Subaru Levorg

With the de­par­ture of the Legacy wagon, the Levorg ex­hibits great po­ten­tial

Top Gear (Philippines) - - New Metal - WORDS BY FER­MAN LAO

If you’re not fa­mil­iar with Subaru or its lineup of cars, we urge you to come out of wher­ever you’ve been hid­ing th­ese past few decades. This car man­u­fac­turer is but a sub­sidiary of a com­pany with hum­ble beginnings that trace back to a cen­tury, start­ing out as The Air­craft Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory in 1915. While Subaru has been around for only 62 years, it has be­come one of the more iconic mar­ques in the au­to­mo­tive world due to its stel­lar per­for­mances at the World Rally Cham­pi­onship. This was over two decades ago.

Ev­ery mod­ern Subaru model since then can trace its lin­eage to the ma­chines driven by leg­ends like Colin McRae and Pos­sum Bourne. Th­ese days, the Ja­panese brand’s rally pres­ence can be seen pri­mar­ily in Rally Amer­ica and Global Ral­ly­cross. This makes it one of the few re­main­ing car­mak­ers in the realm of rally rac­ing, which may be one of the strong­est state­ments a ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer can make in this day and age.

It’s a state­ment that can be seen in how Subaru builds its ve­hi­cles. Any diehard Subaru fan will tell you that th­ese boxer-en­gine-equipped cars are the poster chil­dren for ef­fi­ciency. There are at least five mod­els fea­tur­ing the com­bi­na­tion of boxer en­gine and Sym­met­ri­cal AWD, not count­ing some vari­ants. With the new Subaru Levorg, there are now six.

Stem­ming from the same ge­neal­ogy as the Im­preza, the Levorg nat­u­rally re­sem­bles its pro­gen­i­tors up to a point. It’s hard to no­tice the dif­fer­ences on the front end: soft­ened front fend­ers and edges, new bumper de­tails, and added chrome work. To the lay­man, the fas­cia will look the same as the WRX’s, right down to the hood scoop. With the omis­sion of the hood scoop on the Forester due to pedes­trian safety, as well as on the Legacy be­cause it’s now only nat­u­rally as­pi­rated, we can at least con­clude that the hood scoop is still a cru­cial part of the over­all de­sign of the com­pany’s tur­bocharged ve­hi­cles. It’s not only re­as­sur­ing to see it on the Levorg, it’s an el­e­ment that will give purists and en­thu­si­asts some­thing to cheer about.

What most peo­ple will eas­ily no­tice is that the green­house is glar­ingly dif­fer­ent—it lacks the slop­ing back glass and the sweep­ing rear deck. In their place is an ex­panse of more glass, sculpted sheet­metal, and art­fully crafted plas­tic. Th­ese give the Levorg a more unique and com­mand­ing pres­ence. It’s a state­ment as unique as the driv­ers who choose wag­ons over sedans.

There’s more to the story, of course. There’s now more in­te­rior space on a plat­form that al­ready had am­ple space to be­gin with. Much of the added

vol­ume comes in the form of 520L of cargo ca­pac­ity with the rear back­rests up. Seats folded down, this grows to 1,446L. Clearly, the Levorg is not only for the ur­ban com­muter, but also for the mod­ern driver or fam­ily who likes to do all kinds of stuff.

The kind of stuff that’s as mean­ing­ful, ver­sa­tile and fun as the 1.6-liter tur­bocharged four-cylin­der boxer en­gine un­der the hood. Em­ploy­ing di­rect­in­jec­tion cou­pled with an 11:1 com­pres­sion ra­tio, the FB16 mill makes 170hp and 250Nm—about as much as the non-turbo 2.5-liter mo­tors of the older Lega­cies and Out­backs. Subaru states that matched with the Lin­eartronic CVT, this mill is also more ef­fi­cient. It gets 17.9km/L com­pared with the cur­rent Legacy’s 14.8km/L us­ing the JC08 test cy­cle.

The 1.6-liter is the base en­gine al­most ev­ery­one gets. In ad­di­tion, those in Ja­pan also get the 2.0liter version that makes al­most 300hp and 400Nm, be­cause they al­ways re­ceive the good stuff first. That shouldn’t put you off from get­ting the 1.6liter vari­ant, though, be­cause it makes 250Nm from 1,800rpm. It will haul ass as much as it will haul stuff.

Go­ing back to the dif­fer­ences be­tween the Levorg and the WRX, there are more changes at the back end apart from the body style. The rear dou­ble-wish­bone sus­pen­sion gets its own unique tun­ing that makes the Levorg’s ride more lux­u­ri­ous. It seems like they really gave this Su­bie a lot of thought.

In­side the cabin, Subaru own­ers will be greeted by a fa­mil­iar sight. The ex­cel­lent er­gonomics and the highly func­tional dash­board lay­out are al­most iden­ti­cal to the XV’s. Re­hashed and re­cy­cled? Per­haps—or just com­pletely spot-on and shouldn’t be messed with for the sake of be­ing new or dif­fer­ent. ‘Nicely tidy’ and ‘ef­fi­cient’ are the words that come to mind, ham­mered to the point where you re­al­ize that Subaru has gone against the cur­rent stan­dard of making new mod­els big­ger than their pre­de­ces­sors. And in the Levorg, it has done so suc­cess­fully.

‘The 1.6-liter turbo makes about as much as the non-turbo 2.5-liter mo­tors’

1 2

3 4 5

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.