We drove the Subaru Levorg 1.6 DIT: the magic of stellar sportiness…in a refined package

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Subaru has the stars written in its logo. With good reason. This brand has made for decades rally cars which stood head and shoulders above the rest. What’s more, these formidable machines still have legions of followers and enthusiasts today. Subaru has cared for them for years to come, by further designing and building Subaru’s which breathe this unique sportiness. One of these is the Levorg. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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The bulge on the bonnet is reminiscent of the WRC , as the Levorg uses its chassis… 

Did you know the name Levorg comes from the combination of LEgacy, reVOlution and touRinG ? The choice of words is quite proper: the Levorg combines style with practicality and tons of driving pleasure.  Technical refinement is very much felt here again, with a supersmooth boxer engine and transmission, all this set in a truly superb chassis (from the rally-bred WRC Impreza) which lets you storm through corners as if on rails.

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All this is topped with a delightful seating position, at least for your 1,70 m servant, which puts you not only at ease for hours on end, but also gives you total control over this Subaru. Every inch we drove it, we just had the feeling that we were totally “one” with this machine.

Indeed, sliding behind the wheel, we immediately felt completely at home. Nice very readable round clocks in front of us, a neat central console with a big touch screen to entertain us, let us communicate with the world and find our way in it.

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Pushing the starting knob, the famous thoroughbred 1,6 liter boxer engine comes to life. Smooth and silent. A beautiful sound is caressing your ears when you rev it up, otherwise it is very discreet and vibrationless. Some might miss the brutish throb of the “original” boxer, this one is more suave in its exhaust note, but more in tune with the character of the car; Mated to the excellent CVT transmission, it warrants an impressive flow of power, instantly available whenever you care to put that throttle a bit deeper.

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A neat and delightful package. Just look at the oil filter, placed right here in front of you for easy service! 

All this makes this Subaru truly delightful to drive in dense traffic and town. You are completely in command of every (traffic) situation, and this makes this Subaru so endearing. It enhances and completes all your driving talents, some you did not even know you had.

The pleasure continues on the open road. Just push the engine a bit more and have a go. You immediately discover how responsive the driveline really is, how agile the chassis, how precise the steering. Intuitively you choose that ideal line, and discover how masterfully the chassis puts all this power smoothly on the road. This is what driving  a thoroughbred car is all about.

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Despite its CVT layout, individual stepped “gears” are easily discernable, and can also be used of course in the manual mode…

When you want to add additional drama and sharpness in the handling of the Levorg, there are special driving modes to help you. Indeed, with a flick of your thumb on the right branch of the steering wheel you can choose between sporting or the more sedate “Intelligent” settings, and the Vehicle Dynamics Control System helps you to keep the car under control with its numerous sensors. Torque distribution within the permanent symmetrical AWD, engine power and brake pressure on very wheel is monitored to keep you safely on course.

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On the steering wheel you can select between “sport” and “intelligent” modes…

Of course you can enjoy all this sportiness in all safety. The Subaru engineers have gone a long way to ensure that you stay on the right and safe path. That you will not ever hit the traffic in front of you. Their revolutionary Adaptative Cruise Control will literally see to this with its Eyesight setup on the top edge of the front window.

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Of course you are warned when you deviate from your line, and when the cruise contol is engaged, it will always keep a proper distance to the other cars ahead.

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So you can relax, and enjoy the superb ride of this Subaru. It is of course also an excellent long distance cruiser, with outright performance to match, and warranting excellent Gran Turismo capabilities. The engine is good for some 170 HP between 4800 and 5600 rpm, with a healthy torque of 250 Nm being available between 1800 and 4800 rpm.  0 to 100 km/h is absolved in 8,9 seconds, achievable for anybody who just cares to put his (or her) right foot down. The top speed is 210 km/h, and needless to say that the high speed talents of this Subaru are just great. This petrol engined Subaru is reasonably frugal, helped of course by the CVT transmission, which keeps the revs really down in slow city traffic or in typical 30 km speed zones, where engine speeds around 1200 rpm or thereabouts are crucial for reasonable economy. The EC average consumption is quoted by the manufacturer as between 6,9 and 7,1 liter/100 km, with CO2 emissions being between 159 and 164  g/km. We clocked an average consumption of around 8 liters, which is very creditable indeed, much depending on the driving style of course.

Creature comfort

Because the well tuned suspension strikes a perfect balance between comfort and surefootedness. Indeed, this Levorg never feels to harsh when you drive it over our winter ridden roads, and the handling is never vague. Damper setting is ideal, and even when fully loaded, this Levorg loses nothing of its balance and precise handling.

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The finish both inside and out inspires confidence, and gives the impression that it will last for decades, which actually it does. We we’re especially impressed by the superb finish and workmanship of the black leather seats, which were tastefully adorned with blue stitching, found back in many other interior details, and amongst others also on the gear lever.

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The boot leaves of course enough space for most wishes, with a capacity of 1446 liters with both rear backrests fully folded down.

Conclusion

This Subaru Levorg certainly merits your attention. Very pleasurable to drive, it offers superb technology, is stylish, practical, roomy, fits you like a glove, and indeed is very endearing as a true drivers’ car.

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But again, this Subaru Levorg it is not only that. It is also eminently useable in everyday life, and last but not least, build to last. Indeed, the reliability and durability of the Subaru is legendary, and all this is certainly more than enough to win your heart, for that long, enduring automotive relationship…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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