Blighted by the worldwide success of its rallying programme during the 1980s to 2000s, Subaru (pronounced like ‘kangaroo’) became the darling of the modified Japanese car scene. Yet, stung by poor fuel economy ratings and a shrinking fan base that wanted a never-ending supply of fire-breathing turbo-cars, it is a brand that could have disappeared without a trace, which would have been incredibly sad.
I really love Subaru. Yes, its performance cars were attractive but its real strengths lay in indomitable dependability and a carefully resolved occupant safety package, epitomised by a ‘three-rings’ body integrity programme. There is scarcely a more resilient and durable car on sale today.
The new Subaru Levorg offers estate car practicality with permanent symmetrical all-wheel drive technology. Refreshed for 2019, Levorg comes equipped with a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated petrol engine, refined exterior styling and a selection of interior upgrades that include even greater safety aspects.
Comfortable and capable around town and effortless on the motorway, Levorg’s new petrol engine is combined with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT transmission and all-wheel drive as standard. The family tourer also benefits from a finely-tuned suspension and responsive handling to deliver improved ride comfort and positive driving enjoyment.
The front of the car has been revamped with a more streamlined front bumper, a sharper front grille and refreshed headlight and fog light designs. A newly designed 18.0-inch diameter alloy wheel completes the exterior and, in addition to these visual enhancements, Levorg gains improved visibility with LED steering responsive headlights and LED fog lamps.
Inside, there has been a variety of discreet style upgrades to the instrument panel, door trim and switches. Plus, there have been improvements to comfort, with power adjustable lumbar support introduced on the driver’s seat. Rear seat and boot space practicality has been enhanced with a new 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat configuration that improves convenience and is particularly suited to loading long items, with two passengers still seated in the rear.
Levorg features all of the infotainment and stereo offerings you would expect in a family wagon. The intuitive 7.0" multifunction colour touchscreen is easy to use and contains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation.
Subaru has been voted Best Manufacturer for Safety Features in the 2019 Driver Power Survey and Levorg demonstrates the brand’s commitment to build the safest cars on the road. EyeSight driver assistance includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning. Blind spot monitoring and a reversing camera were also existing technologies and these are now complemented by a front view camera and smart rear-view mirror to improve visibility in areas that would ordinarily be obstructed from view.