Japanese marque Subaru have begun teasing their all-new Liberty saloon, just one week ahead of launch at the Chicago motor show (where it’ll debut as the Legacy). But rather than going with the usual smoky, partly-obscured, or very-dark photograph of the car (that we’d eventually brighten the balls off of to see if there’s anything we can reveal), they’ve gone with an interior shot. And even at a glance, you can see why.
Subarus have always adopted an evolutionary design language, and so we’re not expecting anything radically groundbreaking on the outside. But the cabin appears to be where Subaru’s focused its efforts, no doubt off the back of comments made by ardent fans who love the brand & its engineering capabilities, but are not so hot on the relatively austere aesthetics & materials. While those bits have been addressed, an issue that remained glaring was Subaru’s infotainment interfaces, which always felt a bit aftermarket and disjointed from the rest of the car.
Now no more it seems, if this teaser is any indication. The 2020 Subaru Liberty (in its flagship form at least) will pack what appears to be the largest touchscreen in the mass-market space, oriented upright and integrating all the major functions of the car. Opinion is out on whether the major climate controls are integrated into the screen or not (it’s hard to tell if they’re buttons or just a screen), but we appreciate the retention of the volume & seek knobs, climate temperature, and windscreen heating controls as separate, independent items.
The Liberty will sit on the new modular architecture that Subaru’s already employed in the Impreza, XV, and Ascent. What this means is that we can expect to see the new 2.5-litre flat-four engine from the Forester, as well as the 2.4-litre turbo-four from the Ascent. What we probably won’t see is the 3.6-litre flat-6 from the current-generation car though, but a Lineartronic CVT automatic & symmetrical all-wheel drive will continue to feature, as is with all Subarus.