Four-Wheel Drive For The Whole family
As a true four-wheel drive specialist, Subaru offers “family-size” comfort and performance with the new Levorg
Can we expect sporty features and performance from a family sedan? The answer is yes, albeit with the necessary balance between size, safety and performance. This is Subaru's recipe behind the new Levorg, the brand’s family car, recently upgraded with all the know-how of the Japanese manufacturer. This means, first and foremost, 4wd traction as Subaru prides itself of producing (almost) exclusively cars with this type of transmission, combined with a light, compact and powerful boxer engine, another distinctive feature of the brand.
Great looks and substance
At first glance the first thing one notices is a new bonnet - made entirely of lightweight aluminium – without the rather conspicuous air intake designed to allow the intercooler in the previous turbocharged version to breathe. The dimensions have been confirmed, 4.69 metres in length, 1.78 metres in width and 1.49 metres in height, with reduced overhangs and a generous 2.65 metre wheelbase, which guarantees stability and comfort.
The front end has been refined with tapering full-LED headlamps and their characteristic "hawk-eye" shape, graced by Subaru’s traditional grille. The sporty attitude is underlined by a swept-back silhouette connected to the rear by a generous spoiler that acts as an aerodynamic element and isn’t too bad to look at either. Visibility is guaranteed by large windows and the sunroof is standard on both versions, Style and Premium (with the most luxurious boasting also leather upholstery and standard GPS system), while under the tailgate the double exhaust pipe provides a dynamic touch.
Sober, elegant, well-finished and equipped with everything one may need, the roomy interior is characterized by eye-catching instruments, with a large circular speedometer and an equally large and circular rev counter, a 3.5 inch on-board computer display and a 7" multifunction central touch screen, with a system similar to what is commonly found on smartphones, and an Android Auto and Apple CarPlay interface to operate several functions directly from the mobile phone.
"Safety first" is the leitmotif, as the 5 stars EuroNCAP testify. The attention to safety, is evident by the generous use of ADAS and dynamic control systems by Subaru’s engineers. A double frontal camera, positioned on the top of the windshield, is the beating heart of the EyeSight system, able to watch over the route, alerting the driver in case of potential dangerous situations, reading the necessary corrections ahead of time, besides projecting the relative alerts on the windscreen. The Advan Safety Package includes the Srvd (Subaru Rear Vehicle Detention) system able to detect any incoming vehicle, the Hba (High Beam Assistant) for night driving, Adaptive Cruise Control, entrusted with maintaining constant speed and safety distance, Lane Keep Assist, capable of independently steering the car back on track, in addition to the Rcta (Rear Cross Traffic Alert) able to alert the driver on the presence of any cars approaching when moving in and out of parking lots. Furthermore, as expected, a multitude of SRS airbags protect the driver and passengers all-around in the event of an unavoidable impact, with seat-belt pre-tensioners for all occupants and an additional crossbar inserted in the doors for greater protection.
The spacious interiors include a rather wide luggage compartment with a payload of 522 litres, expandable up to 1,446 litres by reclining - also separately with a 40/20/40 split - the backrest of the rear seat.
One for all
Widely tested on other models of the same brand, the single engine chosen to power the Levorg 2019 is a 2-litre Subaru FB20 petrol boxer with 150 hp, not quite as sprightly as the previous 1.6 turbo, and with about twenty hp less, but perfectly suitable for this type of car. Despite the sporty looks, Subaru’s engineers have partly sacrificed acceleration and top speed on the altar of fuel economy and a smooth power delivery. No need to fear the competition, though. In fact, 150 hp at 6,200 rpm, with a maximum torque of 20 kgm at 4,200 rpm, managed by Subaru’s Si-Drive system with two driving modes, Intelligent and Sport, guarantees balanced performance without neglecting a little excitement, going from 0-100 in 11.7 seconds, speed limited to 195 km/h and a mileage of 11.5 km per litre, facilitated also by the Start&Stop system.
Just as with the engine, the only transmission available is a Cvt Lineartronic (Continuously Variable Transmission), which, through a gear management software, activated both by a lever on the central tunnel and by shift paddles behind the steering wheel, simulates a traditional 7 speed transmission with no loss of momentum.
Four-wheel drive is synonymous with safety and adequate grip in all conditions. The Active Torque Split transmission instantly distributes the greatest amount of torque on the right axle. Thus, if the split is normally fixed as 60% front and 40% rear, by means of an electro-hydraulic system with oil-bath clutches, at the first hint of skidding the system automatically transfers – in 0.1 seconds - up to 100% to each axle, maximising grip in wet and snowy conditions. From this point of view, the particularly stiff chassis and the suspensions design, with four independent wheels, enhance the Levorg’s touring character.
At the same time, the vehicle benefits from anti-skid systems, managed by Abs and stability control, which holds the vehicle in place during uphill starts and emergency braking managed by the Brake Assist system, ready to kick in autonomously in case of danger, through four generously sized disc brakes.
Although 17-inch tires are also available at type-approval stage, all Subaru Levorg tires are sold in a single size, a balanced 225/24 R18 91W, mounted on 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels in both versions.