Subaru Liberty GT 2004 Review
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This particularly blokey Subaru Liberty GT was such a car. The thrill of the traffic light take-off makes life worthwhile with Liberty's turbocharged, two-litre engine and silky gearshift.
But the zero to 50km/h sprint takes less time than you can say "hmmm" and it's back to steady coherence of road rules.
Just like one of my favourite U2 songs – Running to Stand Still.
It makes me wonder why Subaru, which makes its sought-after peppy cousin WRX, bothers with making a more understated version for grown-ups.
Subaru Australia general manager Nick Senior has called it "Subaru's interpretation of a European-style sports sedan".
Surely this Japanese car maker does not have to kowtow to Euro-styling. It already has a loyal fan club of drivers who understand the delights of a boxer engine and its off-road capabilities.
But I'm inclined to think the Liberty GT will be the choice for women, often decision-makers on the type of car a family drives, who must compromise with their men who want the go-fast WRX.
Liberty falls somewhere between the sporting man's plaything and the safety-conscious buyer's choice.
But while WRX owners hold a badge of honour with a car renowned among rally enthusiasts, Liberty GT owners lack the same grunty pedigree.
In fact, its shape and performance seem to blur with other new four-cylinder sedans on the road. I guess that's the problem with compromise.
It has all the things that make you go "VROOM" – engine hole thingy in the bonnet, high-performance tyres, fancy neon-like dash lights, black leather interior.
Under the bonnet, Subaru says the turbocharged engine can take you from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds. Impressive.
Plenty of doof-doof too, with a sound system able to blast out from 13 speakers, squawkers, tweeters, woofers and a "super woofer" on the back shelf.
But the "it" factor is elusive.
Surely Liberty GT is a status symbol for the more family-oriented petrolhead – too young to drive a station wagon; too old not to be laughed at in the sporty WRX.
Costing $52,990, it would perhaps make more sense to pay an extra $2000 for the Liberty GT wagon which has more off-road, camper-cred.
A word of warning – an Australian summer and the skin-baking, sauna-like qualities of a black leather interior are a bad combination ... no matter how good the airconditioning is.
Range and Specs
|2.5i||2.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$8,990 – 9,990||2009 Subaru Liberty 2009 2.5i Pricing and Specs|
|2.5i GT Premium||2.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$9,990 – 18,999||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||$8,499 – 10,999||2009 Subaru Liberty 2009 2.5i Premium Pricing and Specs|