A sweet performing 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine sits under the bonnet of Subaru’s latest model – the intriguingly named Levorg.
The direct injection lump produces 170PS and a decent 250Nm of torque. That clout is just short of Subaru’s own non turbo assisted 2.5-litre petrol unit, while the torque figure is actually larger.
Propelling all four wheels through Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission it’ll do the zero to 62mph sprint in 8.9 seconds. That’s pretty quick, although Subaru is less absorbed with the Levorg’s out-and out performance, instead focusing on its dexterity. The Japanese automaker, once famed for its rallying prowess, has pitched this useful estate car against more sporting motors, using its very own BRZ sports car as a benchmark, as well as models, such as Audi’s S3.
It is all to the advantage of safety, Subaru naming dexterity as critical in its cars’ character. For an estate without a sporting focus, its battle against body roll is extremely impressive. It isn’t to the disadvantage of ride comfort, either – at least as much as we could tell hooning around the rural routes of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
The steering is hefty, yet precise, but there is one slight drawback – the wheel doesn’t deliver any tangible feel – the Subaru Levorg shoving into foreseeable understeer if you’re a little bit bold entering a bend. No matter, though as all is very certain, traction is high, and grip correspondingly impressive – though it accomplishes all this without the mischievousness of Subarus of yesteryear.
Contrarily, the Levorg, actually takes a lot of its stimulus from Subaru’s fourth-gen Legacy Tourer, the most prevalent model it has produced. Its replacement, the fifth-gen model, was considered too large by many, though thanks to some clever packaging, Subaru has jammed all the room of that car, and a bit more, into a smaller physical form.
Rear seat occupants have oodles of head and legroom, while the Levorg’s boot opening is conveniently proportioned and the load area offers as much as 1,446 litres of volume when you fold the rear seats down – with the straightforward push of a switch. Up in the front, the driver looks at a well-ordered instrument panel, while the centre console contains a touch screen infotainment unit that’s miles ahead of what Subaru used to offer up. Build quality is, typically, excellent, though now it’s supported by materials that display some extra tactility and high-class finishes.
In the United Kingdom, Subaru’s Levorg is offered with just one trim and with loads of standard equipment. Factory-fitted kit includes: push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, privacy glass, keyless access, sports seats, duel-zone air conditioning and 18-inch alloys. All this makes the Levorg a convincing car for 2016.
- Max speed: 130mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.9 secs
- Combined mpg: 44.8
- Engine: 1600cc 4-cylinder 16v turbo petrol
- Max. power (bhp): 170
- CO2: 164g/km
- Price: £27,495