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Subaru Liberty 2.0R Sedan (2006)
Subaru has sweetened the cause of Liberty.
The reintroduction of a less polluting but more powerful 2.0-litre engine has given the all-wheel-drive company a new price point and a broader spectrum of would-be owners.
Crucially, the 2.0R has a features list that is level pegging with the best-selling 2.5i safety models.
It means a well-equipped sedan or wagon, a convincing five-star ANCAP crash test rating and added anti-theft security through Datadots.
Subaru touts equivalent power between four-cylinder stable mates, but the devil is in the detail.
This car is 10 kilograms heavier, peak power is delivered 1200 revs higher, maximum torque is reduced and its official fuel efficiency, on 95 RON premium unleaded petrol, is inferior to its brother and other rivals.
On the road, the four-speed automatic is smooth but struggles with its task. Its holds on excessively in the bottom two gears to compensate for output shortfalls and can also be tardy when prompted to kick down.
As well as dampening performance and fuel economy, this Liberty’s 1395 kilogram kerb weight tests its brakes. They prove only average.
The current Liberty rides firmer than its forebears but still cossets. It still grips well, with a nicely balanced chassis and minimal body roll enhancing its handling attributes. There’s also lightly weighted and faithful steering on offer.
Liberty is admirably quiet though, while seating and build quality are excellent.
There are few missing desires in ergonomics and practicality, while the rear seat, boot and storage room are adequate rather than generous.
This Liberty won’t be for all, but weighty issues aside, it is a welcome addition.
Safety, build, seating
Performance, fuel economy
||Liberty 2.0R sedan
||Small Under $35,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.