While SUV seem all the rage, my recent test drives opened my eyes.
SUVs aren’t always the most practical (think the tiny Mazda CX-3), nor drive better than sedans or hatches (think the Subaru Forrester), nor the cheapest (think Peugeot 3008): You don’t get plenty of car for your cash if you are merely chasing an SUV to keep up with your neighbours or colleagues.
Test driving the achingly stylish Peugeot 3008 makes me realise with SUVs you can be paying for a 2 wheel drive at (premium) 4 wheel drive prices (the Peugeot looks like a 4 wheel drive, but isn’t). Test driving the similarly priced Subaru Forester SUV ($46,990 is the price quoted to me) made me realise even if an SUV is 4 wheel drive it doesn’t actually drive in a way to give me a sense of security. After all I want something that drove better and felt more reassuring than my Yaris. The Subaru Forester just doesn’t.
So I decided to go back to sedans.
But given I wanted something that drove better and felt more reassuring than my Yaris, I figured a 4-wheel-drive sedan could be the answer. And when it comes to 4-wheel-drive sedans, the options are painfully lacking and dismal in Australia: I cannot think of anything else other than Subarus that do 4-wheel-drive sedans. So I guess that is how I ended up back in the Subaru car dealership wearing my Karen Millen Blue Floral Embroidered Midi Pencil Dress this afternoon.
I don’t want to be a rally driver or a hoon, so I decided to avoid the Subaru Impreza and went for the more practical Liberty instead.
I am surprised to hear that apparently the Subaru Liberty has been discontinued (like permanently) for the Australian market, so all that is left is pretty much demonstrator/ used. But that means potential discounts so I figured if a low kilometer demonstrator suits me I could be saving money.
My thoughts of the Subaru Liberty after my test drive:
- Centre console infotainment display is colourful and actually has information to display (unlike the larger tablet-like screen on Toyotas which, while large, has little in the way of information to display).
- Instrument display is similarly colourful.
- Gorgeously crafted steering wheel (which comes with paddle-shifters) – solid feeling and packed full of convenience buttons/ function.
- Handling and drive.
- Just right size: spacious on the inside, but compact enough on the outside to make it easy enough to park for a woman like me.
- Reputation for safety.
- Old school twin exhaust on each side of the rear of the car.
- Attention to detail, which includes stainless steel pedals and ‘Subaru’ embossed stainless steel plates on inside of door.
- Silver plastics around the air-conditioning vents and centre console looks cheap.
- Air conditioning vents design lags behind competitors: I am an air-conditioning vent girl and these ones on the Subaru look cheap.
- While I like the colourful instrument display, it is too busy and cluttered: it’s really hard to read the important and basic information, like my speed, among all the other less important information displayed there.
- Might be something as simple as an adjustment, but the test car’s clock and temperature gauge is wayyyy off: it says its 5.47am – well, it’s not. Which Subaru dealership is open before 6 am for customer test drives? None. The temperature says its 13 degrees – it’s not. It’s closer to 23 degrees.
Key standout is the just right size (like the Peugeot 3008 the Subaru Liberty has features a just right size: spacious on the inside, but compact enough on the outside to make it easy enough to park for a woman like me) and handling/ drive, which is so different from the Subaru Forester (both cars are 4 wheel drive, and while the Forester handles and drives to nervously especially around bends, corners, potholes, but just generally woolly the Liberty is the complete opposite: planted, brisk, confident.)
A decent package with a drive that induces confidence like a 4 wheel drive ought to. I actually quite like it.
Occasion: Office & new car test drive – Subaru Liberty
my Karen Millen Blue Floral Embroidered Midi Pencil Dress
Salvatore Ferragamo slingback high heeled pumps
Nude thigh high hosiery from target