Subaru have long had a reputation for creating World beating rally cars and World Champions with cars such as the Impreza indelibly imprinted on the minds of fast car fans up and down the country. Indeed, the latest WRX STi which, due to the extraordinary service from Nathaniel Cars of Bridgend I was fortunate enough to drive last year, was simply stunning in it’s dedication to taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. After all, who would have thought that an AWD, four door saloon could need such a rear spoiler and would be producing around 296bhp? And you see plenty out on the highways and byways of this green and pleasant land of ours as well, from the first incarnation way back in 1992 right up to the present. Subaru have confirmed their ability ten fold with this incredible piece of machinery.
All of which brings us, rather abruptly, to the here and now and the Subaru Levorg 1.6i GT Lineartronic sat in front of me. It’s a good looking car with excellent proportions, so much so that it needs a second look to confirm the estate dimensions. Subaru have created a distinctive and aggressive front end with the Levorg’s hexagonal grille and hood-scoop that not only looks fantastic but keeps the turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine’s intercooler constantly refreshed with cool air.
With subtle chrome highlights leading the eye from the front fog lights, past the flared front wheel arches, good looking 18” alloy wheels and high waist of the Levorg towards the rear of the car and you have a classically muscular car that belies it’s traditional ‘estate’ origins.
Inside and the sense of style and power continues with an interior that is comfortable and supportive using, as it does, a variety of materials that are soft to the touch and with a quality that gives the impression that this is a space that will continue to look like new as more and more miles are added to the clock. With all manner of adjustments available to the driver and Subaru’s distinctive D-shaped steering wheel, designed to create a memorable connection between you and the car and making the Levorg a great place to spend time in.
Subaru have not forgotten to include the latest technology either as this is a car that you can tailor to your own preferences. With the proliferation of smartphone ownership across the globe it’s more and more important to have connectivity with your car and as such, Subaru have developed their own SUBARU STARLINK infotainment system which lets you access internet radio, entertaining apps, and, Subaru say, much more. You can control the system through the 7-inch central touchscreen, multifunction steering wheel controls, or the voice recognition system. There really is nothing you’re left wanting.
And that’s not all as Subaru have really made sure that both the exterior and interior of the Levorg match the high expectations that Subaru fans have for the brand. Pop-up Type Headlamp Washers that use a high- pressure spray to help keep the available LED headlamps at their peak performance in poor weather, 18-inch Aluminium Alloy Wheels that give the Levorg even more style and enhanced performance by offering better grip, my own personal favourite of Dual Exhaust Pipes located underneath the rear bumper which add to the sporty nature of the Levorg, LED Rear Combination Lamps offering both style and visibility, Keyless Access with Push-button Start System allowing you to unlock the front doors or tailgate by just gripping the handle and start the engine with a push of the button, High Beam Assist (HBA) to increase visibility and safety when driving at night through toggling the Levorg’s high beams on and off automatically, depending on driving conditions, adjustable Heated Seats for both driver and front-passenger seats, USB Power Outlet (Front and Rear) to keep all the increasing array of electronic devices fully charged and ready to use with easily accessed USB power outlets for both front and rear passengers and finally, a Rear-Vision Camera System that enhances rear visibility when backing up and includes guidelines to help you see the vehicle’s path and judge distance to other objects. Impressive stuff indeed and details that would have been unheard of in an estate just a few short years ago.
Out on the road and it is easy to feel Subaru’s Championship winning technology written within the DNA of the Levorg. With the horizontally-opposed, 4-cylinder, AWD, turbocharged DOHC 1,600cc Boxer engine putting power through the smooth Lineartronic gearbox the Levorg pulls away swiftly as expected, the engine delivering it’s 168bhp @ 4,800-5,700rpm and torque of 184 ft/lb @ 1,800-4,800rpm. And it’s low down, accessible torque and power that makes the Levorg such a good ‘real life’ motoring car.
Subaru state that: the newest member of the SUBARU BOXER engine family, the 1.6-litre DIT engine achieves an ideal balance between eficiency, powerful performance, and low emissions. Utilising both direct fuel injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger results in more power and decreased petrol consumption before going on to discuss the addition of Paddle Shifters for a more engaging experience whereby drivers can switch to manual mode and use the paddle shifters to experience the kind of responsive six-speed manual shifting you wouldn’t expect from a Continuously Variable Transmission, allowing drivers to enjoy the delight of sports driving. In fact, the SUBARU Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) allows for a selection of engine and transmission characteristics according to the driver’s driving style, driving expectations, and driving situations. Offering, as it does, two distinctive functions: Intelligent and Sport, Intelligent mode provides smoother acceleration and more eficient operation, whilst Sport mode offers a more exciting driving experience, with enhanced power and acceleration. I think that it’s safe to say that Subaru have covered all of the bases here and that overall competence can be clearly felt.
With distinct differences in the driving characteristics brought about by your choice of dringbmode this really is a case of having your cake and eating it as with sport mode engaged the car feels more responsive and, dare I say, quicker. Not quite WRX STi levels of speed but you wouldn’t expect it to be but there’s enough going on to make the Sport mode a worthy companion that helps to keep Subaru’s sporting heritage alive, albeit in ‘estate’ form. After all, fans of the MSA British Touring Car Championship will be used to watching the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Levorgs tearing up and down various racetracks across the county throughout last season and the first few rounds of 2017 in which they look superb. Race cars with a decent boot, who would have thought it?
An excellent driving experience, comfortable, well put together and practical, the Subaru Levorg is attempting to be all things to all men/women and with it’s driving modes, AWD system, strong Boxer engine and boot space of 522 Litres, this Subaru proves itself to be a superb choice and with a starting price of £29,995, you’re getting an awful lot of car for your money. Well done then Subaru and a massive thanks to Nathaniel Cars of Bridgend for the loan of the Levorg, give them a call on 01656339840 and grab yourself a great deal.
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