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