This edition gives you the Liberty to roam
THE feeling is best described as smug; driving straight past the line of front-drive cars, their owners freezing and fumbling with the mandatory snow chains before the slippery ascent into the Snowy Mountains.
All-wheel-drive vehicles are exempt from this awkward practice, and avid skiers and snowboarders fly past the chain-fitting bays in their 4WDs, and Subaru Foresters and Outback crossovers, which are a dime a dozen on the road to Perisher Valley.
In contrast, Subaru’s topshelf Liberty sedan is a rare sight — its low front spoiler, dropped sills and 18-inch rims are not suited to the snow-piled parking bays and steep chalet driveways.
This is where the new Liberty X variant shows its strength. Jacked up by 50mm, it sits just 13mm shy of the long-legged Outback. Its 200mm ground clearance gets it over steep driveways and gutters with ease, it’s easy to get into and out of and, most importantly, it’s a specced-up sedan for those not wanting the wagon-only Outback or a big SUV.
The Liberty X is available with 2.5-litre four-cylinder or 3.6-litre six-cylinder power, at $44,490 and $55,990 respectively. The 2.5X is matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Our test 3.6X has a five-speed automatic with paddle-shifters.
Both feature the premium Liberty spec of auto HID headlights, auto wipers with de-icers, two-way sunroof, multi-function touchscreen with satnav, Bluetooth and reversing camera, leather trim with heated power front seats, and the new EyeSight traffic warning system.
The X specification adds a different grille and front bumper design, a chrome strip on the lower side skirt, a different alloy wheel pattern and the additional clearance.