Subaru Levorg

Cathy Parker reprises what might be her fa­vorite car that she has never owned.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

My car wish list has al­ways fea­tured the Subaru Le­gacy GT wagon very high up in the great and prac­ti­cal cars to own list, with its un­der­stated looks, awe­some en­gine and han­dling and wagon ver­sa­til­ity. Un­for­tu­nately, the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of fam­ily life and the need for a seven-seater means it has never quite made it into my car park so a few years ago I was dev­as­tated when Subaru dropped the Le­gacy wagon – there goes that dream. But Subaru have sort of re­vived it with the Levorg GT-S wagon. This has the fab­u­lous 2.0-litre turbo en­gine, and wagon style, it is based on the smaller Im­preza plat­form but is sur­pris­ingly roomy and the driv­ing dy­nam­ics are as good if not bet­ter than the Le­gacy. When Damien had one on test I begged, pleaded and grov­eled un­til he let me have it for a week­end, which he agreed to – as long as I also did the story! The Levorg wagon comes in only one model with Subaru’s 197kw and 350Nm flat four turbo en­gine con­nected to a CVT auto box which pro­vides eight pre­set ra­tios to al­low semi man­ual shift­ing, Levorg is priced at $57,990. The en­gine hails from the WRX as does the chas­sis but with a wagon rear grafted on with up to 1446 litres of space with the rear seats down. With only one model the spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els are generous with a seven-inch touch screen mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem (Subaru’s older Star­link sys­tem rather than the newer ver­sion in the XV we tested in De­cem­ber, so you don’t get Carplay or An­droid auto), Eye­sight safety suite with emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, lane keep as­sist and warn­ing plus side and front cam­era views when maneuvering. You also get blind spot de­tec­tion and rear cross traf­fic alert. Crea­ture com­forts in­clude dual zone cli­mate air, 10 way power driver’s seat, heated driver and pas­sen­ger seats and sports in­te­rior fin­ish fea­tur­ing blue stitch­ing, alu­minum ped­als and leather steer­ing wheel. The front seats are ul­tra-com­fort­able and sup­port­ive, and the leather wheel is lovely to use, rear leg room is also sur­pris­ingly good whilst the boot is a good shape and has a cargo blind with un­der­floor stowage when not needed and two net­ted side stor­age ar­eas. But the Levorg is re­ally all about driv­ing. The en­gine de­liv­ers prodi­gious and al­most seam­less power, the Si Drive lets you se­lect in­tel­li­gent (read econ­omy) and sports modes – I mode def­i­nitely gives much slower kick down whilst in sport it is much more well sporty! The ride is def­i­nitely firm with­out be­ing un­com­fort­able. The han­dling is taut, turn the wheel and it just turns in – no drama es­pe­cially with the added bonus of AWD, the Levorg is a car that en­cour­ages you to find a nice bendy road just for the joy of driv­ing. What was so in­spi­ra­tional about the Le­gacy GT and hasn’t been lost – in fact has been en­hanced – is the way the car just eats up long trips from A-B , you re­ally get there quickly with­out need­ing to ac­tu­ally go fast. You don’t need to slow much for bends with the sure footed han­dling and when you do the turbo-en­gine gets you al­most in­stan­ta­neously back to cruise speed so you not only ar­rive quickly but also much more re­laxed than in most cars – it is def­i­nitely a car that fits the GT – Grand Tour­ing Nomen­cla­ture and you want to just get in and go some­where. If you like to drive but also want some­thing prac­ti­cal and a bit un­der­stated the Levorg GT-S is a great op­tion, sports car per­for­mance, wagon prac­ti­cal­ity with un­der­stated Q ship styling.

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