.0R spec.B sedan (a) $52,490 (no change)
Liberty 3.0R spec.B wagon $54,490 (no change)
Liberty 3.0R spec.B wagon (a) $54,490 (no change)
Liberty GT sedan (a) $54,990 (was $54,490, +0.9%)
Liberty GT wagon (a) $56,990 (was $56,490, +0.9%)
Liberty GT spec.B sedan $55,990 (no change)
Liberty GT spec.B sedan (a) $55,990 (no change)
Liberty GT spec.B wagon $57,990 (no change)
Liberty GT spec.B wagon (a) $57,990 (no change)
2008 Liberty options:
Satellite-navigation $2990
(2.5i Premium, 3.0R Premium, 3.0R spec.B, GT, GT spec.B)

2008 Outback pricing:
Outback 2.5i $36,490 (was $36,990, -1.3 %)
Outback 2.5i (a) $38,990 (no change)
Outback 2.5i Premium $41,990 (was $42,490, -1.1%)
Outback 2.5i Premium (a) $44,490 (no change)
Outback 3.0R (a) $46,990 (no change)
Outback 3.0R Premium (a) $54,290 (was $52,990, +2.4%)
2008 Outback options:
Satellite-navigation (3.0R Premium) $2990

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