Latest estate carries on a proud Subaru tradition
First things first – that name. Apparently, it’s a combination of Legacy, Revolution and Touring – names which have previously graced sport tourers (estates to you and me) from the Subaru brand.
Now that’s cleared up let’s look more closely at the Levorg. It is indeed an estate, packing in a decent 522-litre boot and good passenger space under a handsome skin. Beneath the surface are a 1.6-litre 168bhp boxer engine allied to a ‘Lineartronic’ CVT gearbox and Subaru’s trademark all-wheel-drive setup.
Subaru’s experience making some of the hottest-handling cars of the last 20 years can be felt in the Levorg.
Under the slightly odd styling is a lively, agile chassis that’s a pleasure to pilot. The all-wheel-drive, torque vectoring and low centre of gravity mean it’s quick to change direction and grips brilliantly, even if the steering is a bit too light at higher speeds.
The chassis, in fact, deserves a better drivetrain than it has. There’s nothing hugely wrong with the 1.6-litre petrol or CVT gearbox but there’s a distinct feeling that a bit more power and proper gearbox would better match the fun driving feel.
Subaru Levorg 1.6 GT
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: Six-speed CVT automatic driving all four wheels
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Economy: 39.8mpg combined
CO2 emissions: 164g/km
Taken in isolation, however, the engine/gearbox combination is fine. Around town and at lower speeds it’s smooth and responsive. There’s good pick-up from standstill but beyond 40mph it feels like it runs a little out of puff as you accelerate.
The engine is quiet and refined, but even if it wasn’t it would likely be drowned out by the wind and tyre noise that intrudes into the cabin. Refinement in the Levorg is not up the standard of rivals such as the Ford Mondeo or Kia Optima.
The interior is a similar story. Overall the quality is acceptable and most of the major controls have a solid feeling but there’s a clear drop in the grade of materials lower down the cabin and the silver plastic inserts look and feel cheap.
Kit and caboodle
In terms of trim levels Subaru are keeping it simple. The Levorg comes in GT trim only and with just that 1.6 petrol and CVT pairing. The good news is that it’s a generously equipped car for your £27,495.
Leather upholstery, keyless entry and go, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, auto lights with high-beam assist and cruise control are all standard, as is the Starlink infotainment system.
The seven-inch touchscreen system looks just like something with such a retro name should. The graphics have a mid-90s sci-fi sheen to them that looks painfully dated but the system itself works fairly well. It features sat nav, USB and Bluetooth connectivity plus steering wheel and voice controls.
The Levorg is an interesting left-field choice for buyers after a good-sized, well-specced estate. It’s not perfect but what it lacks in refinement it makes up for by offering competent four-wheel drive and high spec at a better price than its rivals.
A more accomplished interior and far broader choice of engines and trim but can get expensive
Another rival offering more choice but is bland in comparison to the Levorg
A lesson in high-quality interior and build but it does come at a fairly hefty price