Subaru has just revealed the new Liberty at the Chicago auto show.
Unveiled as the Legacy, the seventh-gen car rides on Subaru’s new global platform and provides up to a 100 per cent increase in body stiffness, thanks partly to a 13 per cent increase in the amount of ultra-high tensile-strength steel.
Dimensionally, the new Liberty is 4840mm long, 1840mm wide and 1500mm tall, with a 2750mm wheelbase. These larger dimensions translate to a 428 litre boot, which itself has a 36mm longer floor.
Visually, the new sedan’s design isn’t a big departure from its predecessor. Overall, it’s slightly more sculpted, with smarter bumpers and new LED headlights and taillights.
Inside, bigger changes have occurred. Dominating the dashboard is an 11.6-inch portrait infotainment screen, which controls multimedia, navigation, climate control and the majority of the vehicle’s functions. Other available interior features include Nappa leather, a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, Wi-Fi hotspot and heated and ventilated front seats.
Technology has taken a big step up too, as most of Subaru’s safety suite is standard in the US, including autonomous emergency braking, the company’s EyeSight camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and blind spot monitoring.
Two engine choices will be on offer in the States. The base powertrain is a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine, which produces 136kW of power and 239Nm of torque. It can complete the 0-60mph (0-97km/h) sprint in a leisurely 8.4 seconds, thanks to standard all-wheel-drive and a continously-variable automatic transmission.
Replacing the outgoing 3.6-litre six as the top-spec engine is a new 2.4-litre turbocharged boxer four, that’s borrowed from the Ascent SUV. It produces 194kW of power and 376Nm of torque (from 2000rpm), and can do 0-60 in a spritely 6.1 seconds. It’s also paired to a CVT auto and all-wheel-drive.
The all-new Subaru Legacy/Liberty lands in US showrooms in summer. However, it’s unclear at this stage whether it’ll ever make it to Australia, as Subaru claims the current Liberty still has “considerable time to run”.