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.
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