By Patrick James on 2018-05-25 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Subaru Levorg 1.6i
GT Lineartronic AWD
THERE is no doubt that Subaru has no intention of overcomplicating issues when it comes to the Levorg.
No entry level, mid range or range topper here to agonise over, you get the GT and that's it.
It is a big tourer or estate car or SW, call it what you like which features the excellent and surprisingly powerful 1.6 petrol Boxer engine, mated to a Lineartronic automatic CVT transmission and Subaru's familiar symmetrical all wheel drive.
The engine is positioned in line with the drivetrain for maximum transfer of power.
With just one spec available, the car needs to appeal and have a good range of standard kit, especially when forking out a smidge under £30,000.
And it does, if you can live the, ahem, individual styling.
It's certainly no catwalk star and the power bulge seems a little incongruous given the performance, but there are some stylish touches with neat light clusters and 18-inch alloy wheels
In addition, the car is well equipped and the all wheel drive gives that extra grip and peace of mind, particularly in snowy weather or light off-roading. It drives all four wheels simultaneously, witha 60:40 transmission split, front to rear, If slipping is detected at the front, it instantly apportions more torque to the rear wheels for improved traction.
In addition Active Torque Vectoring brakes the inside wheels under cornering and gives greater grip to the outside wheels, preventing understeer and oversteers.
The interior comfortable and well appointed with with soft touch finish, well upholstered, part leather seats with blue stitching, flat-bottomed steering wheel and an array of equipment dominated by a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
This houses, Subaru's STARLINK connectivity which includes weather and traffic updates, wireless audio, news updates and a calendar. Functions can also be controlled by voice.
The robust switchgear and logical controls setup gives the impression of sturdiness rather than designer styling and looks a tad dated.
Steering wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth hands-free, plus dual USB ports and auxiliary input jack and USB ports for rear passengers are also standard.
The equipment is worth listing and includes some impressive safety kit including EyeSight, which employs stereo-camera technology.
One camera is mounted each side of the rear view mirror to monitor the road and traffic ahead for potential hazards up to 110 metres up the road.
The EyeSight feature offers six technologies including pre-collision brake alert and throttle management, which alert the driver if they select drive instead or reverse and the car is parked facing an obstacle, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane assist adds gentle steering control if the vehicle is about to deviate and an alert which prompts the driver with a visual and audible warning that traffic ahead has started moving.
As you would expect with an estate, boot capacity is huge, 522-litres rising to almost 1,466 litres with the one-touch folding back seats down and there is an extra 40 litres of capacity under the boot floor.There is a low loading lip and plenty of other storage areas throughout the cabin.
On the road it is a relaxed, but still lively drive, the 1.6-litre engines propelling the car from 0-60mph in under nine seconds, with emissions of 164g/km and returning a claimed 39.8mpg. The 184lb/ft of torque gives it good towing capability of between 750kg (unbraked) and to 1,500kg (braked), with a tow ball load of 90kg.
The CVT automatic setup, offers seamless changes and offering the option of switch to steering wheel paddles for a more engaging drive.
On the road the suspension offers a firm ride, bordering on harsh on more potholed roads, but road and wind noise are muted. Five are accommodated in reasonable comfort with decent legroom all round, although the swooping profile means rear passengers's headroom is slightly compromised.
Subaru Levorg 1.6i GT Lineartronic AWD
Mechanical: 168bhp, 1,600cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 39.8
Insurance Group: 24
C02 emissions: 164g/km
Bik rating: 33%
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles
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