Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Used Subaru Liberty review: 2000-2003

2002 Subaru Liberty RX wagon

The decision to go all all-wheel-drive was a momentous one for Subaru. From a company building cars that no one really cared about it went to one that everyone wanted to know.


If the hot rally-bred WRX led the charge it was the Liberty that did the hard yards in getting Subaru's name on the shopping lists of Australian buyers.

The Gen 3 was a mid-sized model aimed at middle Australia. It was a family-sized car for people tired of the regular diet of Commodores and Falcons.

It was a pleasant looking, sensible car, one that has stood the test of time and still looks attractive even today.

The Liberty came in sedan and wagon forms, with three main specification levels in the GX, RX, and Heritage.

Inside there was room enough for a normal family, mum and dad had plenty of room up front, and the kids were comfortably accommodated in the back.

The Liberty came in sedan and wagon forms, with three main specification levels in the GX, RX, and Heritage.

Two engines were offered, both flat-fours in the style Subaru had long used.

A modest 2.0-litre single-overhead camshaft engine opened the bidding with 92kW and 184Nm. It was no ball of fire, but with an average fuel consumption of less than 9.0L/100km there was a lot to like about it.

The other engine option was a single-overhead camshaft 2.5-litre unit that boasted 115kW and 223Nm, The extra torque not only boosted the Liberty's performance, but it also endowed it with an easy-driving flexibility. Fuel consumption increased, but was still only a touch over 9.0L/100 km.

The transmission choices were straightforward, a five-speed manual and a no-fuss four-speed automatic, and the drive went through all four wheels.

On the road the Liberty was well balanced with a reassuring grip on the road.


It needs to be said straight up that the Gen 3 Liberty is getting on in years, the earliest 15 years old, and the kays are climbing, with many cars well over the 200,000km mark by now.

Be choosy; don't buy any old Liberty you come across

That means they should be approached with caution, and patience needs to be employed when out shopping for a suitable car.

Be choosy; don't buy any old Liberty you come across, look for the one in the best condition, with the lowest kays on the clock, and with a believable history.

Having done 200,000-plus kays you have to understand that a car, any car, is nearer the end of the road than the starting grid, so buy in the knowledge that you are likely to be back in the market looking for another car in a couple of years.

But that can be fine for some people, like parents shopping for a starter car for their kids who are hitting the road for the first time.

For them the most important attributes are safety, low running costs, and reliability, and their kids are likely to be wanting to move on up in the motoring world in a short period of time.

Being all-wheel drive the Liberty is miles ahead of other cars liked by youngsters, cars like the Commodore and Falcon, when it comes to safety. In the hands of a novice driver rear-wheel drive Commodores and Falcons can be lethal weapons, whereas the all-wheel drive Liberty is much less likely to bite them when they least expect it.

Check for a service record to make sure your chosen car has been well maintained

Look for smoke issuing from the exhaust pipe when accelerating, it could signal wear in the engine and should be a warning.

With more than 200,000km up most Gen 3 Liberties could do with an automatic transmission service, so consider doing that for ongoing reliability, even if the transmission checks out ok when driven.

Check for a service record to make sure your chosen car has been well maintained, but the service record is a good way of confirming the odometer reading is credible.

A service record will also be able to confirm that the timing belts have been changed as required at 160,000 km.


Year Price From Price To
2003 $3,700 $11,660
2002 $3,700 $9,680
2001 $3,700 $9,680
2000 $3,500 $9,130

View all Subaru Liberty pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on 7 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

GX (awd) 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,700 – 5,940 2000 Subaru Liberty 2000 GX (awd) Pricing and Specs
Heritage (AWD) 2.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,300 – 8,140 2000 Subaru Liberty 2000 Heritage (AWD) Pricing and Specs
RX 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,200 – 6,820 2000 Subaru Liberty 2000 RX Pricing and Specs
GX (awd) 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,900 – 6,380 2000 Subaru Liberty 2000 GX (awd) Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


Other cars to consider

2002 Toyota Camry
2002 Toyota Camry

2002 Toyota Camry

Price guide from: $1,990 – $6,990
2000 Holden Commodore
2000 Holden Commodore

2000 Holden Commodore

Price guide from: $1,000 – $22,300
2000 Ford Falcon
2000 Ford Falcon

2000 Ford Falcon

Price guide from: $2,290 – $5,990
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.