NEW FAMILY WAGON
COMFORT, safety, extras — this family-friendly vehicle has it all, writes KEVIN HEPWORTH
HE arrival of the familyfriendly Exiga sixseater wagon puts the finishing touches to Subaru’s Liberty range.
The Exiga is much more than Subaru’s traditional wagons — and though Subaru Australia is at pains to avoid the poison-chalice description of people-
Tmover, it makes no apologies for the niche nature of the latest addition.
‘‘Liberty Exiga is a versatile family wagon that adds a new dimension to our mid-size wagon line-up,’’ Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said.
‘‘It means we now have the Exiga for families needing the flexibility of a six-seat cabin, we have five-seat Liberty wagon, and for those with a more recreational focus, we have the Outback range.’’
Sales targets for the new model, which starts at $37,490 and runs up to $41,990 for the Premium trim, are modest at between 50 and 75 a month, particularly given the value equation of the car, which comes in at up to $7000 less than the price of the equivalent Liberty wagon.
Some of the price difference is in equipment-level variance but much of it is down to the Exiga not sitting on the newgeneration Liberty platform, but rather on a hybrid of the Liberty and Forester/ Impreza underpinnings.
‘‘With the same safety levels across all these vehicles (five stars) it comes down to a lifestyle choice,’’ Senior said.
‘‘With the depth in our medium wagon range we can meet the needs of most customers.’’
The six-seat layout is not exactly what Subaru Australia had hoped for when the Exiga was first planned, but with the lack of a centre rear lap-sash seat belt — and no engineering development planned to provide one — the seven-seat version available in the Japanese domestic market is not a starter for Australia.
Without the extra seating capacity the Exiga does have a roomy interior and executive feel to the cabin, and Subaru Australia has not stinted on the trim levels.
The base car comes with the company’s Lineartronic CVT (constantly variable transmission), a DVD entertainment unit with two radio headsets (more are available as accessories) for the rear seat passengers, antiskid brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, six airbags including curtain bags, stability control, dual zone air-conditioning, rake and reach adjustable steering, individual forward and aft adjustment on the centre-row seats, rear seat recline, 400mm alloys, and DataDot security.