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'Squat, low and raring to go' - 2017 Subaru Levorg driven

2017-09-02 08:00

Image: Warren Wilson

Sean Parker and Rouel van Nelson

Cape Town - Subaru's resurgence in 2017 comes in the form of three models: Levorg, XV and Impreza. 

Front-on the Levorg, Legacy Revolution Touring, looks like a WRX station wagon. Its design is 'solid'; squat, low and raring to go, can the Levorg fuse performance and practicality? We find out. 

What does it have to offer? 

The Levorg is essentially a WRX wagon fitted with a CVT gearbox. It has the same engine (2.0-litre Boxer) with 197kW/350Nm. The engine's performance is negatively affected by turbo lag but when it gets going, you're met by a strong surge of power. 

It has a claimed top speed of 235km/h and Subaru says it reaches 100km/h from standstill in 6.6 seconds. 

The infotainment system's graphics does lack the sharpness of a German car, however, it comes fully stocked with USB (five ports) and MP3 compatibility. 

It is practical?

The Levorg boasts a claimed 552 litre boot and even four adult men could saddle up in the car without incident. 

The seating position is bang on perfect thanks to electric adjustment and the big climate control knobs make it easy to adjust the temperature even if you're wearing thick gloves. 

What’s it like to drive? 

Smooth. That’s the word that best describes the Levorg. It goes about being a family wagon in an understated way, offering ample space for five adults. 

The Levorg offers all-wheel drive surety and feels rewarding to drive via communicative steering. It has a hard set-up which was enjoyable when you're overtaking or come across a set of sweeping bends. 

The lack of body roll is tangible mainly due to the boxer engine being located low in the chassis. It may sound odd, but the Levorg reminded me of SA rugby player Coenie Oosthuizen; it feels like you're positioned close to the ground and the agility for a longish car was impressive.  

What’s EyeSight? 

Now in its third generation, eyesight is a system that uses cameras to assist the driver. 

It uses two sensors at the top of the windscreen which scans the road ahead and is able to tell the car when to brake, apply brakes automatically and warn the driver if they're drifting in and out of a lane. 

The adaptive cruise control function which has been around in cars for many years works well in the Levorg and was useful while driving on the highway. 

Check the video clip below for a closer look: 

Can I buy one?

Not yet. The car we drove is a MY2017 version which we’re not getting in Mzansi, instead we’ll receive a facelifted 2018 model next year. It’s only cosmetic changes, so nothing major. 

In summary

Driving the Levorg was a satisfying experience to say the least, given the quality of the drive itself. Right away, you get the feeling that you are in the cabin of a well put together vehicle. The drive is smooth, effortless with stealthy gear changes.  

While it may come across as a composed vehicle, the Levorg packs a punch in the top end of the rev counter. So while you will enjoy a good drive whether on the long road or city driving, the power aspect of the vehicle is well stored for when need.

The Levorg is unsurprisingly a well-balanced vehicle. A symmetrical all-wheel drive system translates its power evenly to its wheels at an efficient rate.

In a nutshell, the Levorg can be summerised in three words: Simple, balanced and efficient.

One tester did receive a 'flash' of the lights from another Subaru driver, but apart from him no one else noticed the car.

The station wagon market has been obliterated by SUVs, and with the updated Levorg only due in the first quarter of 2018 perhaps only true Subaru fans will hold out until then. 

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