2005 Subaru Liberty 3.0R B 3.0 Litre H6 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand


A true 'Sleeper' with with all the luxury options you need


Just the brake pads needed replacing. And there was severe shuddering at high speed braking 100km/h +.

Purchased a set of Daikin brakes, and now the warping is gone.

General Comments:

The model I have is a March plated 2005 Subaru Liberty 3.0R B in Black. B is for the Bilstein suspension, and boy does it work well.

Turn the key, and the dash lights up and the analogue instruments cycle forward and back. It is a neat feature you see on many new Subaru models. Quite exciting to see every time you turn the key. It gives you the sense that the car is ready for you to drive it. Turn the key further, and you can hear the sweet sounding H6 engine turn over. The engine sounds quiet and smooth. Prod the accelerator, and you can hear her wind up with the level of sound on the increase. It sounds metallic, and from 4000rpm onwards up to its cut off at 7200rpm, that's where you can really hear the true engine note of the stunning H6 engine.

The car is equipped with the H6 engine producing a decent amount of power, 180kw @ 6600rpm and 297nm @ 4200rpm of torque. And power at the wheels stock (which I have researched over a period) is 130kw and 247nm. With those figures, it is backed by chain-driven dual overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, actuating 4-valves per cylinder, complete with variable valve timing (VVT) and lift. You notice a real change in the engines profile when you have it spinning between 3200rpm and 4500rpm. A push in the back kind of feeling. It's very similar to one of my previous cars that I owned, a '96 BMW e36 M3 3.2 litre. There is a rush of power and large amounts of grip to propel the car from 0-100km/h in around 6.8 seconds. And it really does feel like it.

The gear box is strong. Very strong, it's from the Impreza WRX STI, a great 6 speed gear box. There has been not a time where it has crunched or ground because of lazy engineering. Subaru have done a fantastic job by putting (I think) one of the best gearboxes in the Liberty 3.0R B. It feels taut and solid, and that's how all gear boxes should be.

Two of my other previous cars I owned were an S2000 and an RX8, and both gear boxes felt chintzy, like they would be prone to failure. Even the BMW had issues too. The gear box in the Liberty has double and triple syncros, and feels very solid when bashing the gates every time I want to change gear. There is nothing I can fault... Well perhaps with the age of my car, the clutch does get slippery when it is being pushed.

Symmetric AWD... is it impressive? YES

Can it get scary in the wet? YES and NO. If you know the limits and drive it how it is meant to be designed, then you will have no troubles. But if you try to go sideways, it can get hairy; the back end kicks out and the front tries to recover, by operating on the opposite direction to that of where the rear wheels are toeing. In the dry, you can approach roundabouts at 60km/h even high without any worries. The car just grips, it just wants you to play with it some more.

The Bilstein suspension (which comes standard to all 3.0R B models) is amazing. It's taut and smooth. The S2000 was stiff, and you can feel every bump, and driving over potholes, it would be painful, whereas the Liberty is tight and smooth at the same time. It's hard to explain; you must test drive one to find out.

The exterior took time to get use to. You can tell there has been a lot of thought put into this model. It's not overly wide like a VE Commodore or narrow like a Smart Car. It's almost perfect... almost. You can tell (when new) that this car was over $50,000, and to this day it still has great road presence. Looks classy and has the same aura of those other German luxury cars. Mine's in Black, and she looks great. When she is all detailed, I get a sense of satisfaction owning the car and really appreciating it.

The interior looks smart, it's elegant and has all of the options anyone needs in a car; cruise control (very Toyota like), trip computer, climate control, audio controls on the steering wheel, electric seats, electric sunroof, a great McIntosh sound system, black leather seats and trim, 8 airbags (driver/front passenger front and side airbags, curtain airbags front and rear) and cup holders.

Leg room is abundant; I am 5'11" and have no worries sitting in the front or the back. The back is roomy and feels comfortable; it feels like you are riding in something luxurious like a BMW or Lexus. And the general ambiance of the interior is WOW, and makes you appreciate the superior build quality.

The sound system is very good, the in built six stacker produces high quality sound and feel. I had an AUX module installed into my sound system so I could listen to my music via my BlackBerry. That works great too. I recommend it to anyone.

Some people might question... how is it on fuel?


