Subaru’s Model Year 2018 All-Wheel Drive Liberty sedan range launches this month with style and substance changes that make a formidable features list in the medium car market.
Unchanged entry-level pricing of $30,240 Manufacturer’s List Price (MLP)* underlines Liberty’s value proposition.
The long list of changes include:
- Cosmetics: Grille, bumpers, headlights and wing mirrors
- Convenience and style: enlarged central display
- New generation infotainment: Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ connectivity
- Safety: Third generation EyeSight® Driver Assist system, with the addition of Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
Premium variants add a suite of Vision Assist features including:
- Steering Responsive Headlights
- Adaptive Driving Beam
- Side View Monitor
- Front View Monitor
There are also engine, suspension and transmission refinements for greater vehicle response, efficiency and driving pleasure.
Colin Christie, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “Liberty has long been a cornerstone of Subaru’s range and reputation in Australia and these latest refinements are a great reminder of why it’s so well established.
“The balance of specification, safety and style make the revised Liberty a compelling package – even more so when you factor in the sure-footed All-Wheel Drive fun driving factor.
“It also highlights Subaru’s long-held commitment to safety, with third-generation EyeSight adding even more capability to a driver assist system that is recognised by insurers and safety experts alike for its capability in helping avoid or reduce the impact of accidents.”
As with the entire Subaru range, every Liberty variant has a five-star rating for occupant safety from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The refreshed front end includes:
- Revised grille design
- Revised bumper designs
- New wing mirror design with improved aerodynamics and noise reduction
- Stems shortened by 20 mm
- New LED indicator offers greater visibility to other vehicles
Stylish new 18-inch alloy wheel designs feature across all variants.
- Crimson Red Pearl
New design LED high and low beam headlights in Liberty 2.5i Premium and 3.6R are integrated with Steering Responsive Headlight (SRH) and the Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) functions.
The bi-functional LED lights allow switching between high and low beam with a single bulb.
In all Libertys, the LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are integrated into the headlights, matching the C-shaped design, making the vehicle instantly recognizable on-road as a Subaru.
The larger centre dashboard panel has a classy flat face, with high gloss black surrounds and silver frame, producing the appearance of a large tablet device.
The larger 8-inch head unit (in 2.5i Premium and 3.6R variants) includes a bigger screen, improved operability and further enhanced infotainment – contributing to a more advanced and engaging cabin interior.
Extra instrument panel stitching, plus high gloss black panels in strategic, high visibility locations, also enhance the look.
The newly designed steering wheel has a solid, sporty look.
For added convenience, two additional USB ports are located in the back of the centre console, easily accessible by rear seat passengers.
The third generation head unit at the heart of the infotainment system enables enhanced smartphone connectivity and better voice recognition, for a rich array of information, similar to the home or office, and accessible anywhere.
It is also easy to view and use, for both driver and passengers.
Smartphone connectivity, based on Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ services, is used to boost mobile connection functionality.
Equipped with a large 8-inch (2.5i Premium and 3.6R) and 6.5-inch (2.5i) display, the unit is located high up to minimize the distance the driver has to move their line of sight. All entertainment information is presented here. This layout provides optimum control and visibility from all seats.
The system comes with a range of convenient easy-to-use functions and enables coordinated control and connectivity between the three main screens.
The large display screen features a Graphical User Interface (GUI) with smartphone-like usability and buttons, creating a sophisticated look.
During the system design phase, the focus was on “intuitiveness” and ease-of-use. This led to it leveraging many similarities to a smartphone, resulting in a minimal learning curve for drivers.
FACTORY FITTED SATELLITE NAVIGATION
In Liberty 2.5i Premium and 3.6R, the factory-fitted system is powered by TomTom®, a global leader in navigation. It features a clean, sophisticated design, including a one-box search, similar to navigation devices on a smartphone. This improves accuracy and ease-of-use, while providing a familiar experience for users.
Similar to popular navigation devices, the system shows the ETA to home and work on the main page, without needing to input the address. This allows the user to quickly start navigating to their home or work addresses. It shows the ETA with only a couple clicks.
APPLE CARPLAY™ AND GOOGLE ANDROID AUTO™
Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ feature today’s most popular apps in the infotainment system.
Unleashing the capabilities of voice recognition, CarPlay and Android Auto allow the user to perform popular tasks while keeping their hands on the wheel.
Powered by Siri and Google Now, drivers can safely use their phone while driving. Just by speaking their commands to Siri and Google Now, users can listen to and send text messages, all while keeping their eyes on the road. Using this technology keeps people connected in a safe manner, while reducing distractions.
The system enables users to access popular music apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and more.
(Only Apps that have been certified for CarPlay and Android Auto can be used).
Apps can be dragged to different pages and the system organized based on the user’s preferences.
The centre console clock display features larger numerals, making it easier to see.
Also, a clock can now be added to the Multi-Information Display in the instrument cluster.
Additions to the already impressive suite of safety features are the Front View Monitor, Side View Monitor and Adaptive Driving Beam* (in 2.5i Premium and 3.6R).
