– By Rod Fuller –
Sometimes some cars are just fun to drive. They usually consist of a two seater, powerful engine, big brakes and extra firm suspension and look like they are doing 100mph, even when they are stopped at the lights; but you are barely able to put an overnight bag in the back, let alone a set of golf clubs. Then there is the Subaru Levorg.
Subaru has a long history of producing exciting road cars derived from their successes in rallying. Just think three letters, WRX, and you know Subaru builds serious performance cars. The Levorg continues this tradition by taking all the fire breathing power (197kw 350nm, DOHC Turbocharged Boxer engine – that sounds great!), excellent AWD drive and grip of the WRX and puts it into a station wagon.
Being a wagon, Levorg, has all the load space versatility you need to cart whatever need with you and do all your daily driver tasks with ease (taking the kids to school, shopping, going to/from appointments – don’t forget the golf clubs), but with the beast that lurks beneath the massive air scoop in the bonnet, will put a smile on your face every time you tear up your favourite piece of tarmac.
Driving the Levorg is a pleasure. It is beautifully balanced and the AWD ensures you always have maximum grip with the road. I drove the GT-S spec B, which has the Bilstein sports suspension. Country road – 100kmh, see the bend, turn the wheel – keep going.
Riding on 225/45R18 Dunlop tyres, the responsiveness of the steering and suspension is amazing. It just grips and turns with a surefootedness that gives you confidence to enjoy the car to its full performance potential.
Levorg also has Subaru’s ‘intelligent drive’ system with three modes for the eight speed ‘Sports Lineartronic CVT’ transmission.
Intelligent (I) mode, for going to the shops, Sport (S) mode for sports performance and Sport Sharp (S#) or “insane” mode for when the fun really starts! I’d say in this case this transmission is so good that CVT should stand for Change View Transmission. As anyone who has not been a ‘CVT’ fan (including me) will be astounded at how good this transmission is. It demonstrates just how good a CVT can be when it is done right.
On the inside Levorg is very well appointed, Dual zone climate control air conditioning, seven inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, which includes Sat Nat, Bluetooth and the reversing camera display. Leather steering wheel and seats (cloth on the GT model), heated in the front and eight way power adjustment for the driver.
The seating position for the driver is very comfortable and all instruments/displays and switches and control are both easily visible and easy to operate. The rear seats are 60/40 split and electrically folding. In the back, the load area is quite large and there are extra little ‘hidey holes’ to squirrel away smaller loose items, but sadly no 12V outlet for a car fridge.
Subaru’s ‘EyeSight’ Driver Assist system is standard on Levorg and will assist in detecting hazards, audibly warning you and then automatically braking, if you don’t. Other driver assists on the Levorg include, radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, side view monitor and high beam assist. All of these work really well, except I feel, the high beam assist, which I found quite frustrating because it dipped the high beam every time a roadside sign reflected the car’s headlights.
Pricing of the Levorg ranges from $42K – $55K, depending on the model and for a luxury performance wagon with all the bells and whistles it’s excellent value. It features a three year unlimited km warranty, three year 75,000km capped price servicing, data dot security protection and free 12 month roadside assistance program.
So looking for your next new novated lease vehicle, you need space, practicality and versatility, but want a car that feels great and is fun to drive. Consider this, I picked my son up one afternoon, when I was testing this car and when he felt the acceleration of it, he excitedly asked me “Is it a sports car Dad?” I just smiled and replied “No mate, it’s a WAGON”. Levorg may well be the answer for you.