2004 Subaru Liberty GT 2.0 H4 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Absolutely love it, highly recommended!


Split vacuum hose caused idle hunting, easily fixed with a new hose.

Brake shudder under heavy braking, also easily fixed with a skimming of the discs.

General Comments:

Very quick due to the punchy 2.0 Turbo Boxer.

Good for a long cruise or a short blast around some tight bends.

Great suspension and AWD setup, handles very well.

Looks simple and gorgeous.

Interior is great, mine came with 13 speaker stereo, sunroof, all leather interior.

MP3 compatible stereo would have been nice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th February, 2009

2004 Subaru Liberty 3.0R 3.0 Boxer Flat Six from Australia and New Zealand


Pretty much as per the Subaru brochure says "Luxurious Performance"


Front brake shudder. According to Subaru this is due to the poor design of original brake disc and pad. Upgraded to new model brake discs and pads under warranty.

Significant vibration on rear parcel shelf from sub-woofer at medium to high volumes. Corrected under warranty by applying extra padding between sub-woofer and rear parcel shelf.

General Comments:

The 3.0R is a fine piece of work, appealing to those upgrading from previous Liberty's such as myself or European aspirants with a sharp eye on the market and an ability to think laterally. An added bonus is the Subaru badge is now associated with more street cred and prestige, thus cushioning the blow when you drive it home to find Mr. Jones next door has bought a BMW 318i (you can always tell Mr. Jones his car has no engine to speak of, but anyway...)

On paper, the 3.0R is definitely the part. Full leather trim, electric seats and 13 speaker McIntosh sound system are features not to be taken lightly (how many manufacturer's actually bother with a half decent stereo as standard equipment?).

However, mechanically - what a package! AWD, KYB suspension, Potenza rubber and Vehicle Dynamics Control (Subaru's moniker for ESP) make handling idiot proof, but, as is so characteristic of Subaru, it remains a highly involving drive (you can switch VDC off if you desire).

So what are the drawbacks? Well, variable valve timing is a great thing... in theory. The engine feels like a 2.0 four below 3500 rpm. Then the valve timing changes and a turbo like rush ensues. Luckily five cogs helps keep the engine on song, but you've only got 3500-7000rpm to play with. Such a power delivery curve is not what you would expect of a fairly large, naturally aspirated motor and it takes some getting used to - especially at the lights when again, Mr. Jones with his 318i will be smiling as he reaches the city speed limit of 50km/h at the same time as you. However, should you be heading on to 100km/h, you will get there 2-3 seconds before him, such is the nature of the rush after 3500rpm. So it is not a car you buy for the traffic light grand prix, but it certainly impresses once you're on the go and highway acceleration is quite scintillating, leaving 6 and some 8 cylinder Commodores and Falcons as distant memories in your oversized rear view mirrors.

The only other drawback is the front seating. With 8 way electric adjustment and beige cow to sit on, it is surprising that Subaru have managed to make a meal of the seating position. Height only adjustable steering doesn't help the picture. However, its not entirely unlivable - just takes getting used to.

Final word of caution. Be VERY selective with your dealer. For obvious legal reasons I cannot mention the dealer's name, but I was given quite poor service at the time of the sale. Needless to say, I service the car at another dealership.

In summary - its got luxury, power, poise and, increasingly, street cred. If you can live with the few niggling drawbacks (I certainly can), then it is a very rewarding car to own (just don't tell Mr. Jones about it until he's shelled out his $60k for his four pot Bimmer with optional everything).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2006

23rd Jun 2007, 20:06

I love this car!

I'm not sure what you mean about the seats though. I'm tall, and often have problems with Japanese cars. The electric seating allows me to go waaay down to floor level, giving me that 'racing' feel.

Very nice car to drive. On rails!

2004 Subaru Liberty 3.0R 3.0 litre flat 6 from Australia and New Zealand


Brilliant mix of luxury and sporting performance


Drivers door rattle, fixed. Front brake shudder, fixed with upgraded pads.

General Comments:

A nicely finished and well-constructed car, solid and refined. Front seat comfort is excellent, ergonomics are first class and all the controls work with precision.

The engine is wonderfully smooth with linear power delivery from idle to redline. It sounds lovely when extended, but is never intrusive. From 2000 to 15000km it became progressively freer, more responsive and even sounded better. The transmission always shifts smoothly and reacts well to driver input. The manual mode is a bonus for cornering and spirited driving. Fuel economy is acceptable for the level of performance - 13-15l/100km in city traffic, but 8.5-11 l/100km in the country.

Grip levels are very high, handling is balanced neutral with mild under or oversteer available. Traction and speed out of corners is addictive. The ride is pleasantly compliant, roll is well contained and it rarely feels as if body control is lacking. Its the sort of car that makes you seek out winding roads - for me the chassis is the perfect compromise between a comfortable family car and a sporting drive.

Likes: Quality, chassis, engine, gearbox, stereo, styling, value, character - almost everything really.

Dislikes: Original tyres expensive and hard to source, rear seat could be more comfortable, interior lighting marginal, steering could have more feel (although you get used to it).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2005