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Subaru’s family favourite dumped as SUVs ride high

Subaru Australia will cut the Liberty from its range in response to slow sales for family sedans.The Liberty will join several sedans consigned to history, such as the once-popular Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, Mitsubishi Magna, Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima.The decision comes as the current-generation Liberty is phased out for a new model known as…

Subaru Australia will cut the Liberty from its range in response to slow sales for family sedans.

The Liberty will join several sedans consigned to history, such as the once-popular Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, Mitsubishi Magna, Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima.

The decision comes as the current-generation Liberty is phased out for a new model known as the Legacy overseas. Its high-riding, wagon-shaped Outback cousin will continue in Australian showrooms.

Christian Dinsdale, Subaru Australia managing director, paid tribute to the Liberty’s “pivotal” role within the company.

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

“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.”

Rally stars such as the late Possum Bourne and Colin McRae established their careers in the Liberty before progressing to the smaller WRX.

Subaru says the current shape WRX is similar in size to previous-generation Liberty models, and that it will continue in the range.

The manufacturer is expected to unveil a new WRX in the next year or so, giving it a fresh rival to turbocharged performance cars such as the Volkswagen Golf R.

Sedan fans concerned by the Liberty’s disappearance have a dwindling number of cars to choose from. Toyota’s Camry, the Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Octavia still cater to sedan fans, while Honda’s Accord is only offered in small numbers as a niche luxury model priced from $47,990 plus on-road costs.

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