EyeSight now standard across the range.
Subaru has updated its Liberty large saloon for the 2018 model year, packing more features into a sharper-styled proposition. Despite the increase in kit, the 2018 Liberty will maintain its entry price point of $30,240 for the 2.5i, with only the top-of-the-line 3.6R seeing a minor increase in purchase price.
Exterior revisions are limited to a new set of headlights with a revised LED daytime running light signature (with full-LED units with turning capabilities standard on the 2.5i-Premium and 3.6R), while all cars get a new grille design and more angular bumpers. There are also new alloy wheel designs across the range, as well as new wing-mirrors. So exciting.
Inside, you’ll find a new dashboard design, lifted wholesale from the recently-refreshed Outback SUV. Mid- and top-spec Liberty models gain a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, though Android and Apple smartphone mirroring software is present across the range. Also standard is an update in trim, with new black inserts and a more fervent use of stitching around the place.
There are two USB ports in the back to keep devices charged up too, and that’s standard for the Liberty. 2.5i-Premium models gain electric front seats with heating, keyless entry & go, a sunroof, folding mirrors, a 360º surround-view camera system, and leather trim as standard. And along with the LED headlights we mentioned earlier, there’s also high-beam assist and swivelling projector lenses that help light the road when you’re going round corners.
Step up to the 3.6R and you’re fettled with a 12-speaker audio system (better sure, but the standard setup isn’t bad), and some chrome between the wheels outside. So plush.
Standard safety kit has been improved for the Liberty range this year, and it’s nothing to be scoffed at. The brand’s well-received EyeSight advanced driver assistance suite has been improved for what Subaru says is its third iteration, by incorporating a smarter set of cameras and moving them closer to the windscreen. As such, EyeSight 3 now has better lane-keeping aid, is smarter at detecting pedestrians (and avoiding them), and has an improved pre-collision braking system as well as a smoother active cruise control system.
Tweaked power steering, new shock absorbers, and a more linear brake pedal should improve drivability for the Liberty, along with things like a better-tuned CVT automatic gearbox. The engines are unchanged though, so the 2.5-litre four-pot still makes 129kW/235Nm, and the 3.6-litre flat-six still makes 191kW and 350Nm. Both are mated to a Lineartronic CVT gearbox, and send power to all-four wheels though a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.
The 2018 Subaru Liberty range kicks off with the 2.5i ($30,240), before rising to the 2.5i-Premium ($36,640), and capping off with the 3.6R ($43,410, up $400). All prices quoted are accurate at the time of writing and exclude various on-road and delivery costs.