The Subaru Levorg has dramatic looks with a large air scoop on the bonnet that symbolises its sporty credentials.

The vehicle is designed to combine estate car practicality with sports car lines - something it achieves in its own unique style.

The car is four-wheel drive and shares suspension components with the WRX STI, which means it grips the road superbly and offers very precise steering.

All this makes for a sure-footed performance on cross-country roads as the driver is able to really trust the car’s handling.

However, the power available might not set the heart racing.

Just the one engine is available - a 1.6 turbo Boxer, paired with a CVT Lineartronic gearbox.

It provides 168bhp and takes the Levorg from a standing start to 62mph in 8.9 seconds, which won’t set the world on fire.

The good thing is that, once you get up to speed, you rarely need to lose that momentum because the car is capable of devouring most corners in a swift and stable manner.

The Boxer engine takes its name from the punch-counterpunch motion of the horizontal pistons within a lightweight aluminium-alloy engine block.

The aim for the 2017 update was to create an up-to-date smaller turbo engine, which is capable of matching performance of larger, naturally-aspirated engines while offering greater fuel efficiency.

With a combined fuel economy figure of 39.8mpg and emissions of 164g/km, Subaru seems to have struck a reasonable balance.

Inside, Subaru says it has created a model with ‘one of the most refined cabins ever found’ in one of its vehicles. In reality, there is still plenty of hard plastic to be found, but there have been sufficient improvements to make it a refined and relaxing place to be. Pleasant features include high-quality fabrics and the stylish and comfortable heated leather-trimmed sports seats. An air of understated elegance is provided by the blue stitching on every seam throughout the cabin.

At the centre of the cabin is Subaru’s latest Starlink infotainment system, controlled via a high-resolution seven-inch touchscreen.

There’s also acres of head and legroom, while storage comes courtesy of a very spacious boot. There’s also a lot of storage hidden around the car, adding extra practicality.

The cabin of the Levorg used to be a somewhat noisy place to be, but noise levels inside the latest model are now very satisfactory after extra insulation was added.

That smoothness is further enhanced by the ‘lineartronic’ constantly variable transmission gearbox, which avoids the sharp kicks you might associate with a traditional automatic transmission.

As is often the case with Subarus, the Levorg has a meaty, solid and durable feel to it.

As for safety, a whole range of technologies have got your back if you happen to be having an off day behind the wheel. The ‘EyeSight’ system, which is Subaru’s driver assistance package, acts as a second pair of eyes by combining six technologies including pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. Having tested the pre-collision aspect of EyeSight in a controlled off-road environment, I can certainly appreciate its usefulness. It initially alerts the driver to a potential collision and, if the driver does not take evasive action, it automatically applies the brakes to either prevent or reduce the severity of a crash.

If you were wondering what Levorg stands for, the name comes from LEgacy, the Subaru model the Levorg replaced, reVOlution, to denote the car’s development, and touRinG, because the vehicle is Subaru’s contender in the British Touring Car Championship.

The Levorg may be something of a left field choice when put alongside its Swedish, French or German rivals, but it remains an appealing and practical car to drive.


Subaru Levorg

PRICE: £29,995

ENGINE: 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, four-stroke petrol

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed lineartronic, four-wheel drive

PERFORMANCE: Top speed of 130mph and 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds

ECONOMY: fuel 39.8mpg combined and emissions of 164g/km