Subaru Liberty enhanced for 2013

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Subaru has announced details of its 2013 model year Liberty range. Now available Down Under, the update brings price cuts to the entry-level models, improved equipment across most grades, plus a number of mechanical tweaks that deliver efficiency and power gains.

As part of the MY13 update, Subaru has also ditched its entry-level six-speed manual Liberty 2.5i sedan ($32,990), replacing it with a repositioned automatic CVT variant now priced at $32,990. The change represents an effective saving of $2000.

The entry-level 2.5i Liberty wagon also waves goodbye to the six-speed manual gearbox, now offered solely with a CVT for $34,990, also $2000 less than the MY12. The manual gearbox is now only available on the range-topping turbocharged petrol 2.5 GT variant.

Mechanical changes to the 2013 Subaru Liberty's naturally aspirated 2.5-litre models see the majority of models adopting the updated FB series engine, which outputs 4kW and 6Nm more power -- now 127kW/235Nm.

No diesel is offered with Liberty at this stage. The most fuel efficient models remain the 2.5-litre sedans, with claimed consumption of 7.9L/100km, down from 8.3L/100km. The nudge in fuel economy is also helped by the 2013 Liberty's updated CVT gearbox which, like the 2013 Forester's cog swapper, is now lighter, smaller and quieter in operation.

Minor changes to the Liberty's suspension, improved body welding and a recalibrated all-wheel-drive improve handling and stability, says Subaru. Steering response has been enhanced "through introduction of a non-contact torque sensor", it claims.

Other changes involve a quieter cabin (thanks to lower NVH levels). Exterior updates include as new look grille, fog lights and alloy wheel designs.

The Liberty's interior has been refreshed with a sportier and smaller diameter steering wheel, new dashboard colour schemes, one-touch lane change indicators and USB connectivity on all models. The electronic park brake has been repositioned to the centre console.

Four new exterior colours are available: dark grey metallic, deep sea blue pearl, Venetian red pearl and burnished bronze metallic.

Mid and top grade Liberty models get improved equipment including "electro-luminescent" gauges bisected with a 3.5-inch colour display. Subaru's EyeSight safety system (radar cruise control, auto braking, lane departure warning) has been added to Liberty 2.5i Premium, automatic Liberty GT Premium, plus the new Liberty X models as standard equipment.

The 2013 model year updates come at a time when the Liberty is sailing along smoothly, notching up 4079 sales so far in 2012, which is 12.2 per cent up on 2011's tally of 3634.

Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior, says the update positions Liberty to maintain positive sales momentum.

"The combination of fresh new look, efficiency and great specification makes Liberty a compelling package, whatever the variant. We're also extremely pleased we can offer EyeSight on more models, being available on a sub-$40,000 Subaru for the first time," said Mr Senior.

MY13 Subaru Liberty pricing:
2.5i $32,990 (-$2000)
2.5i Premium $39,490 (-$1500)
2.5X $44,490
2.5GT Premium (manual) $52,990
2.5GT Premium $56,490 (+$1500)
3.6X $55,990

2.5i $34,990 (-$2000)
2.5i Premium $41,490 (-$1500)
2.5GT Premium (manual) $54,990
2.5GTPremium $58,490  (+$1500)
Exiga 2.5i $37,990
Exiga 2.5i Premium $42,490


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For all your Subaru Liberty performance, suspension and braking needs, visit the MRT online catalogue.