First ride: The new Subaru Levorg

Strollers or pushchairs?

First test of the new SUBARU Levorg

It's a WRX STi. Clearly, you can tell from the air scoop. This face. Since the summer of 2014, the sedan athlete, who usually appears with a coarse tail unit, has had this new face. But - the rear? In the case of the Levorg, there is no wing mechanism, instead space for prams, handcarts or family luggage. It gets really confusing when you realize that it is not the 2.5 liter boxer engine with 300 hp that pushes the engine. Instead, a 1.6 liter turbo works under the hood. Brand new - but of course a boxer. 170 hp must be enough for the “WRX station wagon”.

Subaru Levorg 002 first ride test driving report

Driving report: The new 1.6 liter turbo boxer in the Levorg

After starting the completely newly developed 1.6 liter four-cylinder boxer engine, it is clear. Here one wears the WRX face, but the station wagon called for reason under the hood. And it moved in. Subaru has so far been lacking such an engine. 1.6 liters, with turbocharging 170 hp and 250 Nm strong. Then the CO2 emissions are correct and the consumption should remain within limits.


The Levorg clearly wears WRX-STi genes. Up to the B-pillar, it is basically identical to the sports brother, only with more insulation for the quiet in the interior. The Levorg replaces the legacy and is supposed to offer what SUBARU drivers want: non-conformity and that despite all practicality. The boxer engine belongs to the small but distinctive Subaru brand like permanent all-wheel drive. Of course, the Levorg also has the power of the four wheels. But also via the continuously variable automatic transmission CVT.

Probably nobody can do CVT better than SUBARU. For the European, the stepless automatic is the biggest obstacle despite the simulated gear changes due to the unnecessary jerking. But if you let yourself go easily, you can learn to appreciate the CVT.

In I mode, she stays more shy at the revs, inviting the driver and vehicle to glide in a relaxed manner. The 1.6 liter turbo remains acoustically extremely in the background. As is typical for a boxer engine, you don't feel any vibrations. It is fair to say that comfort is for a car of this class - SUBARU would never use the word premium - but precisely on this “premium level”.

Whirring through the mountains

But the root of the Levorg, which is close to the WRX, also means having an excellent chassis. The front axle offers an incredible amount of grip - the 250 Nm of the Turbo Boxer are also always distributed to all wheels. Steering was given a lot of responsibility. Sensitive, with good feedback, the Levorg can be curved through mountain stages. Once again Barcelona as the first destination. Once again it went out into the hinterland early in the day. You don't feel that the Levorg has to haul at least 1.5 tons in the base, neither in the steering nor in the brakes.

Only with the drive. If the 1.6 liter turbo in the city was one thing above all, namely inaudible, the continuously variable transmission has to chase the small direct injection engine violently towards the speed limit on the first sporty corner.

Turbo engines are not known for outstanding exhaust sound. The turbine in the exhaust gas stream usually robs the combustion engine of its acoustics. Nobody at Levorg wanted to tackle this issue either.

It is a bit contradictory what the Levorg does on the narrow, extremely winding country roads. The steering? Very good. Traction? Without discussion. Road holding and self-steering behavior? Really really good! But the engine and transmission do not fit this idea at all. The 1.6-liter turbo boxer buzzes outside of the world, while the continuously variable transmission prefers to pin it close to the rev limiter when driving hard.

This may also be the reason why the Levorg is also available with a 300 HP turbo engine in its home country. A WRX STi station wagon, so to speak.

The author would have preferred the 2.0D boxer diesel for Germany. Even if others have arrived at the 1.6 liter turbodiesel. The 1.6 liter Turbo Boxer is not a bad engine, but too weak for what the chassis can handle. And too thirsty for the brisk trip. The diesel would have been the logical alternative.

Subaru Levorg006 manufacturer photos first ride test driving report

No diesel, no 300 hp!

For the time being, however, there will be neither the diesel nor the power boxer for the German market. What is there is a car for people who are looking for something special. But please - let the “special” be practical.

The Levorg can be practical! With its up to 1.446 liters of luggage space, it convinces as a family station wagon. The permanent all-wheel drive gives him the extra safety and traction, especially for mountainous regions.

At 4.69 meters, the Levorg is manageably large. And what you also have to concede to SUBARU: with every model generation, the level of materials in the interior and their processing improve!

Nevertheless, SUBARU remains a brand for individualists and crossheads. Being different is part of it. The large scoop on the bonnet has a practical use: it guides cooling air to the charge air cooler. However, their appearance works - let's put it this way: if you take a walk in the front, you should have the tail mounted at the back. For such a sensible drive - yes - sensible, because on paper should be possible to combine around 7.0 liters, the sporty hat looks out of place.

SUBARU is unfortunately economical with the assistance systems. An active lane keeping assistant is missing, as is an emergency braking assistant. And even stranger: You can't even order an adaptive cruise control. For this SUBARU offers a blind spot warning and a cross traffic warning. Both worked convincingly on the first trip.

Subaru Levorg003 manufacturer photos first ride test driving report

Everything stays different: SUBARU Levorg

A handcart has not been lost on the Levorg. His drive is too peaceful. For the family, also as a stroller, it is well suited!

You can't really have more courage. Permanent four-wheel drive, always, and engines that you completely develop yourself. SUBARU is something like the “Gauls” among the Romans in the automotive industry. Cooperations are minimized, you are convinced of your own technology. That has character and also makes the Levorg a choice for people who want everything, just no run-of-the-mill.

Nevertheless, the author would like more courage. The courage to offer more gearbox variants and more engine versions on the market. In the US, SUBARU sells more cars than Volkswagen - so there is no rational reason to want to remain a niche brand.

Conclusion: the brand with the character cars

[= ””] The name Levorg stands for: “LEgacy reVOlution touRinG - 😉 Everything clear?


The vehicle registration for the SUBARU Levorg 1.6 DIT “Sport” | To the gallery

For sale: September
Base Price: From € 34.900 (€ 28.900 - Trend | € 31.400 Comfort)
 Engine performance:  from 170 HP
Drive and transmission: CVT - continuously variable transmission
Acceleration: 8,9 seconds for 0-100 km / h
Consumption - combined: 7,1 liters / 100 km NEDC standard (CO2: 164g / km | C)
maximum speed: 210 km/h
Length, width, height, wheelbase 4.690, 1.780, 1.490, 2.650 mm


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