Subaru has added a new engine and revised the suspension to try to recapture sales lost from the removal of the Legacy in Europe

Subaru revealed a revamped Levorg estate at the Geneva motor show with the hope that the car's significant engineering changes will kick-start a renaissance of the company’s sales in the UK.

The Levorg has failed to fill the gap left by the Legacy estate. As a result, Subaru has lost a loyal band of customers that it now wants to recapture. The brand registered just 90 examples across Europe in January.

“We made a mis-step with the Levorg and made it too extreme, too sporty. It just wasn’t right for our customers,” said Torbjorn Lillrud, development director for IM Group, the UK Subaru importer.

A new higher-quality interior, retuned and comfort-oriented suspension and a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated Boxer petrol with a more relaxed power delivery are the three key changes.

Lillrud describes the new naturally aspirated engine, which replaces a peakier 1.6-litre turbo unit, as the heart of the Levorg’s refreshed character. 

“The combination of that turbo engine and the firm suspension has been a real turn-off for customers,” said Lillrud.

The 2.0-litre unit makes 148bhp and 146lb ft of torque (down 20bhp and 38lb ft on the old unit) but is expected to be considerably more efficient. It’s mated to Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT gearbox and all-wheel drive. 

Subaru also showed the revamped XV at Geneva and a hybrid version of the Forester, known as the e-Boxer.

Together, the XV and Forester contribute nearly three-quarters of Subaru’s UK sales, but Lillrud is also targeting more sales from its four other models – the Levorg, Impreza, BRZ and Outback.

Our Verdict

The Subaru Levorg GT 1.6i DIT Lineartronic

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Comments
18

7 March 2019

Idiots. The one thing everyone on here said, was, give us a maual, and give us more power than a 1.6. It may well be there are also people who wanted a slower car and to keep the CVT, but why just one spec?

7 March 2019
artill wrote:

Idiots. The one thing everyone on here said, was, give us a maual, and give us more power than a 1.6. It may well be there are also people who wanted a slower car and to keep the CVT, but why just one spec?

Exactly mate, they should have introduced an STI version with 200 - 250 bhp and a manual box, in Japan they offer an STI sport with 300bhp. People dont buy them because they are, like Honda, a shadow of their former selves.  

7 March 2019

Not sure how reducing the maxium torque by a quarter will make the engine less peaky, compare a 1.6 Turbo engine to a NA 2.0 and you'd be likey to see higher torque lower down the rpm range.  More likely to be case of their 1.6t just isn't good enough, OR, that pesky CVT box again.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

7 March 2019

the reason for the CVT is(or was) that the majority of Subarus impressive safety feature only work with an automatic geabox. 

7 March 2019
Citytiger wrote:

the reason for the CVT is(or was) that the majority of Subarus impressive safety feature only work with an automatic geabox. 

Whist this is true, its probably also the reason they dont sell very many. The article said they wanted to sell more, my solution would be to give people what they want, not what you want them to buy (because they wont!)

7 March 2019

If they offered that car with 220-240bhp, and a manual gearbox (or good auto/DSG to be fair), I'd have one in a heartbeat. Making it softer and less powerful with the same CVT box will reduce sales further. What a shame!

7 March 2019

Also has a lot to do with it..... and the petrol replacement engines are no substitute in thexreal world.

7 March 2019

The reason the Levorg hasn't sold was because it was expensive, underpowered, too firm and stuck with a CVT. The retuned suspension sounds promising but aside from that Subaru seem to be a long way wide of the mark with their revisions. The N/A 2.0 is less than impressive in an XV so in a Levorg it risks being hopeless.

What they need to do is offer more choice. Now that might not be so easy for a small firm like Subaru but even simply offering a cheaper model with smaller wheels, a manual gearbox and fewer toys would help. A more powerful halo model for enthusiasts would also be welcome and the hybrid drivetrain from the new Forester could be a good fit. 

7 March 2019
I had a test drive in a Levorg and what put me off straight away was the garish styling both inside and out. The new tweaks certainly do nothing to improve the exterior.
Incidentally I have only ever seen one other Levorg on the road. The new changes will do nothing to change that.

7 March 2019

As an Owner of a 2.0i 2013 Legacy I find that their choice of engines for this 'new' model disappointing to say the least. This new car on paper appears to have no real improvement performance wise over the previous generation Legacy that it was purportedly intended to replace, if anything its a complete step backwards. The 2.0i engine tends to be lazy and with this in mind, at lower revs, needs to be worked much harder, which of itself will not make it in any way economical. For me therefore, its a very very strange decision. If you dont want to sell a car pull it from the market, rather than knock out models which no one wants as they are ten years out of date. I can't see Toyota standing by and allowing this for very much longer. I have a feeling they will be taking a mjority shareholding to go with their supply of Hybrid drivetrains. 

“If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.”

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