Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

WhichCar 2020 Subaru Liberty turbo unlikely to reach Australia

2020 Subaru Legacy Liberty 2020 Subaru Liberty unveiled
Cecil Davis | 11 February, 2019, 05:39

The XTs pack a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat four that offers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

The EZ36 six-cylinder boxer and EJ25 turbo four-cylinder engine have been discontinued, leaving the Legacy with the FA24 and FB25.

Bigger brakes on 17- or 18-inch wheels, combined with the stiffer new platform and lower centre of gravity, also contribute to what Subaru is calling the most sophisticated and advanced Liberty in the model's 30-year history.

Both versions are equipped with stepless CVT CVT Lineartronic. Navigation is optional on the three lesser trims. The sprint to 60 will take a couple extra seconds with this unit but the tradeoff, Subaru says, will be slightly better city/highway fuel efficiency rating of 27/35 mpg. When asked about a likely on-sale date for Australia, the official response was "our current Liberty still has a considerable time to run and at this stage, we have no information on future timelines".

In terms of design, the new Legacy remains largely similar to its predecessor, with a few defining cues to set it apart.

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To say we love the engine in the SUV is an understatement. For starters, it has wider fenders and a higher trunk surface for a more dynamic stance. Legacy also gets an all-new lighter, stronger and more responsive suspension that should work well with the 2.4-liter turbo. For the rear, a double-wishbone layout with subframe is used together with coil springs and a new 19 mm hollow stabilizer bar. Unveiled this week at the Chicago Auto Show, the. Subaru also notes that the windscreen has been enlarged. If that happens it will issue a warning on the car's 11.6-inch touchscreen. Reconfigurable based on personal preferences by moving app icons around, this screen is standard on Premium, Limited and Sport trim levels. Another new system making its debut in the Legacy is a front view monitor that displays a 180-degree view of blind spots that will let the driver see around corners.

The Lane Assist and the Driver Fatigue Monitoring System are responsible for active safety among other useful functions.

But it's no secret that the medium/large sedan market in this country is shrinking - unlike the Outback wagon's robust "all-terrain" niche - which begs the question, is engineering a new-gen Liberty for right-hand drive markets like Australia worth the effort? DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation is optional on the Limited and standard on the XT, using a camera and facial recognition software to spot if the driver is looking distracted or exhausted. This system will be especially useful when entering traffic where the view of passing cars is partially blocked, such as by parallel-parked vehicles.

American dealers will get cars this fall.