*Updated from High Beam Assist
VISION ASSIST FEATURES
STEERING RESPONSIVE HEADLIGHTS (SRH)
SRH are added to variants equipped with LED head lights.
The head light beams move to match the steering input when cornering or at intersections, lighting up the direction that the vehicle is travelling, improving visibility at night.
FRONT VIEW MONITOR
The FVM helps prevent collisions at intersections, or when parking close to walls or other objects, at speeds under 20 km/h.
Images from a camera mounted at the front of the vehicle can be shown on the infotainment screen, to check for approaching vehicles, or pedestrians, at intersections with poor visibility; or other scenarios.
It helps the driver check for blind spots in front of the car, which can help assist with parking.
SIDE VIEW MONITOR (SVM)
The SVM is built into the passenger wing mirror, so hard-to-see parts of the vehicle, such as the wheels, can be checked, at speeds under 20 km/h.
ADAPTIVE DRIVING BEAM
EyeSight monitors the area in front of the car and automatically adjusts brightness and high beam range, helping maintain the driver’s line of vision and making obstacles easier to spot, while also preventing dazzling.
EYESIGHT – THIRD GENERATION
Every Liberty features the latest third generation EyeSight driver assist system.
Stereo camera images are in colour and the recognition is optimised, enabling “vision” of multiple items simultaneously.
It includes Lane Keep Assist (LKA), which can help prevent accidents, by assisting with steering control, if a driver unwittingly starts drifting into another lane.
Other EyeSight highlights include:
- Enhanced pedestrian avoidance
- Pre-Collision Braking Assist
- Advanced performance of Adaptive Cruise Control (Brake light recognition etc.)
Third generation EyeSight uses a CMOS camera, with higher resolution than the conventional CCD, enabling recognition of even low-contrast objects.
Stereo camera performance and the 3D image processing engine are improved for faster and more accurate object recognition. Longer distances and wider angles are covered for easier distance recognition on either side.
Control accuracy and stability are improved at all speeds, together with pedestrian pre-collision detection performance.
The CMOS camera and enhanced control logic provide greater operational stability during poor weather conditions too.
The physical structure is also revised, with the camera closer to the windscreen glass, with less overhang.
The increased recognition area of the camera, combined with colour recognition, means a larger number of potential obstacles can be recognised simultaneously.
Operation range of Pre-collision Braking is expanded, allowing earlier object recognition. Impact avoidance performance is improved through better control.
The speed difference criteria for collision with a vehicle in front is expanded from a maximum of 30 km/h to a maximum of 50 km/h, for enhanced collision prevention.
Brake light and object recognition are improved, even at relatively high speeds, and when the vehicle in front decelerates hard. This allows faster activation of primary brake control and increases the collision avoidance area.
ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL
EyeSight’s expanded recognition area improves tracking performance, with vehicles recognized at longer distances and wider angles, particularly on multi-lane roads and when vehicles cut in during traffic jams.
Clear visual and audible warnings alert the driver to potential hazards detected by EyeSight.
EMERGENCY STOP SIGNAL (ESS)
ESS activates the hazard lights when making an emergency stop, warning vehicles behind of sudden braking.
Shock absorber settings are changed to reduce the amount of roll and “push up” from the road, achieving higher quality driving and ride comfort. Reduced roll produces smoother handling and immediate steering response.
ELECTRIC POWER STEERING (EPS)
The EPS is tuned to respond in a more linear fashion to driver input, particularly noticeable when changing lanes at higher speeds.
Braking characteristics are refined to achieve a feeling of direct control. The linear response and higher rigidity pedal feel create even greater driver reassurance.
CHANGES TO LINEARTRONIC CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT) IN ALL 2.5 LITRE VARIANTS
CVT response is enhanced when the accelerator is pressed, for a satisfying, sharper feel, especially in situations such as merging onto a freeway.
Engine control adjustment to ignition timing also reduces noise.
The CVT chain is also reduced to a short pitch, for less cabin noise, expanded ratio coverage, improve fuel efficiency and driving performance. Ratio coverage is expanded from 6.28 to 7.03.
The gear select lever in all variants is tuned for smoother, natural shifting from Park to Drive or Reverse.
Seven-speed manual mode – 2.5 litre variants
A seven-speed manual mode is adopted to suit the greater ratio coverage, increasing the number of gears that drivers can select from the previous six.
The torque reduction control in manual mode is changed to improve upshift response and improved mechanisms in the shifter assembly offer a more refined feel when operating – such as when shifting from Neutral to Drive, or Neutral to Reverse.
Reverse brake drive plate – 2.5 litre variants
The shape of the facing material’s groove in the reverse brake drive plate is changed to reduce friction while driving, contributing to improved practical fuel efficiency.
Transmission case – 2.5 litre variants
The shape of the transmission case is optimized to achieve a 470 g (approximately 5 per cent) weight reduction.
Rear differential – 2.5 litre variants
Rear differential oil is changed from 75W90 to 75W80, reducing the driving resistance between approximately 28 to 36 per cent. In particular, reduction of resistance in the normal speed range contributes to improved practical fuel efficiency.
