For those of us used to Subarus of old, the Levorg is a curious proposition.
We’re more familiar with its turbocharged engines producing horsepower numbers beginning with a ‘2’ and being mated to manual transmissions or automatics of the conventional variety.
But here we are: downsizing comes no more obvious than this, with a 1.6-litre turbo four-pot engine that’s coupled to a continuously variable transmission.
Instead, it’s just a smooth unit that spins away quietly and, to its credit, effectively. The Levorg’s 0-60mph performance of 8.4sec would be competitive enough – were there an obvious competitor.
The last car of similar size and power we drove – a Ford Focus wagon with a 148bhp 1.5-litre engine – couldn’t be coaxed to 60mph in any less than 10.0sec, even with a manual gearbox.
Certainly, the fact that the Levorg offers a broad spread of torque – and from only 1800rpm – can make the engine feel like a larger and more sprightly unit than its size suggests.