Review: Subaru Levorg (2015)
Excellent handling and impressive comfort. Practical and well-equipped. Smooth CVT auto. Five star Euro NCAP rating. Improved for 2017.
Just one engine and transmission. Dull dashboard, but improved with Starlink infotainment and satnav for 2017.
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Subaru Levorg (2015): At A Glance
- New prices start from £30,010
- Contract hire deals from £483.31 per month
- Insurance Group 24
- On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure
When Subaru stopped selling the Legacy in 2014 it left a gap for a very niche group of buyers – one the brand is now able to fill again with the new Levorg. Its appeal is limited, but for rural drivers who absolutely need a capable car that works in all weathers and on all surfaces, it’s ideal.
It does have a rather curious specification. There is one engine choice – a 1.6-litre turbocharged boxer petrol – linked to a CVT automatic gearbox as standard, with no manual option. As is traditional for Subaru cars, the Levorg has a well-engineered and capable all-wheel drive system as standard.
It lacks the ground clearance of a true SUV, meaning it is better suited to driving on roads. However it copes with rough, potholed, undulating country lanes tremendously well, combining excellent traction with good body control and impressive ride comfort in a way very few other cars can.
Inside, the Levorg is spacious enough for a family, with plenty of rear legroom and a large, flat, low load area. The boot volume is 522 litres, expandable to 944 litres by folding the rear seats, which is easy thanks to a pair of one-touch electronic release buttons in the boot. Build quality is very impressive – everything feels like it will last for years.
The dashboard layout is functional but it lacks the feelgood factor, which is particularly disappointing when you consider the high price. Thankfully there is plenty of equipment as standard, including safety tech like blind spot assist along with heated seats, a touchscreen system, dual-zone climate control and navigation.
Even with the good levels of equipment and well-proven all-weather capability, the appeal of the Subaru Levorg is limited. Many buyers will be happier and better off with something like a cheaper, diesel-powered Skoda Octavia Scout – but for those who appreciate Subaru engineering and are willing to pay the price, the Levorg is hard to fault.
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Subaru Levorg (2015): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 522–1446 litres
The Levorg is as well-made and solid as any other Subaru, but it does lack the same sense of plush luxury many buyers have grown to expect from rival European cars, such as the Skoda Octavia Scout. The layout is plain and simple, but there’s little in the way of flair or pizazz, which is a shame, since the Levorg is well-equipped and spacious.
In the rear row there is enough room for adults to sit very comfortably, with ample leg and headroom. The boot is a good size and shape with 522 litres of space available, expandable to 944 litres with the rear seats down. This is easy to do, thanks to a pair of one-touch electronic release buttons in the boot.
The load deck is flat and low, which makes loading and unloading bulky objects a doddle, plus it makes life easier for dog owners, since most dogs will be able to jump in without any help. There are a couple of flaps in the boot, under which there is a tyre inflation kit, along with some extra storage space.
Storage is fine up front, with a couple of reasonable storage bins. In the centre storage bin there are two USB connections and a 12V output, plus there are two USB connectors for the back row and two more in the centre stack, along with another 12V socket, so keeping devices charged is easy.
Connectivity is good thanks to a standard-fit touchscreen with Bluetooth and navigation. It can be paired up to a mobile to use various functions including web radio, controlled from the car’s touchscreen rather than the phone. It’s a lot better than the aftermarket units Subaru has offered in the past.
Also among the standard equipment is blind spot assist and a reversing system that alerts the driver of traffic crossing behind the car when reversing out of a parking space or driveway. There is also dual-zone climate control, as well as heated seats and keyless entry/start.
GT is the only trim level. It comes with automatically activated and auto-dipping LED headlights, auto wipers, Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection, blind spot assistance, keyless entry and start, heated front seats, dual-zone air conditioning, heated door mirrors, power adjustable driver’s seat, six-speaker audio system, reversing camera, seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, navigation system, six USB connections and two 12v outputs.
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What's the Subaru Levorg (2015) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.6i Lineartronic to 2.0i Lineartronic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 26–39 mpg
The Subaru Levorg range is simple – there is only one engine and transmission combination, offered in one trim level. All cars get the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol boxer engine, linked to Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system via a Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission.
The engine produces 170PS, with peak torque of 250Nm. Performance is reasonable, with 0-62mph taken care of in just under nine seconds, but the combination of an automatic transmission and all-wheel drive make for fairly high claimed CO2 emissions of 164g/km, with official economy of 39.8mpg. On the plus side, Subaru models tend to match their official economy figures in reality, according to Real MPG.
On the road the Levorg is very impressive. The boxer engine provides a low centre of gravity which, allied to the well set-up suspension, gives very neat, predictable handling through bends. Despite very good ride quality there is little in the way of body roll, plus the all-wheel drive system inspires real confidence, even in poor weather.
The Lineartronic transmission is probably the best CVT system we’ve tested. It has seven pre-programmed steps to make acceleration feel more natural. Useful for those more familiar with a traditional automatic. At low speeds around town it is very smooth and quiet. It can also be overridden by the driver, using paddles to select one of the seven preset steps.
For a rough, twisting county road or steep descent this gives some added control, which is important for the typical rural Subaru buyer. However many drivers will be put off by the lack of any traditional manual transmission option – and by the lack of a diesel engine.
|1.6i Lineartronic||40 mpg||8.9 s||164 g/km|
|2.0i Lineartronic||-||-||167 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Subaru Levorg (2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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