Although he can corner like a rally driver in the Legacy’s successor, Charlie Flindt is concerned that he might get stuck in the mud in the Subaru Levorg GT
The Subaru Levorg GT is the latest road-going estate, not designed for the odd foray into a muddy field or for going fast, but Charlie Flindt finds it a fun drive nonetheless.
For something that certainly can tackle the odd muddy field, read Charlie Flindt’s review of the Dacia Duster Commerical. But can it fill the hole left by Defenders?
SUBARU LEVORG GT
Here’s yet another curious Subaru – the Subaru Levorg GT. Members of the Contrived and Strictly Inaccurate Acronym Society (WURPS) will enjoy the fact that the rather odd name is derived from bits of “LEgacy”, “reVOlution” and “touRinG”. So you can enjoy hours of fun working out that it could have been called the Subaru Acting, Gautto, Leonin…
It’s even odder that Subaru has used “Legacy” as a donor name, when the Levorg is a long way from the farm runabout that we grew to know and love over the decades. Yes, it looks like a Subaru estate – slightly frumpy and slab-sided, with a nose that seems to droop just a bit too much – but underneath it’s a quite different machine.
There’s no sign of the flat-four diesel that did so much to blitz Subaru’s reputation as a maker of gas-guzzlers. The only option on the Subaru Levorg GT is a new 1.6 petrol. Does Subaru know something about the future of oil prices that we don’t? Or has it lost faith in its diesel “boxer” engines? The so-called stepless gearbox that is programmed to work in steps is there but no low-ratio box (although there hasn’t been one in new Subarus for some time). And minimal ground clearance is the final clue that the Levorg is not meant for rutted tracks and the odd foray in a muddy field.
SUBARU LEVORD GT: A BIT OF SILENT SUBARU FUN
It’s a road-going estate, designed to make the most of permanent four-wheel drive and to let drivers enjoy a bit of Subaru fun without resorting to big spoilers and a tacky blue-and-gold paint scheme.
The Levorg is indeed fun. It’s not that fast but combine that low body (and low-profile engine) with the amazing levels of grip and corners can be approached with great enthusiasm. The CVT gearbox can be awkward – a set of plain cogs would be far better but aren’t an option. The ride is good and the cabin is comfortable with quality trim. The Subaru Levorg GT is laden with electrical gizmos and gadgets but, mercifully, they all seemed silent on our test car.
There’s another issue with noise or, bizarrely, a lack of it. The old Subaru boxer’s best feature was the “thrum” it made. The new 1.6 is almost silent. When you reach a junction, it’s impossible to tell if the “stop/start” feature has kicked in and temporarily killed the engine.
The Levorg is priced fairly steeply and a petrol boxer – even a modern one – connected to full-time 4wd will never be cheap to run. Subaru makes a great song and dance about it being the spiritual successor to the Legacy but I’m not convinced. It’s a good, roomy estate car with excellent levels of grip, beautifully engineered and well put together. But it lacks the charisma and countryside-friendliness of the Legacy. I know Subaru won’t
take it as a compliment but aged Legacies can still be found effortlessly thrumming their way across our crops in pursuit of hares. We won’t see, or hear, a Levorg lamping our wheat fields on a November night in 15 years’ time.
SUBARU LEVORG GT
Engine 1,600cc “boxer” petrol
Max Speed 130mph
Performance 0 to 60: 8.9 seconds
Combined Fuel Economy 39.8mpg
Insurance Group 24
Would suit lovers of good, clean fun