Gazing at the Subaru Levorg GT-S, one cannot fathom the characteristics that compose this car. An oxymoron at best, a relatively large wagon, with a heart of the racecar, specifically from a Subaru WRX. While the words “wagon” and “sport” usually don’t come together, the Levorg is an exception to the rule.
We took possession of the Levorg with over 7,000km on the odometer. While the unit isn’t brand new (it was made available last year), test-driving a unit with this much mileage is actually more ideal; it’s a true reflection of the car’s performance: engine broken in, brake pads settled and suspension more relaxed, it’s the phase where owners can have a true impression of the car as a whole.
This variant is a far cry from the first Levorg introduced years ago. While its contemporaries have smaller, naturally aspirated engines, Subaru opted for a larger, turbocharged one.
A lethal combination
The Levorg is more than a WRX in Estate form, its more of a sports wagon that can carry its own weight and give fits to other performance cars. It’s also docile enough to ferry passengers in both traffic and high-speed runs comfortably. It does all of these in quiet demeanor.
Heart Of a Beast
The Levorg is powered by the legendary 2.0-liter, turbo-intercooled boxer four, that’s mated to a CVT transmission. It’s rated at 268 PS and 350 Newton meters of torque, in Symmetrical AWD system. Smells like a WRX, right?
Although power is a bit less, the Levorg can still holds its own. Relaxed driving is achieved from idle to about 2500rpms, and then the turbo kicks in. Overtaking is a cinch even with full passenger capacity, with the power pouring in until redline. The added weight of the wagon body seems negligible, pulling away with gusto until you back off.
While the CVT transmission offers flawless shifting in ordinary driving, sport shifting is a tad slow, limiting performance. It’s still a wagon after all.
Ride like a wagon should
Suspension play is firm but still comfortable, especially in city driving. Driving on uneven roads and small potholes can be felt in the cabin, due in part a rather big 18in rims with low profile tires, and the somewhat lower ride height. (this is usually remedied by switching to higher profile tire combo). While the lowered stance is pretty damn pretty to look at, driving through potholes, humps and elevated driveways are an adventure in itself that requires careful maneuvering. Long front overhang don’t help either.
The suspension has a tendency to bottom out especially under full load, but with cautious driving, it’s a hoot. It’s also evident in high speed driving in twisting roads, where the AWD system and suspension combine, making the Levorg a canyon carver.
Sporty Interior too
The black leatherette upholstery is on the basic side – except for the front seats. They look like they’ve been pulled out of a WRX, added power options and sinply installed..and they look awesome! Aside from the racing look, it has excellent lumbar and leg support. The only thing missing is the red embroidery. The rear seats are on the firm side, and have three seatbelts instead of two.
The cargo space is huge – at 522 liters and goes over 1400 liters when the seats are folded. Folding the rear seats is easy with a push of a button near the hatch opening.
EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
Technology wise, the Levorg has got it made with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. As the name implies, it is Subaru’s pioneering assist system that acts as a second ‘driver” to help you avoid collisions by way of three cameras at the middle top of the windshield. Features like Lead Vehicle Start Alert and Pre-Collision Throttle Management are two extraordinary features that are of real benefit for both driver and passenger safety.
EyeSight detects vehicle or obstacles in the immediate vicinity of the car. It activates certain features to diminish or completely avoid frontal collisions entirely. The author saw the importance of this firsthand, when the Levorg suddenly applied the brakes when another vehicle cut in line at 85kph! It was a strange sensation, initially thinking that something was run over, later realizing that the system immediately responded, even with a considerable distance between vehicles. This is perhaps the most important feature of the Levorg, followed by the Proximity alert feature.
- Direct Injection
- Twin Scroll Turbo
- Active Torque Split AWD
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Active Torque Vectoring
- Auto Vehicle Hold
- Electronic Parking Brake
- Idle stop System
- One Touch Turn Signal
- Emergency Stop Signal
Before we forget, one of the enthralling dash feature is the multi-diplay pod. Displaying different engine and suspension information at a press of a button, it is a reminder of its racing heritage..and look very cool too!
The Levorg is sort of a halfway vehicle; middle of a sport sedan and a mid sized SUV. It has the grunt of its WRX sibling while providing ample passenger and cargo space on a bigger Estate platform. Go canyon carving with the whole family, with confidence.
Price as tested: PHP 1,995,000
For more information, visit www.subaru.asia or any of its dealerships:
- Subaru Cars Philippines 187, EDSA, Greenhills · (02) 727 8333
- Subaru Pasig 105 Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave · (02) 882 9788
- Subaru Manila Bay Lot 39 Block, 2 Bradco Ave · (02) 880 9898
- Subaru Alabang Tierra Nueva, Alabang–Zapote Road· (02) 519 7265
Text/Images: Earl Manalansan