Meet the new Subaru Levorg. Think of the Japanese car maker and immediately you conjure up images of World Rally Championship Imprezas storming through stage after stage, WRX STi Imprezas with gold wheels thundering around the streets or practical four-wheel-drive estates.
But according to Subaru, estate cars are what most people pine for in the firm’s larger markets, such as the US.
It’s a path that has been well trodden by the Japanese firm, and it will be interesting to find out, over the next six months, whether the Levorg can live up to the reputation established by its forebears.
Subaru fans will be pleased to know that the Levorg shares its mechanicals with the WRX and the Legacy sold in other markets, and it is the result of a simple design brief to create a successor to the fourth-generation (2004-2009) Legacy while bringing Subaru’s AWD estate up to date.
In real terms, it means the Levorg comes equipped with a downsized twinscroll turbocharged 1.6-litre flat four petrol engine, which may produce only a modest 168bhp but also has 184lb ft of torque from 1800rpm to 4800rpm.
According to Subaru, it will match the level of performance expected from the old EJ-series 2.5-litre flat fours.
Admittedly, it is not the most powerful sports wagon out there, especially when you consider that the 247bhp Ford Focus ST-3 Estate comes in at £100 less than the Levorg’s on-theroad price.
But it is the exploitable range of the torque that intrigues me most, and it will be interesting to see if the Levorg can feel like a Legacy used to.
It may be a left-field choice for most people, but to my eyes the Levorg is an attractive car, with its chiselled looks, LED daytime running lights, large bonnet scoop and twin exhausts.
The fact that Subaru equips the car with a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission as standard ought to be a bonus in a car that will spend much of its time cruising up and down the country as part of my job.
As for the inside, it is plush and a nice place to be, with leather upholstery and electrically adjustable sport seats in the front and blue stitching to give that sporty appeal.
There’s only one trim level, but the Levorg isn’t short of kit. It has, for instance, keyless entry, 18in aluminium alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, folding and heated door mirrors, a reversing camera, cruise control and a 7.0in infotainment system with sat-nav.