- Great Safety Equipment
- Looks Great
- Fit and Finish of the Interior
- A little high on price
- Likes to Drink Petrol
Unfortunately, Subaru isn’t always grabbing headlines like other manufacturers. It simply does its thing and those in-the-know seem to enjoy the experience of owning a Subaru. As it turns out, our very first Subaru review will be the 2015 Subaru Liberty 3.6R review.
The Liberty model itself is a good sized sedan, which has received a well-deserved make over. It’s aggressively styled, and does well to justify its $41,990 price on its own. However, the good looks are continued on the inside with soft touch materials, and a sensibly laid out dash too.
Being the top of the range model, it features a powerful 3.6L 6 cylinder engine that produces 191kW of power and 350Nm of torque. According to official figures you should see a combined fuel economy of 9.9L/100km.
Across the Liberty range, you receive the fantastic Eyesight Driver Assist system that adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and other very handy driver assistance features. After spending time with it, you’ll want it in every car you drive.
Of course, being a Subaru, the 3.6R benefits from the fantastic symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system that delivers power to all four wheels. Anyway, let’s get on with the review!
It’s sophisticated, like a well cut suit, and a double Windsor tie. You just like the look of it, regardless of the setting – mountain road, the CBD, or at a luxury hotel. It doesn’t scream for attention, but you won’t be totally overlooked either.
The sophistication doesn’t stop there. The interior continues with the good looks and incorporates soft touch materials to complete the look and overall comfort, making this perfect for a professional who spends a lot of time on the road.
One of the only drawbacks of the interior is the massive Eyesight system that sits around the rear view mirror on the windscreen. Other car makers have used different technologies to achieve similar functionality, but have managed to keep the hardware contained in the front grille.
The Eyesight system being where it is, doesn’t cause any issues, but you definitely can’t miss it either.
Driving the Liberty is totally different to how you drive a normal car. Once you’ve picked up on how to operate the Eyesight system, it can almost completely drive itself, leaving you to enjoy the trip.
If you’ve never experienced active cruise control before, it can be a scary experience having the car follow a car in front, and then proceed to come to a complete stop all by itself if needed. However, once you’re accustomed to it, it makes those long haul trips a total breeze. In one part of our road trip, we touched the pedals twice in 2 hours – only thing we had to do was steer the car.
When it matters, power comes through nice and strongly, but more torque lower down in the rev range would really top off the entire experience, but it doesn’t really inhibit the driving experience. When taking it for a more spirited drive, the all-wheel-drive system, and the boxer engine really comes into its own. Grip is excellent, and the thick steering wheel gives you plenty to hold onto.
Even though it does have a CVT transmission, it does a good job at not acting like a typical CVT. Those who don’t follow cars profusely probably wouldn’t even notice that it was a CVT.
During daily duties, and the road trip out to Stanthorpe to try and find some snow – we managed an average just over 10L/100km, a tiny bit more than the claimed 9.9L/100km. We were happy to get close to the claimed figure, but it would be nice if it were to be down in the 7-8L/100km range.
Overall, we enjoyed each short drive, and longer trip just the same. The Liberty is extremely comfortable and agile when you want it to be.
There’s something about walking back to a car in the car park and thinking, gee that is a good looking car. It makes you feel good, and even though the badge doesn’t have the same luxury appeal like BMW, Mercedes or Audi, you feel like you could turn up to a luxury hotel and feel a part of the crowd.
Combining the large cabin space with lots of nice little comfort features like heated front seats, it makes the Liberty extremely easy to live with. Getting in and out isn’t a struggle, like some sedans, and if you don’t need the height of a SUV – it makes a great school taxi.
Perhaps that’s why we found the Liberty so refreshing, it’s what a good sedan for a family should be. Compared to a SUV, you’re getting a lot more for your money.
Compared to the Toyota Camry Atara SX, the Subaru Liberty 3.6R is more expensive, and the servicing costs are cheaper, however, at $41,990 (plus on roads) the stretch is well justified.
Not only does the Liberty look better, but the interior feels more refined and the all-wheel-drive system means that you’re able to tackle any type of weather with ease – or even tackle some backroads on a Sunday morning.
Good news too, Subaru backs the Liberty with a 3 Years/Unlimited Kilometres warranty. You are also able to extend that warranty to 5 Years/Unlimited Kilometres if you wish.
The medium sedan segment has been a bit boring lately, but it seems that there’s a renewed push, not just from Subaru, making it an exciting place to be. Alongside with the Insignia, and the new Camry, this market should win back popularity with buyers.
Subaru has impressed us with the Subaru Liberty 3.6R, not just in looks, but also the amount of tech that seems to work really well. Everywhere we travelled, we were met with positive comments, and those who joined us on the road loved it even more.