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The Subaru Liberty – a stalwart sedan and wagon in the brand’s international range – will not be renewed in Australia after 31 years on sale.
The Liberty, which now exists only in sedan form in left-hand-drive markets, will not be making it to Australia to join its Outback sibling for the 2021 model year.
The announcement comes some six months after Subaru told CarsGuide at the launch of the Forester and XV hybrids that it "had a tough decision to make" on the future of the Liberty in the coming months.
At the time, the Japanese brand confirmed the next-generation Subaru Outback for Australia. It raised questions of the Liberty’s future, as that car shares much of its underpinnings and technology with the long-running sedan.
The next-generation Outback and Liberty have both been on sale since 2019 in the US market (where the Liberty is known as the Legacy). Both vehicles are built in Subaru’s North American Lafayette plant, where the Tribeca large SUV was once sourced for Australia.
Subaru’s current Australian offerings are built in right-hand drive from the brand’s home market of Japan. CarsGuide can also confrim the next-generation Outback will also be sourced from a Japanese facility.
Unlike the current Australian-market Liberty and Outback pair, the new-generation vehicles have migrated to Subaru’s Global Platform like the current XV, Impreza, and Forester ranges. The next-generation Levorg wagon will also be built on this platform, and was recently fully unveiled in Japan.
The unsurprising news of the Liberty’s demise in our market comes as the mid-size sedan segment contracts to a handful of vehicles, mainly dominated by the hybrid Toyota Camry, and was foreshadowed by the discontinuation of the Liberty in Japan earlier this year.
Since its introduction in 1989, more than 153,700 Libertys have been sold in Australia, but sales in the last two years have dwindled to just 2441 (compared to tens of thousands for the current-generation Toyota Camry).
Subaru Australia boss Christian Drinsdale said: “For those customers still seeking a Subaru sedan, we remind them that the current-generation Impreza closely mimics the physical size of the third-generation Liberty.”