New looks arrive in the form of revised front and rear styling, the interior gets an upgrade including higher quality materials, the ride is improved and extra technology includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
An active LED headlight system is available and the Eyesight cameras are now used to control the High-Beam Assist functions.
There are no changes to the driveline, as the boxer four and six-cylinder engines carry over along with the CVT automatic transmission. However a re-tune of the CVT’s ECU is claimed to deliver better response. The four-cylinder engine picks-up a shorter-pitch timing chain and revised timing, both aimed at reducing noise.
Most obvious in the styling changes up-front is the wider hexagonal grille now with a wing element and the new bumper with wider, lower air intakes. The C-shaped headlights (now with ‘Konoji LED DRLs) and indicators team with new horizontal lines extending from the grille to provide a look which Subaru says mimics the horizontal movement of the pistons in the Boxer engines.
Rear styling changes provide the impression of a wider stance though dimensions are unchanged.
There are some new paint colours and two new alloy wheel designs round out the North American-market changes.
Exterior mirrors also gain a new shape – part of efforts to reduce noise transmitted to the interior. There are also thicker rear wheel arches and sound-insulating glass for the front side windows.
Inside is a redesigned centre console to accommodate 6.5-inch and 8.0-inch display screens, revised climate control switches and, on upscale models, high-gloss black and silver trim highlights.
Infotainment comes from Subaru’s latest Starlink multimedia system with Bluetooth wireless capability, iPod control, smartphone integration and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Two USB ports now grace the rear of the centre console for backseat passengers.
On the safety front, as well as the availability of active LED headlights which move in accordance with steering wheel inputs, the updated Subaru Liberty adds Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) which detects objects behind.
While Australian specifications have not been announced, the updated Subaru Liberty is set to arrive in 2018 with more details about the local version's changes to be announced closer to launch.
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