The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - First Drive -

PRICE A $42,990 start­ing price makes the Levorg GT about $4000 dearer than a Skoda Oc­tavia RS, which is its ob­vi­ous di­rect com­peti­tor. The Levorg GT-S climbs to $48,890 cour­tesy of a big­ger and bet­ter in­fo­tain­ment setup, bet­ter sus­pen­sion and leather/al­can­tara up­hol­stery. The GT-S Spec B is es­sen­tially an STI-badged dress-up kit that pushes the price to $52,890 as Subaru chases en­try level pres­tige wagon buy­ers. TECH­NOL­OGY All Levorgs have the lat­est ver­sion of the Eye­Sight ac­tive driver aids, which uses stereo cam­eras to mon­i­tor the road ahead. In­de­pen­dent tests over­seas show it is one of the most ef­fec­tive on the mar­ket. The GT-S vari­ants add blindspot de­tec­tion, lane-change and rear cross-traf­fic alerts. PER­FOR­MANCE The WRX en­gine hauls a big­ger body, which drops its 0-100km/h sprint claim from 6.3 sec­onds to 6.6 sec. Fuel con­sump­tion is marginally up at 8.7L/100km. The mid-range re­sponse from the turbo en­gine — max­i­mum torque kicks in at 2400rpm — makes it a will­ing work­horse on the road, with the CVT do­ing a com­mend­able job of keep­ing it in the op­ti­mum rev range. DRIV­ING The GT is good but the Bil­stein-bol­stered sus­pen­sion on the GT-S is bet­ter at both sup­press­ing bumps and stop­ping the in­side front wheel from tuck­ing in dur­ing hard corner­ing. Torque vec­tor­ing brakes that same wheel to im­prove its corner­ing prow­ess, backed by all-wheel drive grip. The steer­ing is sharp with plenty of feed­back and the Su­bie sits on the road well, with­out match­ing an STI’s pan­cake-flat ride. DE­SIGN Be­yond the bon­net scoop there is lit­tle overtly ag­gres­sive about the reg­u­lar Levorgs. The Spec B adds a lib­eral help­ing of STI-branded body parts: front and rear spoil­ers, side skirts, black al­loy wheels, trans­mis­sion shift knob and red start but­ton. The seats feel well-padded but it will take a longer drive to know how you cope with hours in the car. I’d also like a padded rest for the driver’s knee: corner­ing forces are hard enough to war­rant one.

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