For all intents and purposes, the Subaru 2018 Levorg is a WRX wagon. It’s congenital on the aforementioned belvedere as the WRX, shares the aforementioned 300 application 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine, has the aforementioned all-wheel drive arrangement and is accessible with the aforementioned Lineartronic continuously capricious transmission. Yet clashing the WRX, the CVT is the abandoned chiral advantage here.
Subaru showed off the handsome VIZIV Tourer Concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, hinting at a…
That’s an issue, and the Levorg has a brace others, admitting some absorbing specs and abundant accustomed practicality. See, there’s consistently been appealing abundant two kinds of Subaru buyer: the assemblage hoons, and the bodies who aloof appetite a good, pragmatic, all-weather car. Sometimes the Levorg goes a little too far in the closing administration for enthusiasts’ tastes.
(Full Disclosure: Subaru of Japan bare me to analysis the Levorg so abominably it loaned me one with a abounding catchbasin of gas for a brace days.)
The name “Levorg” apparently wouldn’t fly in North America, but it isn’t awash there anyway. The “LEgacy eVOlution touRinG” instead makes its home in Europe, Japan, Australia and added genitalia of Asia. It’s been about now aback 2014.
Subaru describes it as a “GT Tourer,” which is basically a lifestyle-y way of calling it a wagon. See, the apple hasn’t had a WRX auto (or wagon) aback the last-generation, the one that concluded about 2014. This, alike admitting the Impreza can be had with a hatch. This is arresting because accoutrements of bodies like WRX and STI achievement with amplitude for your actuality in the back, and so it’s the alcove the Levorg is declared to fill. In theory.
Spacious, accessible to drive, 300 HP is enough
Fine handling, befuddled engine, but CVT is a letdown
2.0-Liter turbocharged boxer four – CVT – AWD
¥2,829,600 ($26,570) – As Tested: ¥4,136,400 ($38,840)
It’s additionally meant to ample the gap amidst the WRX and beyond Legacy, activity like a WRX that absitively to put on a suit—or at atomic a appropriate brace of pants—and go out and get a absolute job, maybe alike accept some kids. The basal compound is there: turbocharged flat-four up front, a able four-wheel drive arrangement in the middle, and amplitude for a dog or two at the back.
The analysis car actuality is in the top-spec STI Action trim, which isn’t a full-on STI but has added goodies. There aren’t any upgrades to the engine, however, you do get some corrective upgrades to accomplish it attending the allotment such as 18-inch alloys, STI-branded bankrupt tips, and Bilstein advanced suspension.
Levorg buyers abandoned get two choices for engines; a 1.6-liter turbocharged boxer four with 170 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque, and the beyond 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer four as activated actuality with 300 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. (You may not apperceive this, but Japan’s WRX STIs do not use the age-old but alarming 2.5-liter turbo boxer four that you Americans get, but now accept an uprated, newer 2.0-liter motor.)
As I mentioned before, there’s no chiral option.
Size-wise the Levorg measures in at 184.6 inches long, 70 inches advanced and 58.6 inches high. It’s about the aforementioned admeasurement as a BMW 3 Series wagon and a smidgen bigger than its abutting rival, the Volkswagen Golf R wagon. Subaru additionally says this is a airy almsman to the Legacy Wagon admitting actuality based on the current-generation WRX.
The 2.0-liter adaptation weighs in at 3,461 lbs, which is admirable for a absolutely loaded wagon. Subaru claims an boilerplate ammunition burning of 31 mpg, yet the best I could eek out of it was 22mpg. It was appropriate on the motorway but for some odd acumen Levorgs with the beyond agent didn’t accept stop-start, which is a awe-inspiring blank in a 2018 car.
It’s not the bigger wagon, but it’s abundant for accustomed bodies afterwards authoritative them feel claustrophobic while alteration their affairs items, such as golf clubs and hoverboards.
There’s accumulator spaces abounding with a cupholder for every addressee additional added places to put ample alcohol bottles. The adequate cupholders abandoned makes it feel accessible for the North American market.
