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SUBARU LIBERTY Used Car Review

Subaru's medium car is known as the Legacy around the world but was changed to Liberty for Australia to avoid a clash with a local charity dedicated to caring for the families of war veterans. In 1989, the Liberty arrived to help transition Subaru from a brand more renowned for leftfield all-wheel-drive vehicles into a mainstream player. There were sedan and wagon versions, though the latter was abandoned for the current generation introduced in 2015 - leaving that showroom job to the Liberty's higher-riding, body-cladded twin, the Outback.

Pros

Cons

  • Price-equipment ratio makes strong value case
  • Enlarged cabin space of 5th-generation model (2009) onwards
  • All-wheel-drive traction, competent handling
  • Brand's reputation for reliability and build quality
  • Imperfect ride quality
  • Driver appeal reduced since 2003-2009 Mark 4
  • Expensive, overly frequent servicing
  • Six-cylinder's fuel efficiency below average
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.
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Overview of the Subaru Liberty

Overview of the Subaru Liberty

Subaru's medium car is known as the Legacy around the world but was changed to Liberty for Australia to avoid a clash with a local charity dedicated to caring for the families of war veterans.

In 1989, the Liberty arrived to help transition Subaru from a brand more renowned for leftfield all-wheel-drive vehicles into a mainstream player.

There were sedan and wagon versions, though the latter was abandoned for the current generation introduced in 2015 - leaving that showroom job to the Liberty's higher-riding, body-cladded twin, the Outback.

SUBARU LIBERTY GENERATIONS (SINCE 2003)

2003-2009

2009-2014

2015 onwards

RUNNING COSTS

Fuel Consumption (2015 onwards)

2.5L 4-cylinder: 7.3 litres per 100km

3.6L 6-cylinder: 9.9 litres per 100km

= Highly economical.

= Good economy.

= Average fuel use.

= Heavy consumption.

Servicing

SIMILAR MODELS TO SUBARU LIBERTY

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR: SUBARU LIBERTY (2009-2014)

The four-cylinder engine uses a timing belt (a pair of them actually) that need changing every 125,000km. That's a longer interval than most car makers recommend, and it means they can be overlooked. Check the service history to see if this has been carried out as it's critical maintenance and a snapped belt means goodbye engine.

While your head is in the service record, make sure there have been no skipped services. Subaru engines are strong but won't tolerate dirty oil which clogs them up and destroys them.

A good check is to start the engine first thing in the morning and listen for a ticking noise from the engine's valve gear. If it is present, the engine has already been damaged and we'd look at a different car.

The good news is that the Subaru engine is so well built that the normal practice of replacing the water pump, pulleys and idlers every time you replace the timing belts is probably overkill in a Subaru engine. Every second time should be plenty.