Subaru Levorg GT-S a fast, comfortable, feature packed left-of-field choice
What is it?
The Subaru Levorg GT-S. The entry-level performance model of Subaru’s Levorg range. The Levorg itself is quite an unusual proposition as it’s the only true wagon in a market segment that is primarily dominated by small sedans and hatchbacks.
All Levorg models are powered by Subaru Boxer engines and feature all-wheel drive.
What’s it cost?
The Levorg range opens with the Levorg GT which is priced from $35,990 plus on road costs and extends all the way to the Levorg STI Sport V1, which is priced from $49,140 plus on roads.
We tested the Levorg GT-S, which sits in the upper middle segment of the Levorg range at $49,140 plus on roads and, it is packed with plenty of performance and toys. There are leather seats with seat heating, satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking, so you can’t argue that it falls short on value.
What’s it go like?
The Levorg GT-S 2.0 litre turbocharged and intercooled Boxer engine develops 197kW @ 5600rpm and 350Nm @ 2400-5200rpm. The engine is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with eight steps – lesser models get six – that sends power to all four wheels.
That broad powerband makes for seamless, muscular yet silky smooth acceleration and Subaru’s SI drive modes endow the Levorg GT-S with three distinctive personalities. In the normal mode the Levorg GT-S is a hushed, quiet, powerful and almost luxurious cruiser. Select the second mode and everything becomes a little sharper. Dial up the high-po SI# mode and the Levorg becomes an angry, fire breathing performance wagon. Power becomes more readily available, the engine becomes louder; more raucous and the car just feels more involving. We liked this mode quite a lot.
Subaru claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres. We averaged about 10.1 litres per 100 kilometres.
Subaru has made an interesting move in choosing a CVT for a performance car, where traditionally a lock-up torque converter automatic or a manual would be used. The CVT itself delivers the power more than quickly enough, and drivers have option of flicking through the eight “gears” with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Ride and handling are first rate. The ride is comfortable and compliant yet the handling is predictable and tidy. The steering is well-weighted and communicative and that all-wheel drive system sticks to the tarmac like it’s on rails.
The Levorg GT-S is fitted with multi-angle camera system to assist with parking. On paper, the system is brilliant. Drivers can glimpse at the side, rear and other extremities of the car all in one go. Lovely. But, execution is a little clunky. Back up camera images are shown on the main infotainment screen, whereas other imagery is shown on the little display on the top of the centre stack.
The images shown up the top are too small, and you always feel like you have to scan your eyes across both screens, which is actually a little distracting. The infotainment screen is more than big enough to display a summary of all images and it turn would be less of a distraction.
What’s it like inside?
Well made, commodious and comfortable. The Levorg will accommodate five adults with a minimum of fuss on nicely sculpted but soft and supportive seats. The use of materials and fit and finish is generally very good, with the exemption of a few scratchy plastics around the doors.
Head, leg and shoulder room are impressive throughout, even in the second row. Ergonomics are generally fine, bar a few oddly placed switches, most of which switch off an active safety system of some sort. Maybe Subaru doesn’t want us disengaging them.
The infotainment system is also nice and easy to use and there’s also voice control for added convenience.
What we like:
- Relative value
What we don’t:
- Why no parking sensors? This is a $50k car loaded with tech, throw in some parking sensors, Subaru
- Can be a little too polite and quiet in normal mode
- Interior a little dated
- Not a lot else really
Sale or no sale?
Yes, we’d happily buy a Levorg GT-S. Just with parking sensors.