NEARLY 40 years after Subaru launched their cars in the UK the respected Japanese manufacturer has introduced their latest model to the British market and the Levorg is just as interesting as those earlier four wheel drive cars proved to be but is much more upmarket and innovative along with the rest of the range writes Bryan Longworth.
In 1977 cars with 4x4 were very unusual because at that time it was only vehicles such as Land Rovers that had this sort of transmission but over the years Scooby cars have established an impressive reputation for their all weather traction capabilities and have become popular with all sections of the community including senior aristocrats and also significantly this was the first year when foreign cars outsold those made in Britain.
Levorg is an unusual name for the successor to the popular Legacy and in fact Subaru say the name comes from a combination of the words Legacy, Revolution and Touring which takes a bit of working out and the end of the name is pronounced as in George! Rather unusually there is only one model with one engine and one trim level plus one transmission system - a 1.6-litre turbo charged four cylinder Boxer petrol engine with all wheel drive and Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission with GT trim level and there is just one price at £27,495.
The 167bhp power unit produces a top speed of 130mph with a zero to 62mph time of 8.9 seconds a combined fuel consumption of 39.8mpg (the trip computer showed it to be just less than this figure) and CO2 emissions of 164g/km.
With its striking front styling including a large bonnet scoop the Levorg really cuts the mustard with the test car attracting numerous favourable comments when parked and in Japan the sports tourer styling has attracted many new converts to the brand.
The leather trimmed refined interior is the most luxurious so far on a Subaru and the car is loaded with standard kit that includes a 7.0 inch infotainment touchscreen connectivity and navigation system plus blind spot detection lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert which detects vehicles passing behind when reversing.
This was the most quiet and smoothest Subaru power unit I have driven which did not have that distinctive Boxer engine sound of other models and the nicely weighted precise steering and impressive road holding together produced an enjoyable driving experience.
The load area which is accessed by an easy to lift rear door is quite low making it very easy to load heavy objects like bikes and underneath there are sizeable compartments that are useful for stowing high value baggage to keep it away from prying eyes.
Dislikes? I would have preferred the speedometer to have been more prominent and the ride was a tad too firm for my liking but otherwise I really enjoyed this latest offering from Subaru. It is rather surprising that Subaru is only offering the Levorg as a single model petrol powered car with automatic transmission and no diesel engine or manual gears which will probably restrict its sales in the UK and I am sure their dealers would love to have a diesel engined model as well.
But I liked the Levorg and as Subaru has discovered in Japan it has widened the appeal of the company's range attracting new converts to the brand and I feel the same situation could well apply at UK dealerships.
Model: Subaru Levorg.
Engine: 1.6-litre four cylinder Boxer petrol.
Transmission: CVT automatic.
Top speed: 130mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 8.9 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 39.8mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 164g/km.