No... that's a lie. Actually it is quite good. I average 500km to a tank (fill up 58 litres of total 64 litres on 98 octane) and that's short trip driving everyday. I average about 11.8 litres per 100km. On the freeway the car just purrs at 2400rpm in sixth at a 100km/h and uses a small amount of fuel of 7.2 litres per 100km. The most I have seen out of a tank was 640km, and that was driving from Melbourne to Ballarat and back to Melbourne. With normal driving, the return is about 9.8 litres over a 100km. Mind you, I do open it up every chance I can, freeway on-ramps especially.

I think that covers my review on my car. If there was one thing I would change, it would be to have another 20-30kw on the engine so I can really tap into the true potential of the car. It's a great all rounder, a true sleeper, No one knows how fast it really is until I show them how the car performs. It's impressive and has everything you need in a car.

If you are looking for something fast that will not attract the cops, and has everything you need in a car, then this is one I would highly recommend. You get true satisfaction out of driving the car. I love it.

And mind you I have had a BMW M3, Honda S2000, Mazda RX8 and Lexus is200, and this one (the Liberty) tops them all in terms of, all round performance, reliability, servicing, and general running costs. It's a true 'Sleeper' with all the luxury options.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th February, 2011

27th Feb 2011, 05:41


Great review! I just bought a 2005 black 3.0R-B wagon last week, and I completely agree with everything you stated in your review.

I am truly impressed with the performance characteristics of the model, I did a massive amount of research before taking the plunge and buying the 3.0R-B, and I believe it was the perfect choice, and am also a massive fan of the particular model we own.

My only concern is somehow integrating my iPod to play through the factory McIntosh System. It sounds like you have a found a solution. I was hoping you could help me out with some info on this topic, as I really have no idea where to start. I really want to avoid having to play my iPod through a crappy FM transmitter. I would be perfectly happy playing it through an AUX cord somehow connected into the factory headset.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.



13th Mar 2011, 04:15

Hi James.

Congrats on purchasing your new baby. And thanks for viewing my review.

They are such great cars, you can just feel the quality.

The car just needs a little bit more power.

Regarding your question about the AUX in, you can do it three ways.

One, get the FM transmitter installed in your glove box and then hard wired to your electrical system. This is what I did.

I do not have issues with it. Just when my Blackberry is running flat, the music stops, because the battery has gone dead.

Two, purchase the Series 2 Liberty (06-09') headset, I have seen some on ebay for about 500 bucks, and get it installed. That system does have an AUX in as standard.

Three, Get a sat nav, GPS, MP3, USB, Ipod integrated touch screen system. The only issue is that something like that is worth a good 2000 bucks. Might be worth it in the long run.

That would be the best way to go.

Let me know what you think.

Kind regards.

Jacob K.

2005 Subaru Liberty 3.0R Spec B wagon 3.0 flat six from Australia and New Zealand



General Comments:

Ride more supple after a few 000kms, but still firm - not a patch on my Citroen. Performed well, but could be even better. Fuel consumption around town is horrific, but good in the country. Improved after fitting a Hiclone and after-market foam air filter. ICE is excellent and much better than I expected, aircon powerful. Interior packaging could be improved, not as spacious as a Citroen for example, and could benefit from more seat folding options (compare with a Mercedes C class wagon or Citroen. Spare alloy full-size wheel is a bonus, but access from within the car rather than under the car is less than optimum.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 2005

1st Nov 2007, 08:49

When I purchased my 2005 Outback VDC Limited, the car has shown a dramatic hesitation. Every time I try to accelerate, the car stumbles, hesitates and is extremely annoying. The car has been brought back to the dealer many times, and also had meetings with the district service advisers. The first adviser explained to me that there is a fix in the works and just wait. Forgetting about the problem due to time passing and getting used to the condition, I was almost t-boned by a car running a light. When I hit the gas to avoid the possible accident, the car of course stumbled and hesitated, and to this day, I have no idea how he missed me.

I purchased a car with a 250 hp engine, not to go fast, but to be responsive and enjoy the driving experience. But this car misses terribly, even the VDC does not seem to work.

8th Nov 2007, 18:14

My 2005 Liberty 3.0R auto does the same thing from time to time. It is the gearbox, it felt like it is in a higher gear. The adaptive gearbox learn your driving style, so if you have been driving slowly in the city and you suddenly want to accelerate quickly, the gearbox won't really respond and shift down a gear.

2005 Subaru Liberty 2.5i from Australia and New Zealand


Highly recommended


Nothing yet.

General Comments:

Very well built with superb finish. I have had this car one week and so far no complaints, every time I get in it brings a smile to my face.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2005