By Mike Torpey on 2016-04-09 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Subaru Levorg 1.6i
IF you can't think of a decent name for a new car you might try combining a couple of letters from several associated words.
That's what Japanese manufacturer Subaru did and came up with something called the Levorg.
They took LE from Legacy, VO from Revolution and RG from Touring and yes, it does sound like a sort of ungainly prehistoric hippopotamus.
I just can't imagine anyone heading into a car showroom and saying: "We're really interested in the Levorg, do you have one we can test drive please?"
You half expect the response to be: "I'm sorry sir, the zoo's round the corner."
Joking apart, it's a shame the Levorg has such an iffy name because it's actually a very fine motor car indeed.
Seen as successor to the Legacy estate model, the newcomer hit UK streets last autumn leaving potential buyers free of decisions over engine and trim grade.
That's because there's just the one model, a 1.6-litre direct injection turbo petrol powered sports tourer mated to a Lineartronic CVT transmission.
It costs £27,495 and is available in a single trim level called GT with a high degree of kit including all-wheel drive - plus one of the most refined cabins Subaru has yet created.
That means the likes of leather-trimmed sports seats with blue stitching come as standard along with the company's new factory-fit 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, connectivity and navigation system.
While the Levorg is slightly smaller than the Legacy, it does offer greater practicality in that passengers enjoy greater leg, head and shoulder room along with plenty of oddments space.
And its huge boot capacity rises to a whopping 1,446 litres with the second row of seats folded down, while you also get a deep, concealed storage box below floor level.
In fact the only one to miss out is the centre rear passenger, not because their seating position is uncomfortable - which it isn't - but because the transmission tunnel means legs have to splay either side.
Certainly the stylish, athletic Levorg ticks all the boxes an estate car owner would be looking for such as space, comfort, equipment and economy.
What gives it that extra edge though is an engine that performs way beyond its size.
The 1.6-litre turbocharged unit, engineered specifically for the Levorg, offers the same performance as Subaru's 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated Boxer engine, despite being 36 per cent smaller.
It delivers a real kick, producing 170PS and accelerating from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds while returning just short of a claimed 40mpg with emissions of 164g/km.
And as part of its safety features the Levorg is equipped as standard with the new Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection system, which alerts drivers to vehicles which are crossing behind.
It also joins the WRX STI and new Outback in being fitted with Active Torque Vectoring, which effectively brakes the inside wheels under cornering.
Subaru Levorg 1.6i GT Lineartronic
Mechanical: 170PS, 1,600cc 4-cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via Lineartronic CVT transmission
Max Speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 39.8
Insurance Group: 19
C02 emissions: 164g/km
Bik rating: 27%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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