With the all-new aggressively-designed 2021 2nd generation Levorg model series emerging soon using what is regarded as Subaru’s biggest advancement in their automobiles since they developed the driver-assist EyeSight safety system, the scalable Subaru Global Platform, already used in the current Outback, Impreza, XV/Crosstrek, Ascent, and Forester, combined with a new 1.8-liter direct injection turbocharged engine, we take the brilliant outgoing 2.0 GT-S model, based on the 4th-generation Impreza, for one last bout of tests.
The Levorg is the new sweet spot in the Subaru family in terms of core-value dynamic performance combined with versatility. The considerably more powerful and focused Impreza WRX STi will soldier on mostly unchanged until possibly 2022, but the Levorg, today and tomorrow with the new model, fill the shoes left by the WRX for enthusiasts and Subaristi. The 1st-generation Levorg is a handsome and thoughtful sportwagon. The brilliant and larger Mazda6 wagon is more luxurious and more dapper while the Peugeot 3008 HDi crossover is an enigmatic and comfortable alternative, too, since Volkswagen Philippines stopped selling the excellent award-winning Golf GTS wagon. But if you are looking for a higher performance driver-centric all-weather wagon with deep abilities, then the Levorg is your only choice in our Philippine market.
I remain a huge fan of the brand but even I will admit that I bought my Subarus in the past based on their abilities and merits rather than by their designs. Sure, the cars were never grotesque nor would they win any beauty contests either.
After the testing period, I can say confidently that the Levorg is a very well sorted-out sporty wagon which I also prefer over the taller but smaller XV. With more cargo space than the Impreza, which shares its chassis and engine, combined with more refinement and standard equipment, the Levorg would be even more compelling than a WRX if it was packaged in our market with the STi variant in Japan with 296 bhp @ 5600 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque @ 2000-4800 rpm (up from 264 @ 5600 rpm and 258 @ 2400-5200).
While supplies last, I highly recommend buying what will be described in the future as the last of the classically inspired rally-cars, but it must be with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that only weighs 11 kilos more than the modest 1.6-liter variant which is more biased toward fuel economy. Our test unit had the Cool Grey Khaki exterior color. The 2.0 GT-S’ comfort-biased tuned suspension that use Bilstein® dampers are fairly well balanced but I would prefer more tire for even better overall performance and comfort. The standard Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 225/45R18 91W tires are good and perform well enough, but with a slightly wider and taller 235/45R18 tire, overall grip and ride comfort would improve dramatically.
The 5-seater cabin, like before, is best enjoyed with 4-up. It comes with leather-wrapped seats and panels that have blue contrasting stitching giving the interior a sportier and upscale look. It also has a power-adjustable driver’s seat, smart key with ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, multi-function display, rain-sensing wipers, 40:20:40: split folding rear seats with ISOFIX mounts, LED headlights and front foglamps, LED rear lights and DRL, rear parking camera, dual exhausts and moonroof. Unfortunately, there are no rear aircon vents for the rear seats, in their place are dual USB charging ports and the 6-speakers audio quality is satisfactory.
The CVT transmission is reasonably smooth and routes power via Subaru’s VTD-AWD system with a split of 45/55 front/rear. Much like in other Subaru models, you can adjust the car’s behavior using the selectable SI drive modes: Intelligent, Sport, and Sport Sharp, managed by steering wheel-mounted shift paddles when also required. Using the Sport Sharp (S#) mode, the CVT will simulate 8-gear ratios.
The Subaru Levorg is an uncommon choice brimming with ability, maturity, and good looks. I highly recommend it for buyers looking for versatility, genuine AWD all-weather driving security, and a long list of standard equipment that includes the EyeSight Driver Assist that actively controls additional safety functions such as pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane keep assist with sway warning, and adaptive cruise control on top of an already comprehensive safety suite.
|Cylinder Head||dohc 16V|
|Fuel Injector||Direct Injection, Twin-scroll Intercooled Turbo, Dual-AVCS|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||264 bhp @ 5600 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||258 lb-ft @ 2400-5200 rpm|
|Top Speed||223 km/h (140 mph) Governed|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||6.5 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||8.7 L/100km Overall|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||PhP 2,098,000.00|
|What's Great||Healthy linear power, feature-rich, best-looking Subaru at the moment, all-weather driving entertainment.|
|What's Not So||Could use more tire, no built-in navigation, doesn’t have the optional 440-watt 8-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system.|
|C! Editors Rating||9.5/10|