Used Subaru Exiga review: 2009-2011
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The choices available to car buyers today can be bewildering. Where once you chose between a sedan and a wagon todays car buyers have a vast range of models to choose from, models that are specifically targeted at particular parts of the market.
Families can now choose from sedans, wagons, SUVs and peoplemovers, with many blurring the boundaries between vehicle types.
Subaru's Exiga was a case in point. It looked for all the world like a compact peoplemover, but Subaru wouldn't have it, for them it was a family wagon.
The Exiga had a sort of utilitarian look, like most peoplemovers. It comes from its tall stance and boxy shape. It was conceived to fit into the Liberty range alongside the regular Liberty wagon and the Outback, offering larger families the benefit of a roomier cabin with the feel and finish of a regular Subaru.
Underneath the Exiga was a mix of Liberty and Forester/Impreza. Inside there was plenty of accommodation for six, with comfortable front seats, equally comfortable second row seating, and adequate seating for a couple of adults in the third row if you weren't going too far. The third row is really there for kids, and there's ample room for them.
With all seats up and in position there isn't a lot of room for luggage behind the third row, but when the 50:50 split third row is folded there's heaps, and with the 6:40 split second seat folded there's even more space.
A well-proven 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine powered the Exiga with more than sufficient punch for the task at hand. There was just one transmission available, which was a CVT auto, which was perfectly suited to the job of shifting a family. The CVT is not renowned for its sportiness, but the Exiga was a pleasant, steady driver. When it needed to be stirred along you could resort to the manual shift paddles and make like it's a manual.
Like all Subarus the Exiga had the safety of all-wheel drive, which added to its appeal. It was well equipped with dual-zone air, DVD entertainment, cruise, remote central locking and power windows and mirrors. With a five-star tick from ANCAP you could expect it to come with all the safety bells and whistles, and it did, with a raft of airbags, full ABS braking, and stability control the main features.
Subarus in general give little trouble, and the Exiga is no different to its cousins. Servicing is all-important, always has been, but it's even more crucial in the modern car with its fine tolerances. Missed or delayed oil changes can be terminal, so it's vital that the servicing is maintained as per the manufacturer's recommendations.
With the Exiga using a CVT transmission it's important to conduct a thorough road test looking for any glitches in its operation. While there are no specific reports of issues with the Subaru transmission, there are plenty of reports of issues in other makes and models.
When testing a car equipped with CVT drive it in as many different situations as possible, highway speed, urban driving speed, walking speed, manoeuvring, parking and reversing. Try to take off on an incline, going forward and backwards. Observe for shuddering, particularly on take-off, hesitations, surging, or anything else that doesn't seem quite right.
Make the usual checks for a service record to ensure the servicing has been done as required, and ask about oil usage as Subarus can use a little oil.
Not as funky as an SUV, but more practical for a larger family.
Subaru Exiga - 2009-2011
Price new: $37,490 to $41,990
Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, 123 kW/229 Nm
Economy: 8.6 L/100 km
Body: 4-door wagon
Variants: base, Premium
Safety: 5-star ANCAP
|Year||Price From||Price To|
Range and Specs
|2.5i||2.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$5,500 – 8,470||2009 Subaru Liberty 2009 2.5i Pricing and Specs|
|2.5i GT Premium||2.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$8,800 – 13,200||2009 Subaru Liberty 2009 2.5i GT Premium Pricing and Specs|
|2.5i Heritage||2.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN||$6,500 – 10,010||2009 Subaru Liberty 2009 2.5i Heritage Pricing and Specs|
|2.5i Premium||2.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$7,000 – 10,890||2009 Subaru Liberty 2009 2.5i Premium Pricing and Specs|