Subaru Levorg GT

Lineartronic

Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, front
Subaru Levorg, 2017, front, static
Subaru Levorg, rear
Subaru Levorg, rear
Subaru Levorg, rear
Subaru Levorg, rear
Subaru Levorg, 2017, rear, static
Subaru Levorg, interior
Subaru Levorg, boot
Subaru Levorg, 2017, interior

MENTION the Subaru car name to most motorists and they will probably relate immediately to the sporty AWD Impreza turbo saloon that was so successful in the world of rallying.

There's still a pair of new Impreza versions available in the Subaru UK range today although the line is coming to an end, but over the years the Japanese car maker has utilised its four-wheel-drive know-how and added other models along the way.

One is the Levorg Estate (or Tourer as some of the posher rival car makers call them) which made its debut here two years ago and whilst Subaru remains one of the smaller Japanese car makers it gave them a new niche model.

Now the Levorg has been given a major upgrade although the powertrain, suspension and chassis remain largely unchanged.

Look more closely, particularly inside, and then actually drive the new Levorg and you realise there are subtle changes, noticeably in an overall improvement in terms of refinements and quietness whilst there's a much softer-touch to the furnishings and fittings.

There's just one model available - the 1.6i GT Lineartronic - powered by the twin scroll turbocharged 1.6-litre 168bhp four cylinder engine and coming in at £29,995 on the road.

It includes an AWD active torque split system with a CVT six-speed automatic gearbox that also offers driver the choice to go manual with the steering wheel mounted paddles.

Leaving it in the natural automatic mode and this latest version is impressive and enjoyable to drive with smooth and responsive gear changes. Opt for the paddles and the driver can have fun in a more sporty fashion.

Subaru has always made good, effective four cylinder engines and in this latest guise it keeps up that tradition. In the Levorg it gives the driver plenty of road grip and for an estate car it's extremely agile with positive enough steering and albeit a ride really on the firm side sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels.

Yes, there are perhaps rival estates of this nature out there which are more sporty in their manner but the Levorg is no slouch in the performance stakes - for example 0 to 62mph takes 8.9 seconds - and it does excel when it comes to good, response mid range acceleration.

Motorway cruising is a big plus in this car and it is remarkably quiet and relaxing, an improved seat design making it more comfortable for long distance runs where it comfortably achieved 37.5mpg - quite close to the official combined figure of 39.8mpg.

Another plus factor over some rivals is that the Levorg is stacked up with an impressive array of standard kit that includes LED running lights, a seven-inch multi-function touchscreen, leather sports seats and steering wheel, privacy glass, climate control, anti-lock brakes, adaptive cruise control while on the safety front there are plenty of airbags and the like.

The cabin is quite spacious and none more so that in the rear where both head and leg room are exceptionally good. Luggage space is par for the course with a basic of 522 litres available, rising to 944 litres with the rear seats folded down.

FAST FACTS

Subaru Levorg GT Lineartronic

Price: £29,995

Mechanical:168bhp,1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 39.8

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 164g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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