Subaru Liberty may not be the top-selling medium-size family sedan, but a unique character endears it to owners, and on the used-car market it holds its value better than most.
At the end of 2014, Liberty underwent a substantial makeover as it moved into the sixth generation, with smarter styling, more cabin space, extra standard equipment and better safety credentials. At the same time, the wagon was dropped, leaving the high-riding Outback to fill that space for Subaru.
The most popular version on the used market is the well-equipped, leather-trimmed 2.5i Premium four-cylinder model, followed by the top-of-the-range 3.6R six-cylinder version. Even the base 2.5i has an extensive list of creature comforts and safety features. Liberty’s large touch-screen, along with an advanced infotainment system and speech recognition, adds to the appeal but it doesn’t have all the latest connectivity features. Subaru’s practice of annual upgrades means later versions will have more kit.
Plenty of room
Liberty’s generous body provides plenty of room in the front and adult-friendly rear-seat accommodation. Boot space is good, but limiting factors may be the narrow opening and the height from the floor to the parcel shelf. It has a full-size spare wheel.
The 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, matched with a CVT automatic, isn’t the most technically sophisticated or sporty in the class but its output is well focused on everyday use.
The 3.6R six-cylinder model has noticeably stronger, very solid performance across the rev range, without being spectacular, and naturally it uses a bit more fuel. Subaru’s CVT is one of the best on the market because it feels more like a conventional automatic, yet it still tends to produce a distinctive CVT whine when pushed to the limit.