Subaru reveals new Liberty but Australia in doubt

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 11, 2019

Thanks to a 13 per cent increase in ultra-high tensile-strength steel, a new full inner frame construction method, and a new-to-Subaru foam-filled crossmember, the seventh-generation Liberty is actually said to be up to 70 to 100 per cent stiffer, depending on which metric you look at. But unlike those cars, the 2020 Legacy won't be available with a manual transmission. This is the largest screen ever offered in a Subaru.

Last year, medium passenger cars under $60,000 fell 30 per cent to finish below 29,000 units for only a 2.5 per cent grip on the market, with Liberty's share of the segment at 5.5 per cent. When asked about a likely on-sale date for Australia, the official response was "our current Liberty still has a considerable time to run and at this stage, we have no information on future timelines".

Customers haven't been too excited about the Subaru Legacy four-door sedan the past few years, but that could change with the new 2020 model coming this fall.

Inside Subaru has left a bigger mark on the new Legacy - literally.

Dynamic performance is said to have improved with a fully revised suspension that is "lighter, stronger and more responsive" and comprises MacPherson struts up front and a double-wishbone layout at the rear. Subaru has put the fun and excitement back into the all-wheel-drive Legacy. It uses a driver-facing camera and facial-recognition software to detect signs of distraction or fatigue.

On the inside, a giant new screen dominates the center stack - a tablet-style 11.6-inch HD screen that controls pretty much everything in the vehicle, including the HVAC system. The Touring is the new range-topping Legacy model, and it comes standard with Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

Another first for the 2020 Legacy is the Front View Monitor, standard on the Touring XT. The big news for the all-new seventh-generation 2020 Subaru Legacy sedan is it gets a new turbo model.

Higher specification models are fitted with a new 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer tuned to deliver 194kW of power at 5600rpm, and 376Nm of torque between 2000 and 4800rpm. The latter sees the sedan hit 60 miles per hour in a little over 6.0 seconds.

All versions of the 2020 Legacy feature all-wheel-drive.

In more detail, we're looking at a 2.4-liter boxer mill making 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of twist routed through a Lineartronic CVT. Like the turbo package, it is paired with a CVT gearbox. Equipped with this engine, Subaru claims the Legacy will do 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.4 seconds, and achieve Environmental Protection Agency-rated fuel economy of 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.

Even though the 2020 Legacy doesn't look all that different to its predecessor, it is actually a brand new auto.

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