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Skoda Superb Ambience vs Subaru Liberty X

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Skoda Superb Ambiance and Subaru Liberty X go head to head in this comparative review.

3 stars

VALUE from $41,990


VALUE from $44,490

Skoda sells this as an all-wheel drive sedan that has some off-the-bitumen ability. But don't discount the Skoda's off-road ability. It's very well appointed including heated front seats, cooled glove box and centre-console bin, dual-zone climate aircon, 16-inch alloys, cruise control and trip computer.


There is no direct competitor for Subaru's sedan. Why? It's easy on the body to get in and out of, which appeals to older owners. It's very well fitted out with leather, soft plastics, satnav, fantastic McIntosh audio, Bluetooth and iPod/USB connectivity, cruise and a reverse camera.


The simplicity of the Superb is one of its attractions. It has a 103kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel, six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and constant -- but variable down to 90:10 -- all-wheel drive. It will tow 1500kg and averages only 6.4L/100km.

Subaru's 123kW/229Nm 2.5-litre engine gives average performance (0-100km/h in 10.1sec) and all wheels are constantly driven. It tows 1500kg and averages 8.3L/100km of petrol. The Eyesight radar detection system that scans ahead for danger is brilliant.

3.5 stars


The sedan profile hides its lift-up hatch with separate opening glass panel. It also has split-fold rear seats for 565 litres (seats up) or 1670L of space. Huge inside, it easily carries four 1.8m-plus occupants, yet is only 93mm longer than the Subaru. Cabin kit is neat and functional.
A bit like a battleship, the new Liberty is big inside and the use of leather and quality fittings makes it inviting. The extra 50mm ride height over the standard Liberty makes it great in the dirt , then there's the higher boot floor . The rear seats don't fold so it's less flexible than the Skoda.
3.5 starsSAFETY 3.5SAFETY

Five-star crash rating, seven airbags, all the electronic stability controls, rear park sensors and a diagram, heated mirrors, cornering lights and a tyre pressure monitor, plus a full-size spare. Plenty of the right stuff here.

The Eyesight can eyeball the car in front and detect pedestrians and, without driver intervention, brake the car to a standstill. It's a five-star rated car with seven airbags, reverse camera, electronic stability and traction control but has a temporary spare wheel.


The Superb feels solid and confident on the road, predictable through corners and the steering has a firm feel. Seating is comfortable. The diesel clatters at idle but is inaudible at speed. Vision is good but you rely on the park sensors.

Acceleration is initially sluggish. Comfy and quiet, it's best suited to highways and country roads. The steering is very light and the extra height makes it roll more through the corners. Vision is good; the reverse camera and park sensors make it easy to park.
3.5 stars image


Very close. But the unusual height of the Subaru has specific applications and, here, makes it a winner.


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