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).