We’ve driven the brawnier sister of the 1.6, and loved it. READ IT HERE.
It is a WRX wagon effectively. Some people want the convenience of a wagon but don’t need the power and expense muscle brings.
Enter the 1.6 for $35,990.
Outside, the 1.6 is all but indistinguishable from the more powerful WRX clones. Under the bonnet is a 1.6L boxer, and, of course, AWD. All Subarus are AWD except for BRZ.
Lighting is LED front and back, with an auto function for tunnels which is very handy. It’s somewhat ubiquitous now, but you miss it if you don’t have it. Likewise auto wipers, which have an adjustment to make them a bit less sensitive.
You get a smart set of 17” alloys, Subaru Eyesight Driver Assist, a 5.9” LCD screen and LED headlights. Unless you’re very observant, it looks like any other Levorg.
It has fewer gadgets too.
There is no high beam assist, or sideview monitor. It doesn’t have reverse auto braking, nor is EyeSight Assist installed.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is there is adaptive cruise control, lanekeep assist, and lead vehicle alert. The latter I could do without. It’s more annoying than anything.
The Bilstein shockers are missing too, but I found this omission more to my liking. The ride is superb. Since I never intend on track days being a thing, I’m happy for it not to ride like a dray on the off chance I’ll get the urge to ruin a set of tyres.
The SI drive is a smart system that gives the 125kw engine a but more perk. There is no Sport# mode but on a CVT, it hardly makes a difference. Speaking of CVT, as they go, this isn’t a bad one.
When you stick the boot in, it simulates gears by stepping in fixed ratios. The idea is that you don’t have the engine screaming for mercy under hard acceleration, and it works, more or less.
You still have fun in bends thanks to electric rack and pinion power steering, MacPherson struts at the front, and double wishbones at the back.
The brilliance of a Levorge is the flexibility a wagon format gives you. It takes me back to the Impreza sports wagons of old. There is plenty of space for a pooch, and it’s not so precious that a damp wetsuit will make it run shrieking.
Although the front seats have no power adjustments, the rear seats have a one touch electric fold function. The rear seats can be set to several reclining positions.
The audio system is adequate, and there is no carplay or Satnav. To a degree, Siri takes car of that by allowing your phone to be handsfree without CarPlay, but it won’t display maps and music on your LCD by mirroring the phone. It’s an unforgiveable omission since it is available elsewhere.
There is voice command, but like most voice systems, is temperamental. Frankly you’re better using the buttons.
You only get a single USB, but I can live with that.
Essentially, the 1.6 GT is very safe basic transport at a reasonable price. It has enough comforts of home without going OTT.
It drives well and has oodles of space.
Acceleration is a more than acceptable 8.9 0-100, while getting around 7.4L 100k. It’s comfortable enough to transit the countryside without feeling cramped, and it’s cheaper than flying.
I liked it a lot. It’s not as fast as the 197kw models, but it is a fair bit cheaper too.
Engine: 1.6L turbo petrol, 4cyl boxer, 125kw/250Nm
Transmission: CVT with paddles