Subaru confirms Liberty axed in Australia
Subaru will not make the new generation Liberty available to Australia.
The iconic nameplate which has a local fan following throughout its 31 years on sale in Australia has been discontinued. Not that we can really blame Subaru Australia for this one, because it is new car buyers with SUV choices that are doing the decision making.
Unfortunately, the departure of the Liberty removes a model that was practical and fun for both families and enthusiasts, with models tuned by STI bringing some respectable credentials to the road. It was also a Liberty RS Turbo that was piloted by rally car driving legend Possum Bourne in the Australian Rally Championship of the 1990s.
The ’90s also brought Subaru Liberty accolades, such as Wheels Car of the Year.
Finally answering a question which it has not been able to answer, Subaru Australia can now publically mourn the loss of an iconic nameplate.
“Liberty has been a pivotal part of Subaru’s success,” says Subaru Australia Managing Director, Christian Dinsdale.
“While customer preferences have moved on to other vehicles in our range, Liberty has played a hugely influential role in the brand’s growth and reputation for engineering, safety, durability and retained value.
“It was our first model with global appeal and moved the brand away from its utilitarian roots to becoming a respected automotive company.
“Not only has Liberty established a reputation as a great car, it also pioneered our early rally motorsport success story.
“The first turbocharged Libertys paved the way for the fantastic successes that followed with both Subaru Rally Team Australia and the Subaru World Rally Team.”
Comparing the Liberty to the high-riding Outback for sales in Australia over the last two years, the Liberty sold just 2441 units to the Outback’s 13,844.
Not all is lost to the SUV overlords, however, with Dinsdale reminding buyers that the Impreza is still available in sedan form, particularly the hot sean WRX for enthusiasts. Wagon goers might also look at the Levorg, which will be even more powerful in the next generation.
“For those customers still seeking a Subaru sedan, we remind them that current generation Impreza closely mimics the physical size of third generation Liberty sedan and, of course, offers the same symmetrical All-Wheel Drive attributes,” he says.
“Equally, WRX is a performance sedan option that is probably the closest relative to the various turbocharged Liberty variants, such as the RS, GT and tuned by STI, which captured the hearts of so many enthusiastic drivers in their heyday.”