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Subaru Liberty

Mk1 Liberty Exiga

Subaru logo1 Nov 2009

SUBARU released its first dedicated people mover in late 2009 with aggressive pricing and generous equipment levels.

Unveiled in Japan at the 2007 Tokyo motor show, with sales commencing the following June, the Exiga is specifically designed as a people mover, with a taller-than-normal roofline and extra wide rear doors that open to almost a 90 degree angle to allow for easy entry and egress to and from the 2+2+2 cabin arrangement.

The latter benefits from raised ‘theatre style’ seating for improved vision.

Brandishing length/width/height/wheelbase measurements of 4740/1775/1660/2750mm respectively, the body is shorter bumper-to-bumper but 125mm taller than the Liberty’s, helping to liberate 40mm more headroom. Ground clearance is 150mm.

Underneath is a combination of the current Forester and new Liberty/Outback’s AWD platform, with a MacPherson strut-type front and double wishbone rear suspension set-up mounted to the subframe.

Subaru’s VDC stability control system is standard, along with ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD Electronic Brake-force Distribution and BA Brake Assist. Brakes are ventilated discs up front and solid disc out back, while the steering is a rack and pinion design with an 11 metre-turning circle.

Both models employ the evergreen 2457cc 2.5-litre single-overhead-cam horizontally opposed four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 123kW of power at 5600rpm and 229Nm of torque at 4000rpm, as per the Liberty and Outback 2.5i.

Subaru says the combined fuel consumption average and carbon dioxide emissions ratings of 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres and 202 grams per kilometre are aided by its new Lineartronic CVT Continuously Variable Transmission, featuring six electronic ratios for a more natural feel and chain-type drive for durability.

In October 2008 Subaru sent prototypes to Australia for testing and retuning – mainly to the suspension and involving the damper and spring rates – to help tailer the Exiga to local drivers’ tastes.

A five-star ANCAP crash test-rating (with three stars for pedestrians) mirrors the Liberty/Outback, although the Exiga lacks the driver’s knee airbag of its siblings.

Standard features include six airbags, a roof-mounted DVD unit for second and third row passengers, climate control air-conditioning, reach and rack steering adjustment, cruise control, paddle shifters for CVT, six-stack CD audio with steering-spoke controls, 16-inch alloy wheels, auto on-off for headlights, rear privacy glass, remote central locking and power windows, as well as the aforementioned VDC, ABS, EBD, and BA safety gear.

While there are no middle or rear-row vents, Subaru has designed some of the central dash outlets to direct air up through the middle and into to the rear of the vehicle.

Subaru models