1 Sep 2003
By CHRIS HARRIS
The fourth-generation Liberty is evolutionary, with nicely conceived, slightly larger packaging, tasteful presentation and even more refinement that makes it better to drive and more spacious.
On top of that, it’s lighter yet stronger, and more aerodynamic, making the Mk4 bigger, faster, cleaner, safer (scoring an ENCAP five-star rating) and more frugal. GX, RX, Heritage and B4 model varieties are dumped for (mostly) engine size-based nomenclature: 2.0i, 2.5i, and 3.0R, with GT banishing the B4.
The Outlander remains a slightly jacked-up, more purpose-built SUV-like version of the Liberty.
The four-cylinder boxer engines are: 101kW/187Nm 2.0, 121kW/226Nm 2.5 and 180kW/310Nm turbo 2.0 GT, with all but the latter four-speed auto or five-speed manual.
The GT’s auto is a five-speed unit, as is the unit found in the 180kW/297Nm 3.0-litre H6 boxer six-cylinder engine found in the Outback 3.0R and – from August ’04 – Liberty 3.0R cars.
The six-cylinder Liberty models also offer a six-speed manual, called 3.0RB. Minor specification and trim changes occurred in August ’04, with a five-speed manual made an option on the GT and Outback 3.0R ranges.
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