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Subaru Legacy (Liberty) revealed with new 2.4 turbo

11 February 2019

An updated 2.5-liter flat-four is standard on all but the Touring trim, which comes exclusively with the turbo engine.

The 2.4-litre turbo is also available on the Ascent crossover, and effectively replaces the outgoing Liberty's 3.6-litre six-cylinder. Now built on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the seventh-generation Legacy has been completely redesigned inside and out. The Touring trim throws in navigation as standard. The sprint to 60 will take a couple extra seconds with this unit but the tradeoff, Subaru says, will be slightly better city/highway fuel efficiency rating of 27/35 mpg.

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Inside Subaru has left a bigger mark on the new Legacy - literally. 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". A CVT is the only option for both engines. The lightly-accented wheelarches are one of the few remaining hints of its rally-themed predecessors. Subaru says it should be safer, too, with the ability to absorb more than 40-percent more energy if involved in front or side crashes. Lights in the more expensive versions with led and adaptive.

A wide range of connectivity options, including WiFi for the first time on Liberty, is also noted, along with a large multilayer instrument panel, high-grade Harman Kardon audio options and, underpinning all of this, upmarket interior detailing - on high-spec versions, at least - via the heavy application of soft-touch surface material, Nappa leather upholstery, double-stitching on carefully colour-matched trim, and so on.

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These days, SUVs and CUVs are all the rage, and Japanese automaker Subaru gets a large share of the credit for shifting public interest dating back to the introduction of its original Outback model.

Unlike the Honda and Toyota mid-size auto competitors, this 11.6-inch screen (standard on only the Premium, Sport, and Limited trims) is oriented vertically and dominates the entire area above the gear shift.

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And transmissions? Well, all new Legacy derivatives feature a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, linked to the brand's signature symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Also new for the gen-7 model is the Driver Focus Distraction Mitigation System which uses both a camera and facial recognition software to tell when a motorist is getting drowsy. The new turbocharged engine is also a big upgrade. "Standard on the Touring XT, the Front View Monitor captures images within the driver's blind spots in front of the vehicle and displays a 180-degree view on the 11.6-inch display". The auto will hit dealers this fall with pricing announced closer to launch.

Subaru Legacy (Liberty) revealed with new 2.4 turbo