Subaru's have personality. They offer a unique driving experience, and Subaru lovers as well as many car connaisseurs swear by it. Every time a new model appears, Subaru followers ask themselves whether they will find again those properties which make a Subaru so special. Well they can be assured, the new Levorg offers it all, and is even more pure Subaru than ever. Just read further...
Hans Knol ten Bensel
You know what Levorg stands for? Well, it is a combination of LEgacy, reVOlution and touRinG. Indeed, this summarizes it all: this car embodies the genuine Subaru legacy of power, handling, sporting toughness and everyday reliability which ever more revolutionizes the driving experience when touring around in this practical five seater.
It is the unique experience of the velvet smoothness of a thoroughbred boxer, coupled to a sporting chassis and rally proven suspension and the assuredness of a permanent four wheel drive. We emphasize smoothness here because the Subaru engineers have focused on making the engine ever more civilized. Gone is the so typical boxer throb at low revs, and the engine is virtually inaudible in normal driving circumstances; only when revving it up, a nice boxer staccato is spoiling your ears...Indeed, in this Levorg, Subaru wants to put refinement forward.
State of the art boxer power...
The 1,6 litre boxer unit embodies again a pinnacle of Subaru engineering. It is just as powerful - 125 kW or 170 DIN Hp - as the former 2,5 litre unit, and offers even more torque across a wide rev range, namely 250 Nm between 1800 and 4800 rpm.
The high-boost turbo with intercooler allows excellent breathing, while the DOHC 16 valve setup allows perfect combustion chamber shapes and hence excellent thermal efficiency and sportiness.
This formidable unit is coupled to a smooth and very clever Lineartronic CVT transmission. Again the emphasis is on refinement, and indeed, at city traffic speeds, this transmission truly delivers.
It will maintain the engine in efficient low rev ranges, with of course no gearchange jerks whatsoever, just delivering a smooth uninterrupted power flow. Push the throttle a bit deeper and it will respond instanty with revving the engine up, offering you that acceleration you are looking for, which is also delivered smoothly.
For even more responsiveness you can flick the switch on the steering wheel into "S", and the CVT will adopt a lower gearing, keeping the engine in higher rev ranges for that superb pulling power in all circumstances.
When you are in an even more sporting mood, there are paddles on both sides of the steering wheel, just to give you that sensation of being in control of revs and power, choosing yourself just that right gear to scream out of the tight corner or storm up that hill under full high revving staccato.
Consumption cannot escape the laws of physics, and the amount of fuel which runs through the injectors depends completely on your driving style. A thoroughbred, free breathing engine, coupled to an alert auto box with on top of that permanent four wheel drive is of course not synonymous to ultra low consumption figures, and the official figures already reflect this. The manufacturer quotes average consumption as being 6,9 litres/100 km, and one has to reckon realistically with a consumption between 7 and 8,5 litres. CO2 emissions are set at 159 g/km.
Sporting handling and performance
The outright performance is of course quite satisfactory, with a 0 to 100 acceleration time in 8,9 seconds, and thanks to the CVT, every driver can do this. Top speed is 210 km/h, more than enough for everyday driving.
But this hardly tells the whole picture. It is the sporting handling which makes this Levorg such a joy to drive and flick through corners. Indeed, handling is truly superb considering the shape and size of this Subaru. Not surprisingly, as one knows that it shares most parts of the (front) suspension with the rally-inspired WRX STi sports saloon.
The suspension is a bit firmish at slow speeds on urban pavés, but it corners with virtually no body roll, its surefootedness inspiring confidence to the man or woman behind the wheel. Add to this the good properties of the 4WD drive, and one can understand why driving this Subaru Levorg remains a top (sporting) experience. Of course, the regular safety features are also found here, like lane assist, blind spot detection and rear vehicle alert.
The 4WD sports active power distribution over the four wheels, and convincingly shows the vast experience Subaru has acquired in this field. It is a clutch based 4WD system, and certainly convinced us.
Subaru's have always stood out for robustness and longevity, and this translates also in the materials used both inside and out. The GT-S Premium version we tested sported excellent, electronically adjustable leather seats, nicely finished with blue stitching, which one also finds on the gearlever for instance.
Standard equipment is quite lavish, with keyless access, push-button start, airco and of course Bleutooth phone connectivity and 18 inch alloy wheels.
There is a large 6.2-inch touch screen, which provides state of the art infotainment and navigation, as we said.
The Levorg seats four comfortably, and also convinces with a very good boot space of 522 litres up to the window line. Folding down the split rear bench allows you still a lot more space… up to 1446 litres.
If you want a sporting estate with loads of character and personality which really stands out from the crowd, then this Levorg is just the car for you.
It is and remains a true Subaru, combining impeccable road manners, agility and driving dynamics with toughness and longevity, delivering that unique driving experience which, indeed, only a (rally-bred) Subaru can deliver.
The new, smaller 1.6 litre boxer also truly convinces, and coupled with the CVT transmission it delivers refined power. On top of all this is, this Levorg is utterly practical, reaching here new levels of refinement the Subaru engineers have intended and indeed offers ease of everyday use, for all members of the family.
Hans Knol ten Bensel