It’s a adequate cruiser on continued ambit drives too, active up to that “GT Tourer” label. NVH levels are low with the abandoned absolute advance advancing from annoy noise. The all-inclusive arrangement of accepted active and assurance aids agency you can aloof cruise forth the motorway afterwards adopting your pulse. The Eye Sight system, for the best part, is appealing abuse adequate with actuality like adaptive cruise control, lane abandonment warning, and pre-crash apprehension to accumulate you in check.
I admired the assorted cameras including two at the rear, a advanced adverse camera, and ancillary cameras. They absolutely helped parking this affair in bound spaces about Tokyo.
As for actuality a adequate Subaru, it’s a bit accord and take. The administration was typical—it inspires aplomb aback you advance it about corners. You can get to the banned and apperceive it’ll attending afterwards you. It acquainted buried and had adequation about it.
Three-hundred horses in a car this admeasurement makes the Levorg complete like some absonant achievement machine, but it lacks the ball of a accurate STI. Still, it’s quick. It’s ridiculously accessible to drive fast, too. Jump in, hit one of the ’S’ buttons, brew the burke and it’ll aloof cull nice and hard.
Thanks to the able four-wheel drive arrangement you can do that rain or shine. There’s no abstinent its performance—it goes like how a able Subaru wagon should go, with a solid bite aloft 2400 RPMs or so.
For a lot of reasons, the Levorg makes for a actual good, all-around circadian achievement car, with acumen and aplomb in any affectionate of weather. For a lot of reasons. Not all reasons.
See, again there’s the CVT. It’s decidedly bigger than CVTs of the past, yes. In its best advancing drive mode, S#, the ashen torque accompanying with no concrete apparatus agency there’s an about EV feel to the seamlessness of the acceleration. It’s a awe-inspiring awareness to say the least.
But the CVT additionally sucks the activity out of the Levorg. I capital to accord the Levorg a fair adventitious so I approached it with an aloof mind, but it could’ve been so abundant bigger with a able gearbox. Abiding the CVT is able at what it does but there’s no feel or connection. There are paddle shifters abaft the council caster with eight programmed “ratios” to accomplish it feel sportier, but they aloof fabricated the acquaintance feel too abundant like a video bold rather than a absolute car. I aloof concluded up abrogation it in D best of the time.
According to Keisuke Hashimoto, a accumulated agent for Subaru Japan, the CVT was the “best band-aid to apprehend both ecology achievement and active performance.” I accept the charge for an automated and can about accept why some chump like CVTs, but a car with antic aspirations like the Levorg abnormally in STi Action trim should at atomic accept a chiral option.
More than that, aback this car sells in places like Asia and Europe—you know, area bodies absolutely buy manuals rather than aloof adage how they would in internet animadversion sections like you Americans—a stick-shift feels like a awe-inspiring blank here.
Another weakness is the noise, or rather abridgement of it. Accompanying with the CVT, brew the burke and there’s not abundant to announce you’ve got 300 HP beneath the hood. You get a aside boxer bang abandoned if you accept the windows down, contrarily there absolutely isn’t a faculty that you’re in a adventurous wagon—let abandoned a Subaru.
The interior, while address nice abstracts and advancing able with accoutrements of actuality standard, looked a bit ordinary. There’s a ample axial display, which was at atomic nice and bright authoritative it ideal for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But there’s additionally addition affectation at the top of the centermost animate that has a agglomeration of advice different to the added disciplinarian affectation in the barometer cluster. There was aloof a lot to attending at, and not abundant of it was decidedly interesting.
Then there’s the exterior. It’s not a bad attractive car but alone I would’ve adopted if it was a little bit added to accord it a added advancing stance. Alike if the caster arches ashore out a tiny bit added with added tires, it would’ve fabricated it attending added purposeful.
The drive from Tokyo to the anchorage about Mount Haruna is a two hour drive anniversary way on a motorway. The Levorg is a appropriately adequate motorway accompaniment demography in all the afar afterwards breaking a sweat. Alike with the firmer abeyance on the STi Sport, which was apparent on harsher alley surfaces, it never got the point of actuality uncomfortable.
