New Subaru Liberty won't make it to Australia

Sedan slowdown claims Subaru stalwart with confirmation that new model won't come to Australia

Subaru Liberty 1 Jpg

AS we predicted early last year, the brand new Subaru Legacy - or Liberty as it's known here - will not make it to Australia.

Confirmation that the Liberty sedan will no longer be sold in Australia came from Subaru, which hailed the car as a cornerstone of its growth strategy.

More than 153,000 Liberty sedans and wagons have been sold in Australia since its launch in 1989, though only 395 have been sold until the end of August this year.

The Toyota Camry has, by way of comparison, sold more than 6500 in the same period.

Subaru Image: Limited shown in Tungsten Metallic

Built on Subaru's new billion-dollar platform that sits underneath cars like the Forester and Impreza, the all-new version of the Legacy (above) went on sale in the US earlier this year.


First-generation Liberty launches in Australia.

10,000th Liberty sold in Australia and RS Turbo version launched. Winner of Wheels' annual quality award.

All Libertys get dual front airbags.

Liberty wins Wheels Car of the Year.

Liberty wagon wins Wheels Car of the Year.

Liberty B4 reintroduced turbocharged technology to the range.

New generation Liberty and Outback awarded the best ever five-star crashworthiness ratings in independent testing performed by ANCAP.

Introduction of six-cylinder 3.0-litre options, including the Liberty spec.B and Liberty GT tuned by STI.

Premium versions of Model Year 2007 Liberty and Outback feature the revolutionary SI-Drive system. Subaru Intelligent Drive offers the option of three different drive experiences in one.

Liberty passed the 120,000 sales mark in Australia. Fifth-generation Liberty launched.

Subaru introduces the sophisticated EyeSight driver assist system on Liberty and Outback 3.6 Premium variants.

With sedan sales sliding across the world in favour of SUVs, time finally ran out for the Australian-spec Liberty.

Sales figures of the current model, which launched in 2014, have been in solid decline, with the drop taken up by SUVs like the XV and Forester.

Even the venerable Outback - based on the Liberty - has outsold the Liberty almost six to one over the last year.

Image 167078 B Jpg

Subaru Australia's new managing director, Christian Dinsdale, said that the Liberty has been a pivotal part of the brand's Australian success.

"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," he said in a statement.

"It was our first model with global appeal and moved the brand away from its utilitarian roots to becoming a respected automotive company."

The medium sedan sector itself is off almost 30 per cent over the same time last year.

Medium car sales numbers are a sea of red ink, with Ford's Mondeo biting the bullet earlier this year, the Kia Optima down 20 per cent and even the mighty Toyota Camry slipping back some 35 per cent.

Even the seemingly untouchable Mercedes-Benz C-Class is losing its shine, with sales down nearly 60 percent since August last year.

It's not a blanket rule, though; Skoda, for example, says it's backing its next Octavia mid-sized sedan to the hilt as it tries to pick where the top of the SUV popularity curve will peak.

Equally, Hyundai hopes to revive the fortunes of its Sonata sedan with an all-new model due later in 2020.


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