Back to car reviews

Subaru Liberty 25i Premium

by Barry Green,reviewed September 2016

Visually, most people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the 2016 Subaru Liberty and its predecessor.

However, check the equipment list and, better still, drive the newcomer and the changes become more apparent.

The 2.5i Premium (as tested) and 3.6R (both costing $500 more than before) feature Vision Assist in addition to Subaru’s Eyesight, a safety package that bundles together active cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, and pedestrian/collision detection.

Vision Assist comprises blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, auto dim rear view mirror, high beam assist and rear cross traffic alert.

A map update program for factory-fit navigation systems is also now standard. It includes a guaranteed, complimentary yearly map update for three years, subject to the vehicle having its scheduled services at an authorised Subaru dealer.

Standard across the range is an emergency stop signal that automatically flashes the hazard lights to warn following vehicles. A Dark Blue Pearl has also been introduced to the range of paint colours.

Fine-tuning of shock absorbers – aimed at delivering a smoother ride, improved handling and lower NVH levels – has proved successful in the way the vehicle handles larger corrugations and bumps, although it doesn’t completely erase minor creases and surface changes in the road. That said, overall the Liberty is a comfy, accommodating drive that would more than meet the expectations of most buyers in the mid-sized sedan segment.


As mid-range in the Liberty line-up, the Premium comes well-equipped with electric sunroof, dual-zone auto air-con, eight-way powered front seats and extensive connectivity.

All Liberty models are fitted with a CVT automatic, which works smoothly and efficiently in unison with Subaru’s signature 2.5-litre petrol flat-four (Boxer) engine. Power and torque output – at 129kW/235Nm – remains unchanged.

Like all Subarus, the 2016 model boasts a five-star ANCAP rating, scoring an impressive 35.99 out of 37 possible points in testing.

As well, the safety inventory includes electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD, BA and seven airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain and driver’s knee).

While the incremental improvements and additions might be small, it’s all about making the Subaru Liberty – already a pretty good drive and ownership proposition – a more complete car. Can’t argue with that.


Increased safety, overall good drive, more equipment.


Small price increase ($500), ride could be better.

Car Details

Vehicle make Subaru
Vehicle model Liberty 2.5i Premium.
Year 2016
Current price range $35990 - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars

Get a quote for car insurance

Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Engine 2.5-litre inline (Boxer) 4-cyl.
Max power 129kW
Max torque 235Nm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 9.6 seconds
Driving wheels AWD
Fuel type ULP
Economy ADR 7.3 litres/100km
CO2 Emissions 167 g/km
Spare wheel type full-size

Back to car reviews

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.