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Subaru Levorg 20 GT

by John Ewing,reviewed December 2016

The Levorg is Subaru’s first all-new model since the acclaimed and entertaining BRZ was released in 2012.

According to company executives, the new sports wagon is the “spiritual successor” to the dearly departed fourth-generation Liberty GT wagon. In reality, the oddly-named newcomer owes much to the Impreza and hot-shot WRX, including its turbo-charged 2.0-litre direct-injection engine.

The Levorg is offered in three versions: the entry level GT ($42,990); the GT-S ($48,890); and GT-S Spec-B ($52,890).

The GT’s standard equipment includes all the expected safety features, such as a driver’s-knee airbag, infotainment and connectivity features, dual climate, 18-inch alloys, paddle-shifters, reverse camera, keyless start/entry, and Eyesight Driver Assist system.

Other niceties come at the cost of the GT-S and include navigation, heated front seats, sunroof, dusk-sensing headlights, rain-sensing wipers, leather trim, larger 7.2-inch touchscreen, Pandora and Siri compatibility, Vision Assist (Eyesight assist monitor, side-view monitor, blind-spot monitor, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, high beam assist) and Bilstein dampers. The Spec-B adds locally-fitted STI accessories and body kit, but sadly no extra horsepower.

With the same engine power and torque as the donor WRX, the engine proves responsive and delivers brisk performance. Taking a claimed 6.6 seconds to dispatch the standard 0-100kph sprint, it’s only three tenths slower than its WRX sibling. I’m not a big fan of CVT gearboxes, but Subaru’s Sport Lineartronic CVT auto is one of the best around. It combines well with the engine and offers step-less or stepped shifts, according to how hard the driver accelerates. A manual mode has pre-set ratios.

Unlike many CVT-equipped cars, there’s not too much of the usual engine roar and flare. Engine noise is fairly well muted and overall the car has a refined feel, though tyre and road noise on coarse chip surfaces can intrude. Subaru doesn’t offer a manual gearbox option.

The Levorg GT strikes a good balance between a tolerably firm composed ride and responsive handling, with a solidly-planted feel through twists and turns. Bilstein-equipped versions trade some ride comfort for handling gains.

The Levorg lacks the raw sporting focus of a WRX despite the shared DNA – it’s more the grand tourer. But the drive experience still leaves no doubt as to that commonality, albeit with a little more civility, and the practicality of a spacious wagon body.

For

Performance, good blend of dynamics and ride quality, wagon practicality.

Against

Price, temporary-use spare, CVT only – no manual option, road noise.

Car Details

Vehicle make Subaru
Vehicle model Levorg 20 GT
Year 2016
Current price range $42990 - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars
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Warranty 3yr/unlimited km
Engine 2.0-litre, direct injection turbo-petrol, Boxer 4-cyl.
Max power 197kW
Max torque 350Nm
Driving wheels All wheel drive
Fuel type 95 RON PULP
Economy ADR 8.7 litres/100km
CO2 Emissions 201g/km

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.