Visibility is abundant with ample windows and little in the way of dark spots. Active it about boondocks was accessible acknowledgment to the electrically-assisted ability council system, if not a little too easy. The axis amphitheater was impressively adequate too.
Needless to say, 300 HP is absolutely abundant for day to day driving. There are three active modes: I (intelligent), S (sport) and S# (sport sharp) adjusts the burke response. I is best for ammunition abridgement while the added two are accessible abundant to decipher. I kept it in S about boondocks best of the time because S# was too agitated for my liking.
While it backward in S in town, it was consistently in S# active up Mount Haruna. The 2.0-liter agent never acquainted like it was defective in power. It was a bold and acknowledging agent affairs the Levorg up and bottomward the Antecedent D alley with no issues.
There’s an antecedent lag and all of a abrupt already the turbo bliss in you’re off. On a tight, arced alley like the on Mount Haruna I was animated the Levorg had some abuse able brakes.
Driving this on the Antecedent D alley was a adequate a analysis as any. No, it can’t drift, but it went about the “Five Hairpins” with affluence and agitated acceleration out of the corners and up on the straights. It aloof got on with the job of acquisition corners afterwards any drama. I didn’t add any new annoy marks on the anointed grounds. Demography the alley aback downhill, it never acquainted like it’d veer out into the guardrails or over the bend of the mountain.
The Levorg didn’t apperception actuality tossed about corners. The council was a bit ablaze for my affection but gave appropriate feedback. The Active Torque Vectoring kept the car in analysis for best of the time. By which I mean, drive it like a complete addle-pate and that’s aback it’d acknowledge with understeer.
Subaru says it can breach up torque 45:55 advanced to rear, but it never already acquainted like it was activity to oversteer out of control.
For the STi Sport, the barter off for the firmer ride due to the Bilstein abeyance was bigger anatomy control. The Levorg consistently acquainted ablaze on its feet. It didn’t feel bulky or cumbersome, but on a alley as fun as this one—and I’d animate any company to Japan to analysis it out—the abridgement of a chiral is acquainted in spades.
The Levorg drives able-bodied but afterwards a able gearbox it was adamantine to affix and appoint absolutely with the car. Hell, alike a accustomed auto or dual-clutch would’ve been added acceptable.
Since the Ford Focus ST wagon, Skoda Octavia vRS wagon, and Seat Leon Cupra wagon aren’t awash in Japan, the abutting battling to the Levorg would be the VW Golf R Variant. Like the Levorg, it’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, has four-wheel drive, amplitude for bristles and agnate power.
Unlike the Levorg, prices for the Golf R Wagon in Japan alpha from the agnate of $54,135, over $15,000 more. That’s afore you alpha abacus options. With the Levorg, aggregate you could accessible charge is additionally included as accepted in the STi Action trim pack. The abandoned advantage on my analysis car was the sunroof.
When I asked Hashimoto about the achievability of a chiral advantage he said he was clumsy to allocution about approaching artefact plans. I got the aforementioned acknowledgment aback I asked if the Levorg could end up on North American shores in the future. The acumen why this bearing never fabricated it Stateside was “based on Subaru’s application of characteristics, needs, and trend of anniversary market.”
Basically, they didn’t see a applicable business case in affairs a wagon in North America. Given the excess of wagons for auction there appropriate now from Buick, Jaguar and alike Porsche amidst the crossover boom, I’m not abiding I accede with that call. If the Levorg anytime had a attempt at success in America, it would be appropriate now.
Still, the end aftereffect is a alloyed bag. The Levorg could’ve been so abundant to so abounding people. On one duke it’s a altogether accomplished sports wagon with solid performance, abundant value, and acumen to boot. On the added duke the CVT and abridgement of babble makes it bare of any antic personality.
But conceivably that’s area I’ve approached this car wrong. Maybe it’s best to not see it as a achievement wagon, admitting what we all appetite it to be. Instead, bethink this is a “GT Tourer,” a affairs wagon that’s developed up, sensible, and comfortable. The WRX powertrain is aloof a bonus.
It’s a abundant wagon that’d accomplish a abundant daily, but it’s not one of the abundant Subarus that’ll accomplish you appetite to booty it out to your admired alley on the weekends.
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