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Our Cars: Subaru Levorg 1.6i GT Lineartronic

26 May 2017: Snap, crack and pop goes the windscreen

The Details

Current mileage 2417
Claimed economy 39.8mpg
Actual economy 32.4mpg

Chips. We've all had them. Sadly, in my case, the chip was not of tasty potato variety with salt, vinegar and a dab of tommy K. Instead the chip was the manifestation of a missing chunk of glass in the Levorg Windscreen. 

The problem started on a Friday, as I left work, with a passing lorry kicking up a stone that then walloped the centre of the windscreen. The chip was tiny, so I dismissed it and carried on my way to enjoy summery weekend in Cambridge. 

Fast forward to Monday morning, however, and that warm weekend weather had transformed the chip into a four inch vertical line up the centre of the windscreen. Clearly, baking away on my driveway over the weekend, the weather had softened the glass and accelerated the demise of the windscreen. 

To make matters worse, as I set off for work on Monday, the crack had taken a life of its up, growing upwards of two more inches as I clipped a pot hole on the A14, before taking a right-hand turn. By the time I arrived at the office car park, the crack was pushing into the driver's side of the screen.

P1010048

Thankfully the Levorg's EyeSight system isn't fixed to the windscreen; otherwise the Levorg could have been off the road for a full day to have its screen replaced

After a quick call to Subaru's preferred windscreen supplier - National Windscreens - I booked in the Levorg to have the screen replaced. Sadly I had to wait a week because the screen wasn't in stock.  Thankfully, with a carpark full of vehicles on test, I was able to hop into a replacement car, but standard Subaru owners would not have been so fortunate.

The replacement work itself took less than an hour to complete. I also managed to get a closer look at the workings of the Levorg's EyeSight system, which uses cameras to monitor traffic for the adaptive cruise control and warn you if you wander outside your road lane. This safety tech isn't limited to Subaru though and it's becoming increasingly popular on all makes and models of cars in the UK.

However, while the safety benefits of safety cameras and radar are obvious, it could soon prevent roadside windscreen changes. According to the chap who replaced my car's windscreen, many of the radar-based systems need to be recalibrated when a new screen is fitted. This means taking them off the road , which is great for windscreen fitters in the winter months, but not so appealing for drivers. 

Thankfully the Subaru's camera-based system had no such issues, with its dual lenses sitting behind the glass, which means I'm back on the road again. I've also managed to gain a marginal improvement in average fuel economy, although I remain pessimistic if I'll ever reach Subaru's claimed 39.8mpg.

« Earlier: Continental callings with the Levorg     Later: Surveying the estate »

Updates
The Levorg has a huge amount of technology as standard. But Simon finds not all of it is as welcome as it is useful.
Want to avoid the stigma of driving in 'economy' mode? Simon finds you can in the Subaru Levorg.
Does the fact that the auto-only Levorg comes with a particular type of gearbox harm its appeal? Auto-loving Simon thinks not.
Subaru is one of the brands currently associated with the British Touring Car Championship, with BMR Racing running Levorgs. Simon assesses whether the racing heritage rubs off on the road car.
Have we been overstating the fuel consumption issue with the Subaru Levorg? Simon thinks so.
The time has come for Dan to say goodbye to the Subaru and summarise his time with the thirsty estate.
26 May 2017: Snap, crack and pop goes the windscreen
A small stone chip turns into a big problem as Dan's windscreen cracks up in the heat.
Dan heads to mainland Europe for a weekend to see how the Levorg performs as holiday transport.
The Subaru Levorg looks great. Sadly its performance is not as impressive, as Dan explains.
Subaru's estate has plenty to offer, including a huge boot. But how does it compare to the competition?
Dan swaps his compact and efficient Suzuki Baleno hatchback for the big and bold Subaru estate.
 

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