Subaru Levorg GT Road Test

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A new Subaru isn’t a particularly frequent event to a degree they tend to come onto your radar at times by chance. So much so that for many it’s the Subaru Levorg’s appearance in the BTCC championship that gave any hint of the new estate’s appearance or even existence. And whilst the BTCC’s popularity means it’s the perfect showcase for any car, in the case of the Levorg it’s been slightly misleading. In racing guise the Levorg is rear wheel drive but the ones you and I will buy feature Subaru’s asymmetrical AWD system.


Still featuring Subaru’s distinct looks of the pronounced grille, front splitters and the familiar air bonnet mounted air scoop, the lines of the new Levorg estate have adopted far more elegant lines. A curved side profile with four well sized, wide opening doors lead into a deep tailgate, the car running on neat 18” alloys shod in this instance with 225/45 Dunlop Sport Maxx rubber. The svelte lines are enhanced by the Levorg’s low stance, the car sat on fully independent, subframe mounted inverted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas filled shocks on the front and independent subframe attached double-wishbones, gas filled shocks and an anti-roll bar at the rear, the car still able to provide 130mm of ground clearance.  


Internally, Subaru’s familiar simplicity and functionality has been refined. The cabin has a spacious, airy feel, grey leather trim, soft touch surfaces and the multi-function ‘D’ profile steering wheel picked out by contrasting blue stitching. Instrumentation is clear, white on black clocks supplemented by two quick reference readouts, a simple wheel mounted rocker scrolling quickly through the various screens.


Three large heater controls sit just below the satnav and music system whilst the car’s fully automated systems take care of everything else. With ample room for five passengers and 522 litres of luggage, with the 60:40 split rear seats folded, cargo capacity expands to an impressive 1,445 litres with an additional 1,500kg towing ability.   


Under the bonnet only one engine is currently on offer and its one of Subaru’s familiar 4-cylinder Boxer or horizontally opposed petrol units. Transverse mounted, the 1,600cc’s deliver 170hp and 250Nm of torque, the electronically injected system fully Euro 6 compliant. Performance wise, 0-62mph comes up in 8.9 seconds with a 130mph top speed where of course permitted. Mated to a 6-speed Lineartronic automatic transmission with the option of paddle change and Stop/Start, everyday motoring returns an average of 27.8mpg rising to approximately 33.2 on longer, steady throttle motorway runs, the 60 litre tank good for 350 to 400 miles per refill. Unusually there’s no ability to pre-program the Asymmetrical AWD system, the car fully autonomous in respect of drive and power distribution.


On the road the Levorg feels significantly different, even the twin chrome tailpipes more subdued. The car is lighter, less demanding to drive, the ride softer and more compliant, only server surfaces hinting at disturbing the estate’s composure. Electrically assisted rack and pinion, the steering is nicely weighted with just over three turns lock to lock and a 5.4 meter turning circle. And whilst the Levorg GT is primarily a surefooted road car, commonsense routes along tracks and flat fields are easily accomplished, all you have to do is bear in mind the ride height.


The most significant difference is how the Levorg feels and reacts. Contrary to most Subarus, the Levorg doesn’t kidney punch you out of corners, you don’t have to manhandle it into and out of bends, it doesn’t rip snort along country lanes, instead the car rewards a smoother, flowing driving style. Irrespective of full auto or paddle driven sequential, remaining a gear higher, maintaining speed and momentum and letting the car flow into bends combined with a more measure use of the throttle and use of the AWD system allows the Levorg to maintain impetus without the need of harsh acceleration or forcing the car’s neutral handling into understeer. Exceptional cornering abilities also mean that this rather un-Subaru like style maintains the Levorg’s poise even on more demanding roads.


Whilst the petrol only option and less than average fuel consumption could count against it, in most respects the new Levorg GT is an accomplished and very capable estate car. And with the growing disparity between petrol and diesel, pending taxation changes, the more pleasing to the eye styling and fluid characteristics, this new Subaru actually has a reasonable amount going for it. Add in the £27,495 asking price and Subaru’s Levorg GT garners increasing appeal.           



By; Mark Stone



Subaru Levorg GT Road Test