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Subaru Levorg Test Drive Review

Date: 11 January 2016   |   Author:

Subaru has added to its UK range with the introduction of the Levorg estate. It effectively replaces the Legacy as the Japanese brand's niche competitor to the likes of the premium German brands and Volvo, and comes with just one trim level and, frustratingly for any interested fleets, just the one petrol engin.

It's a turbocharged 1.6-litre unit offering 170hp and emissions of 164g/km for an official economy figure that doesn't even reach 40mpg.

The Levorg interior is a cut above the traditional Subaru cabin. The quality of the materials impresses - although it should in a car costing more than £27,000 - and standard kit levels are high, with seven-inch touchscreen satnav, metallic paint, 18-inch alloys, leather sports seats, rear parking camera, dual-zone climate control and privacy glass all included. There are a bewildering 22 buttons on the steering wheel, including the paddles for the automatic CVT gearbox that offers a slurred but soft shift.

To drive, the light steering slightly inhibits rapid progress, and the engine offers some old-school-style turbo lag but is potent once it's spinning. There's also a lot of wind noise and the ride isn't always in tune with the road, but despite these criticisms it's still a likeable car to pilot.

There's plenty of rear head room and enough legroom, helped by the soft backs of the front seats that rear knees can sink into. The boot is large on paper, but doesn't look as big as its 552 litres, although it is usefully flat. Overall, the car is practical and well-equipped.

The big problem, though, is the running costs. That petrol engine isn't efficient enough to appeal to anyone but the most discerning of company car tax-paying Subaru fans, and the cost per mile is hampered by a 26.4% RV figure and very high SMR costs, although the insurance group is low. The only logical petrol estate rival is BMW's 320i xDrive that, in SE form, costs £5000 more than the Levorg but is more efficient and has a better RV, so is only 2.2ppm more expensive to run.

The Levorg's cabin quality, looks and all-round practicality and appeal make it a strong car that, unfortunately, is not backed up by the running costs.

Subaru Levorg 1.6i GT Lineartronic

Model price range £27,260
Residual value 26.4%
Depreciation £20,060
Fuel £7331
Service, maintenance and repair £3276
Vehicle Excise Duty £540
National Insurance £3273
Cost per mile 69.6p
Fuel consumption 39.8mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 164g/km (27%)
BIK 20/40% per month £123/£245
Warranty 5yrs/100,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 552/1446 litres
Engine size/power 1600cc/170hp