Subaru Levorg 1.6i

GT Lineartronic

Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, side
Subaru Levorg, rear
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, rear
Subaru Levorg, interior
Subaru Levorg, boot

IN some ways the Subaru Levorg makes no sense whatsoever but it other ways it makes absolutely perfect sense.

It's quite a conundrum - but let me explain.

From a common sense perspective it's odd that Subaru should bring an all-new estate car to the UK that only comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission.

However, spend half-an-hour or so behind the wheel of a Levorg and the chances are you'll be won over and probably want one - I certainly did.

I got the feeling it's trying to be the sort of car for someone who's outgrown a hot-hatch or a sporty two-seater.

Maybe the sort of person who has undergone changing life circumstances and finds themselves having to consider the needs of a family - including such everyday practicalities as car seats and pushchairs.

Alternatively it appeals as a genuinely fun driver's car for someone who requires estate car practicality on an everyday basis.

Previewed as a concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show the Levorg is a successor to the fourth generation Legacy in a number of ways.

The name, an unusual break with tradition for Subaru, comes from a fusion of ‘Legacy', ‘revolution' and ‘touring'.

The idea seems to be to keep the ‘legacy' of the Legacy alive in a similar but slightly different package.

It sticks to the proven Subaru blueprint of all-wheel drive and also seeks to offer the kind of driving experience the brand has been famed for with its legendary Impreza.

The Levorg's all-wheel drive set-up is a simple but highly effective system that's more about on-road prowess than off-road capability, though it would no doubt cope admirably on dirt and gravel tracks and provide added reassurance for winter motoring in the snow and ice.

The Lineartronic automatic gearbox adds plenty to the package and makes for relaxed around town motoring but also has a sprightly and sporty feel when required, changing up and down speedily and smoothly.

That 1.6-litre engine sometimes needs to be worked hard to get the most of it but I found it to be sweet, smooth and sprightly - a real delight.

The price you'll pay is in fuel economy that's not the best to be honest and you'll be hard-pushed to get near the official combined figure of 40mpg.

I managed an average of 27mpg, which was as a result of a variety of journeys, though more suburban commuting than open road driving.

On longer journeys it did manage to average around 37mpg, which isn't bad.

As a driver's car the Levorg certainly delivered, with that fun feel reminiscent of Imprezas of old and excellent handling that almost invites you to explore the car's capabilities when going around tight bends.

As regards more basic matters the Levorg isn't a bad looking car. I sometimes feel estates are a bit like bungalows - it's hard to find one that looks good - but it has a sleek and sporty stance that's appealing and arguably even alluring in its own way.

The interior is comfortable and nicely done out. The instrumentation and switchgear still have a slightly rugged look and feel compared to most premium marques but that's a kind of Subaru trademark I guess.

As far as practicality is concerned the Levorg measures up well enough.

The boot is generously proportioned and the rear seats fold down quickly and easily to create extra loadspace should the occasion demand it.

FAST FACTS

Subaru Levorg 1.6i GT Lineartronic

Price: £27,495

Mechanical: 167bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 37

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 164g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty:5yrs/100,000 miles

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