Subaru Liberty Dead in Oz after 31 years

After 31 years as a cornerstone of its range, Subaru Australia today announced the end of the Liberty era is approaching.

Subaru Australia has announced the Liberty will not be a part of its 2021 lineup thanks to falling interest in passenger cars.

The Subaru Liberty is dead after 31 years, Subaru announcing today that it wouldn’t be part of its 2021 lineup. Subaru has previously locked in its SUVs for 2021 but was tight-lipped on the continuation of the Liberty Down Under, leading to speculation it wouldn’t make it beyond the end of this year.

And, now, Subaru has confirmed the Liberty won’t be part of its lineup for 2021, although Subaru Australia told MotoFomo there’s still one allocation left for this year, meaning it should have stock for the rest of this year and potentially lasting into early 2021. But once that supply is exhausted the Liberty will be no more.

And you can blame the rapid rise of SUVs and dual-cab 4×4 utes with the steady decline in passenger sedan sales. Indeed, Subaru’s own lineup is a microcosm of the market, with the Liberty and Outback so closely aligned but sales skewed heavily towards the high-riding wagon. 

Over the past two years, Liberty has sold a combined total of 2441, compared to Outback’s sales of 13,844. It makes sense not to continue the Liberty and to focus on those models selling well. But it’s a shame.

First launched in Australia back in 1989, the Liberty scooped awards and won Subaru plenty of fans. And across its many generations, Liberty has amassed sales of 153,700.

Making the announcement today, Subaru Australia Managing Director, Christian Dinsdale, said: “Liberty has been a pivotal part of Subaru’s 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.

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

“Not only has Liberty established a reputation as a great car, it also pioneered our early rally motorsport success story.

“The first turbocharged Libertys paved the way for the fantastic successes that followed with both Subaru Rally Team Australia and the Subaru World Rally Team.”

Subaru Liberty – Key Moments in Time:

1989 – First generation Liberty launches in Australia.

1991 – 10,000th Liberty sold in Australia and RS Turbo version launched and raced by the late Possum Bourne in the Australian Rally Championships.

1994 – All Libertys get dual front airbags.

1995 – Liberty wins Wheels Car of the Year.

1999 – Liberty wagon wins Wheels Car of the Year.

2001 – Liberty B4 reintroduced turbocharged technology to the range.

2004 – 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 the locally-developed Liberty GT tuned by STI.

2005 – Liberty 3.0R named Australia’s Best Luxury Car under $57,000, by Australia’s combined motoring organizations.

2006 – Premium versions of Model Year 2007 Liberty and Outback feature the revolutionary SI-Drive system.

2009 – Liberty passed the 120,000 sales mark in Australia. Fifth generation Liberty launched.

2012 – Subaru introduces the sophisticated EyeSight driver assist system on Liberty and Outback 3.6 Premium variants.