A while back we reviewed the Subaru XV , now it’s time to review the Subaru Levorg. The XV is a cross-over SUV, the Levorg is an estate car, different cartypes but still obviously related to each other, both are built on the base platform of the WRX STI. They also share certain elements in the interior and multimedia system.
As soon as I get in the drivers’ seat, I notice that I might be a bit taller than what the Japanese had in mind when designing the cabin. With the seat is adjusted to the lowest position I have a little bit space left between my head and the ceiling. Luckily this testcar has a sunroof.
As soon as I hit the road I got stuck in a major traffic jam. A perfect opportunity to test the continuously variable transmission gearbox. There is no denying the benefits of an automatic gearbox in a stop and go traffic jam. Especially when it shifts so smoothly as this one does. The start stop technology works very smooth as well, you hardly notice the engine switch on and off, no disadventages to speak off. One more function that got tested while in traffic: the blindspot sensor, just a small symbol that lights up in your side mirror whenever someone is passing you, a lot of traffic jams can be prevented thanks to this technology.
Once free of traffic, the Levorg smoothly runs up the speed far past what is a alowed on the public roads. It’s a great cruiser, with the airconditioning on and cruise control on 123 km/hour the car everages about 7 liter/100 km, very respectable for this segment. With it’s 170 HP turbo boxer engine, the Levorg is no slouch, but it’s not as fast as it looks. That huge scoop on the front makes for some serious expectations. Those details give the Levorg an unique and memorable design. The front end looks powerful and sporty, the rear looks a bit more subtle even with the double exhaust. The overall look is unmistakably typical Subaru. If you want to add some extra dramatic effect you can opt for the STI side skirts, front and rear spoiler.
If you live the motorway to take the car for a spin on the sloping, curvy secondary roads, the fuel consumption goes up equally to the fun factor. The car is no hothatch, but at times it feels like one. Thanks to the great suspension (MacPherson in the front, double wishbones at the rear end) and the boxer engine with a low center of gravity. You snap back to reality when you need to break hard. The AWD helps with achieving the great handling, but added weight is inevitable. And weight is something you notice when breaking, even with discs in the front and the back. On a small country road, break early or you might literally end up in the countryside. Getting back on the road might be a good test for the AWD. This is obviously not a minus point, it’s a fact. No other car in this segment offers the same handling for this price tag. Sadly the steering feedback is about vague so discovering the limit will take a while to figure out.
When driving in the city, it takes a bit of getting used to the size of the Levorg. Because of the 4,70 m length the rear view camera is a necessity. They don’t make cars with big black plastic bumpers anymore so if you want to keep your paint job in mint condition, squeezing blindly in to a tight parking space might not be the best idea. In this picture you can see that the Levorg barely fits in the parking space.
When ordering a Levorg at least you want have stress trying to configure the car : GT Comfort (starts at €28.995) and the GT-S Premium (starts at €32.995). Not cheap, but very generous configured for that price, the comfort pack has anything you need and more: keyless acces, adjustable steering wheel, rear view camera, 6 usb ports, front seat heaters, tinted windows in rear doors and other gadgets. Tge power sliding, tilt-adjustable glass sunroof, leather sport seats and 18 inch wheels are reserved for the GT-S Premium model. The cars is only available as an AWD, with automatic gearbox and a 1.6 liter turbo petrol engine (170 PK). I imagine that a manual gearbox would add another layer of driving pleasure, still the CVT is quick especially when you shift yourself with the peddles on the steering wheel. Turbo lag is inevitable with a turbo engine, thanks to the twinscrollturbo technology the lag isn’t all that present in the Levorg. The choice between a smaller turbo engine or a bigger atmospheric engine is something we come across in most reviews. The Levorg is proof that a smaller engine doesn’t have to get in the way of driving pleasure.
The Subaru Starlink multimedia system is no-nonsense, the navigation system is very easy to work with, only thing missing: notifications when you approach a speed camera. Connecting an Ipod/phone is easy via one of the USB ports (even the backseats have USB ports withing range) or you can just use Bluetooth. .
Inside the car everything feels strong and long lasting, floor mats made of rubber, sturdy seats, you just know: “Even with heavy duty, this car is built to last.” Statistics seem to confirm that statement. The overall finish is not quite as elegant as the premium European brands, makes sens due to the difference in price. The floor is a bit higher in the trunk due to the AWD technology, there should be enough cargo space for most people: 522 liter or twice that with the passenger seats folded down (60/40). If you have something small to store like a camera or other precious items, you can store them in the hidden storage departments.
- Always 4×4
- Superb handling
- Great driving pleasure for money
- Trustworthy reputation
- Vague feedback through steering wheel
Conclusion: You don’t see a Levorg every day, not even every week and that’s a pity. It’s a reliable cruiser with a correct price. When fully using the engine’s potential by using the shifting peddles frequently, you don’t even miss the manual gearbox. If it would just give a bit more feedback from the wheels through the steering wheel, this would be the perfect sporty affordable estate car.
Pictures & review: Jonas