ENGINE – 2.5 LITRE
In 2.5-litre variants, combined control of the engine and transmission are changed to ensure a satisfying acceleration feel. By introducing an additional kick down control, the engine speed changes enable drivers to experience improved acceleration feel.
Weight of the engine’s main moving components, such as crank pulley, crankshaft and connecting rods, is reduced and the control of engine ignition timing reviewed to improve ride comfort. These changes reduce engine vibration, particularly during acceleration, improving dynamic feel.
Weight and friction are reduced following a review of engine and transmission parts.
Larger gear ratio during high-speed cruising improves fuel efficiency.
Overall engine and transmission changes improve fuel efficiency by approximately 3.0 per cent.
Crank angle sensor
The crank angle sensor is changed from Magnetic Pick-Up (MPU) to Magnetic Resistant Element (MRE). The tooth profile of the crank shaft sensor plate is also changed to increase crank sensor detection accuracy. This increases the operation speed of the Engine Control Unit (ECU), improving accuracy for On Board Diagnosis (OBD).
A total weight reduction of 108 grams (approx. 5.6 per cent) is achieved in the four connecting rods, which are the main moving components of the engine. This is done by thinning the stem profile.
Molybdenum shot processing was applied to the inner side of the main metal to improve fuel efficiency by reducing friction.
Changes to the shape of the crank web reduce vibration and weight. This also reduces cabin noise during initial acceleration, for a more refined driving feel.
Mirror surface processing for all intake and exhaust valves reduces friction, improving fuel efficiency.
Changes to the shape of the crank pulley reduce vibration and weight, reducing start-up noise.
New high-efficiency alternators increase generating efficiency in both 2.5-litre and 3.6-litre variants.
LIBERTY MY18 MANUFACTURER’S LIST PRICING*
Liberty 2.5i CVT $30,240
Liberty 2.5i Premium CVT $36,640
Liberty 3.6R CVT $43,140
*Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Limited’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorized Subaru dealer.
LIBERTY MY18 MODEL SPECIFICATIONS AT A GLANCE:
- ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
- Auto door lock
- Brake Assist
- Child seat anchor points – ISOFIX
- Curtain airbags – full length
- Driver’s knee airbag
- Dual front airbags
- Dual front side airbags
- EyeSight driver assist system – with addition of Lane Keep Assist
- Fog lights – front
- Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
- Hill holder
- Rear door child lock
- Reversing camera
- Seatbelt indicator lights – all seats
- Side intrusion bars
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
- Vehicle Dynamics Control electronic stability program
- Bluetooth/MP3/WMA/AUX/CD/voice command compatible six-speaker audio touchscreen (6.5-inch) system – Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto connectivity
- Boot area light
- Climate control air conditioning – dual zone, with rear vents
- Cup holders
- Electric parking brake
- Height and reach adjustable steering column
- Height adjustable driver’s seat
- Immobiliser security system
- Leather trim gear shift
- Map lights (2)
- Leather steering wheel with audio, Multi-Function Display and cruise control buttons
- Multi-information display
- Paddle shift gear change
- Power steering, mirrors and windows
- Rain sensing auto windscreen wipers
- Rear air vents
- Remote central locking
- Remote fuel lid release
- Seatback storage pockets
- Silver interior trim highlights
- Two remote central locking keys
- USB charge ports – rear seats (x2)
- Vanity mirrors
- 60/40 split/fold rear seat
- 18-inch alloy wheels – full-sized alloy spare
- Colour-coded mirrors and door handles
- Headlights auto off – dusk sensing
- Headlight integrated LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
- Light sensing headlights – auto on/off
- Privacy glass (rear)
- Rain sensing wipers
- Auto Stop-Start
- Auto boot unlock
- Cruise control – adaptive option with EyeSight
- DataDot security technology
- Electronic throttle control
- EURO 6 compliant
- Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission
- SI-Drive (two-mode)
- Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
- 2.5 litre DOHC horizontally opposed boxer engine – 129 Kilowatts of power at 5800 rpm and 235 Newtonmetres of torque at 4000 rpm.
LIBERTY 2.5i PREMIUM ADDS:
- Electric adjustable driver and front passenger seat – driver’s lumbar support
- Electric sunroof
- Enhanced infotainment system
- Folding mirrors – powered and heated
- Front wiper de-icer
- Heated front seats
- Keyless entry
- Leather trim
- LED low beam headlights with washers
- Piano black trim highlights
- Push button start
- Satellite navigation (8-inch screen) – factory-fitted
- Smart key
- Vision Assist features:
- Front View Monitor (FVM)
- Side View Monitor (SVM)
- Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
- Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH)
LIBERTY 3.6R ADDS (TO 2.5i PREMIUM SPEC*):
- Chrome side sill garnish
- Engine cover
- harman/kardon 12-speaker sound system, including sub-woofer
- Six-cylinder 3.6-litre engine produces 191 kW of power at 6000 rpm and 350 Nm at 4400 rpm – EURO6
- Three-mode SI-Drive
*Does not include Auto Stop Start