Statute of Liberty
This all-wheel-drive sedan remains a must-try for family buyers
ANOTHER month, another triumph for compact SUV sales.
If these have become synonymous with family cars, we urge you to at least consider the mid-size car segment, one where excellence has long been the default and in which Subaru’s Liberty remains at the forefront.
The base Liberty’s bottom line of $32,990 is $2000 down on the outgoing model. This was needed to keep Subaru in the hunt. Standard kit includes a continuously variable auto transmission, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth with audio streaming and foglights. A $3000 options pack adds rear air vents, seven-inch screen, leather trim on an eight-way adjustable powered driver’s seat and electric lumbar support.
The Mazda6 starts at $33,460 with a six-speed auto and satnav, the Honda Accord Euro Standard is $32,640 with a five-speed auto and the Kia Sportage SUV matches the Liberty’s price and all-wheel drive surefootedness.
A new drivetrain and handling are the big items in the Subaru.
Teaming the updated 2.5-litre engine with a CVT has lowered fuel use to 7.9L/100km and the CVT is a blessedly unobtrusive system until you are standing on the pedal.
Hardware and software have been upgraded to make the Liberty cling to the road even more tightly. The AWD system is now more precise in front-to-rear torque split, the stabiliser bar is stiffer and the spring and damper rates have been revised.