The Levorg is Subaru’s weird-named successor to the old Legacy four-wheel-drive estate. ‘Levorg’ is a mash-up of the words ‘LEgacy’ ‘eVOlution’ and ‘touRinG’, er, obviously, and strange name aside, it’s a fairly conventional looking two-box estate car.
That – bear with me – makes it pretty unconventional in the UK market. For a start, there’s no saloon or hatchback version of this car. Second, if you’re interested in buying one there’s no confusion of trim levels, drivetrains and engine options to navigate.
If you want to buy a Subaru Levorg, you can buy the same Subaru Levorg as everybody else. There is a single engine option – 2.0-litre petrol – with a single power output – 147bhp – with a single automatic CVT transmission and no choice of trim level. You can choose one of six colours.
Compare that to the Ford Focus which currently has 10 trim levels, five engine options, three suspension configurations and two different transmission options – not to mention a laundry list of optional extras for an entrepreneurial salesman to convince you you need.
It means if you walk into a Subaru dealership there won’t be any upselling or mucking around and you can either afford the £30,995 price tag or you can buy another car.
Subaru Levorg GT
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, petrol
Transmission: CVT automatic
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
CO2 emissions: 167g/km
So should you walk into that dealership?
Subaru refreshed the Levorg – first launched in 2015 – in May this year, touching up the front bumper and 18-inch alloy wheels, adding new LED headlights, upgrading the interior materials and adding new safety technology including adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
For parking convenience there’s now a front-view camera as well as parking sensors and the now fairly typical rear-view one.
The biggest change though, is the replacement of the old 1.6-litre engine with the new 2.0-litre one.
I drove the pre-facelift Levorg a year or two back and, while I wouldn’t have been able to tell you everything that was different without checking the spec sheet, it straight away feels a far more modern and well-equipped car overall despite the subtlety of the visual and tactile upgrades to the interior.
With 147bhp available from the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre engine and a circa nine-second nought to 60mph time, the Levorg isn’t particularly fast or powerful even with the new engine.
The CVT gearbox doesn’t make as bad a noise as some examples of the breed, but in terms of performance it’s a bit lackadaisical as it searches for the right ratio.
The handling though, is excellent. The ride is firm, which is slightly juxtaposed against the lazy acceleration, but that translates to very stable cornering. The steering set-up is pin sharp and you can really feel Subaru’s rally heritage in the corners – it would be a lot of fun with a bit more power.
With Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive, the Levorg will be capable off road, although lacking the ground clearance of an SUV this isn’t a car intended for driving over bumpy fields or wadi bashing.
It’s not especially fuel efficient, with an official average of 32.6mpg and nor is it cheap – but with a single model in the range you at least know what you are paying and it’s extremely well equipped. Many competitors that appear cheaper on the face of it will creep up as optional extras, safety packs and premium paints are added.
Levorg is an odd-ball name and by nature so is the car. Despite its faults, I can’t help but like it.