MY17 Subaru Levorg
Subaru Levorg is a sports wagon that’s has been on sale in Japan since June 2014. It was originally intended as a Japanese only speciality model but received such glowing reports by Subaru enthusiast who visited Japan and published information online that the decision was made for Levorg to go global.

Late last year we travelled to Japan as guests of Subaru Australia to attend technical presentations and test drives on a closed road course of the Levorg in the mountains around Isu City. Now the Levorg is finally in Australia and following our first drives downunder we have again come up with very positive impressions.

So important is the Australia market to Subaru that the Levorg’s chief engineer, Hiep Bui, and and project manager, Yasunori Kumagai, both flew from Japan to spend time with the Australian motoring media invited to the event.

The name Levorg is an amalgamation of Legacy and Evolution. (Subaru enthusiasts will be aware that Legacy is sold in Australia as the Liberty).

Levorg shares quite a few WRX STi components, mostly from the B-pillar forwards, including the redhot boxer turbo engine. Details about the engine later.

Though it’s possible to refer to the Subaru Levorg as a WRX station wagon it is actually aimed at quite a different market, that of high-performance wagons offered by the big name German marques. Thus the Levorg combines sophistication, dynamic ability and style, rather than being simply a hotrod.

Subaru Levorg can also be regarded as a latter day version of the much missed Subaru Liberty RS wagon (and sedan) of the 1990s.

Styling is excellent, arguably one of the best shaped Subarus ever to my way of thinking. It has a sporting grille, pumped guards and a sleek rear end with a business-like tail.

Inside, the sophisticated look continues, with sports seats that provide good support while still making ingress and egress easy.

MY17 Subaru Levorg

Levorg uses the latest generation Subaru infotainment system. It is one of the easiest to use that you will find on any car. The very clear touchscreen requires a minimum of driver inattention from the road and works in a logical manner.

Subaru’s Eyesight safety system is standard in all Levorgs sold in Australia. Crash testing authority ANCAP has given the Levorg the top five-star safety rating.

Power comes from Subaru’s well-respected 2.0-litre boxer, direct-injection, turbocharged engine. In Australia versions it produces 197 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque, the latter in an extended range of 2400 to 5200 revs

A continuously variable transmission with manual overrides takes torque to all four wheels by way of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.

Engine performance is excellent with a minimum of turbo lag and plenty of torque on tap once that turbocharger is spinning at its optimum rate. Three driving modes are offered and Sport# (sport sharp) was generally our preferred one, though even in lower settings there’s plenty of spunk in the Levorg’s feel.

MY17 Subaru Levorg

On an extended road trip organised by Subaru in New South Wales, which ran from Port Macquarie to Tamworth over some challenging inland roads the Levorg we tested proved to be highly competent. It has a solid feel, excellent grip, precise turn-in and the feedback through the steering wheel is just right.

We tested the Levorg GT ($42,990) and GTS ($48,890). An Australian developed GTS B-spec, with special suspension modifications for the sporting driver that are installed locally, is offered on both models for an additional $4000.

Interior space is good with reasonable legroom in the back seat, there’s good space for children who haven’t yet reached the hulking-teen stage. The wagon’s load area is well shaped and easy to load.

Comfort remained surprisingly good considering the dynamic nature of the suspension. Australia’s notorious coarse-chip bitumen roads did create a fair bit of noise. But we have heard considerably worse, often from German cars of this same class which cost far more than the Levorg

There’s no doubt the Subaru Levorg will make an excellent grand tourer (GT) in the true meaning of the phrase; that is able to cover big distances in comfort while providing the driver with plenty of pleasure. Leave the passengers at home and you can have a full-on fang on your favourite country roads on one of these delightful Sunday morning drives.

Subaru Australia chief, Nick Senior only expects to sell about 200 to 250 Levorgs each year. Having just stepped out of the cars we feel he is being over conservative. If that is the case and demand outstrips supply a waiting list may start to expand. It might be an idea to get in touch with your dealer pretty soon if you’re halfway interested.

The Subaru Levorg GT is priced at $42,990; GT-S at $48,890 and GT-S Spec B at $52,890. Note that these prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Jeep dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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