Subaru Levorg long-term test review. Here's our second report after one month with the new AWD estate.
The first month behind the wheel of our Levorg has whizzed by and allowed us to ascertain some of the ways in which this new-generation Subaru estate lives up to the reputation of its most successful forebears, as well as some of the differences.
As the Levorg approaches the 7500-mile mark (having arrived with 5400 miles on the clock), it has shown that it’s certainly a different kettle of fish from the burbling first and second-generation Imprezas. The four-cylinder boxer engine was once well known for its character and attitude, but the Levorg’s turbocharged 1.6-litre engine lacks some of the charm of Subarus of old.
That is not necessarily a bad thing, because the 168bhp output seems a far more usable and mature proposition. The engine is incredibly smooth and refined and stays that way right through to the rev limiter. So the Levorg may not provide the Subaru drama of old, but the upside is that noise levels in the cabin are pleasingly low at motorway cruising speeds.
The estate has a low centre of gravity, which keeps body roll in check and allows you to exploit the mechanical grip and traction in the corners. All this engineering know-how makes it a great shame that the 296bhp 2.0-litre version of the Levorg won’t be sold officially in the UK. It feels like it has more to give if it had more power and torque to use.
One thing that has become slightly irritating, compared with the diesel-engined Kia Sorento I ran previously, is the frequency of the fuel stops required. The Levorg’s range on a 60-litre tank is usually only 325-350 miles — not helped, you’d imagine, by Subaru’s persistence with its permanent asymmetrical four-wheel drive system. With other car makers opting for selectable or automatic systems that default to two-wheel drive, surely Subaru has to be contemplating something similar for future models.
Because this is a Subaru estate, the last key component is the available boot space, and being a snapper, it has been given a thorough testing, with the Levorg’s boot swallowing all my kit with room to spare.
I have become a big fan of the Subaru’s rear load space, with its easily configurable layout and load cover. This is in complete contrast to my old Sorento; its load cover was awkward to use and, as a result, the locating lugs fell off.
The 40 litres of extra space under the boot floor has also become extremely useful, especially when it comes to storing valuables out of sight of prying eyes. However, the space is more versatile than that, because pre-defined segments enable items prone to falling over to be kept upright.
It’s too early to say for sure whether Subaru has got its AWD estate mojo back, but I’m already beginning to think it has, although the Levorg should probably be considered an evolution of the Legacy that went before it.
Subaru Levorg 1.6i DIT GT Lineartronic
Our previous report
Price £27,495 Price as tested £27,995 Economy 31.0mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 11.5.16