My name is Anthony Andronaco and I am a second-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Sydney. I currently drive a 2007 Subaru Liberty 3.0R Spec.B in Smart Silver.
How long have you had the car for?
I’ve owned the car as a daily driver for nearly two years now, having purchased it at 150,000km and putting 50,000km on the clock since then.
Is this your first car? if not, what was your previous car?
This is the first car I have owned and worked on myself, although I’ve had experiences with plenty of cars in my years of driving. A large blown V8 commodore, which was my brother’s car, was my learner’s car. I did most of my learner’s hours in the gutful ute, with my excuse being it was the only manual in the family garage. After progressing to P-Plates and with vehicle restrictions enforced, I downgraded to a lifted Hilux which knew nothing about grip and taught me numerous lessons on the importance of counter steering and the effects of rain. With this being somewhat boring, I would drive the family's BMW 3-series when I could and treat my addiction to thrills with a turbo – the lag was too much fun to not hit at every set of lights.
What modifications have you made to the car? Any favourites?
The Liberty was purchased bone-stock as a simple looking family car, with most of my own family questioning my taste. However, I worked on my vision with hours of hard work and an empty wallet. The current exterior modifications on the car consists of a plastic front and boot lip, as well as a set of XXR 550’s on low profiles. With 3cm lowering King Performance springs, the look of the car has completely transformed. On the performance side, with the car being naturally-aspirated, the engine modifications are extremely limited. However, I have fitted a X-Force Performance Catback exhaust – it’s not a screamer, but it is nevertheless a pleasant sounding six cylinder. With the shifter having been a major issue, it has been the focus of my performance modifications. In order to remove the massive amounts of slop, I carried out a complete overhaul of the shifter linkages, as well as front and rear shift linkages with combinations of COBB and Kartboy performance replacements. Moreover, I currently have a short shifter sitting in a box, waiting to be installed on a free day.
My favourite modification would be my set of King Peformance springs, which painstakingly took me about 8 hours to install myself. My main reason for purchasing this car was so that I could have an empty canvas on which to work on. Any modifications which I could perform myself, I have, and whilst this was an enjoyable and educational experience in itself, it has also helped me save a few dollars.
How does the car drive and handle?
The car handles and drives just as you would expect a family-sedan-turned-to-a-somewhat-sports-car to. It can feel like a boat at times, but turns and corners like most Subaru’s do, planted. Put your foot to the floor and the all-wheel drive drivetrain responds immediately and pushes you back into your seat.
What were some important features about the car which affected your purchase?
One of the most important features would be the all-wheel drive system. In the hunt for my first car, my father’s one prohibition was, ‘It can’t be anything you can wrap yourself around a pole in'; I convinced him that sliding an all-wheel drive car would be near impossible. In addition, the car’s perfect combination of luxury and power was a decisive factor. The full leather interior with carpeted floor and frameless windows hooked me in, and of course the 180kW 3-Litre engine with a 6.9 seconds sprint sealed the deal. My strive for uniqueness drew me to the Liberty 3.0R as modified 6-cylinder Libertys are a rare sight. I saw it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd of 86s, Hondas and WRXs.
Have you had any problems with the car?
I’ve only really had one major problem with the clutch, as I’m currently on my third one since purchasing the car. On the second day, during my excitement in launching the car, the clutch went and left me stranded. Problems with the clutch were expected when I bought the car, but not this early into ownership. Having replaced it, the throw out bearing decided to grenade itself under some light driving no less than 6 months later. Luckily still under warranty, I went on to have a new clutch put in and a year later, it’s still holding on and I have never loved the car more.
2007 Subaru Liberty 3.0R Spec.B
Price guide: $10,000 - $13,000 with approx. 100,000km on the odometer
Body: 4-Door Sedan, 5 Seats
Drive Type: All Wheel Drive
Engine: 6-Cylinder Petrol Naturally Aspirated 3.0L Boxer EZ30
Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic (as reviewed), 6-Speed Manual
Power: 180kW @ 6600RPM
Torque: 297Nm @ 4200RPM
0-100km/h: 6.9 seconds
P Plate Legal: Yes