The Levorg package is based around a 1. 6-litre turbo petrol powerplant mated to Lineartronic automatic transmission and Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical AWD system. Like all Subaru’s engines, this modern Euro6 unit uses a distinctive Boxer configuration, a package that’s been refined for this car to the point where on the move you’d hardly notice its uniqueness. That does though make this car exceptionally quiet – a great long distance companion.
Twistier roads could be handled better if there were more feel from the steering but once you adjust, there’s prodigious grip thanks not only to 4WD but also to Active Torque Vectoring, which improves corner turn-in. There’s also a ‘Subaru Intelligent Drive’ system – ‘SI-Drive’ for short – that, depending on the way you want to drive, alters engine, gearbox and throttle response. Set it in ‘Sport’ mode and 62mph from rest takes 8. 9s en route to 130mph.
The Levorg looks suitably dynamic with its piercing ‘hawk-eye’ LED headlamps, chrome-framed hexagonal grille and deep front bonnet scoop. Viewed from straight on, it’s a menacing thing, no question. Get one of these in your rear view mirror and you’d be quick to move over. Which makes this sporting estate… well what exactly? A WRX STi hot hatch for the family man? Perhaps it would be with the pokier powerplants the brand offers in other markets. As it is, sportiness must be mixed with sensibility, though still in a way that gives this car far more driveway presence than any of its rivals can muster.
Take a seat up front, where you’ll find yourself in the smartest and most sophisticated cabin the brand has yet created thanks to a dashboard built around a tall fascia which cascades down towards the piano black-trimmed central console.
Further down the centre console sits arguably the cabin’s smartest feature, a 7. 0-inch colour touchscreen that adds to the up-market feel and is the portal from which you access the six-speaker stereo and the usual ‘phone and informational features, as well as the standard satellite navigation set-up. It also comes complete with Subaru’s latest ‘STARLINK’ infotainment technology.
Take a seat at the rear and you’ll find space to be adequate by class standards, with legroom aided by the way that the front seatbacks have been curved for greater kneeroom.
And out back? Well the idea with this car was to provide the luggage space of the Subaru’s rather over-large fifth generation Legacy Tourer, yet deliver that with the more compact sporty looks of the older fourth generation version of that model. It’s an objective that’s been achieved, the rear tailgate rising to reveal a 522-litre space, accessed via a usable rectangular opening and a low loading lip.
Overall then, a rare but really rather appealing choice in the medium estate segment. If you like your driving, are happy with petrol power, need AWD at a relatively affordable price and don’t want an SUV – or an estate car trying to look like an SUV - it may be just up your street.