SUV Practicality, WRX Performance
Practical, spacious, roomy in the right places, yet blisteringly quick and agile? I’m not talking about another SUV here people. Let’s stop it, seriously. We need more exciting options like this, the 2019 Subaru Levorg 2.0 GT-S with EyeSight. If I had a thousand pesos for every person who asks me what SUV they should buy, I’d be a freaking millionaire by now. Seriously, people. You are so addicted to SUVs nowadays. The name Levorg is a portmanteau of the words (Le)gacy, Re(vo)lution, Tou(r)in(g). Now I don’t know about you but at least it sounds better and less controversial than the Mazda Laputa, and I’m seriously not kidding. Just Google it! What you need to know, however, is that, if you’re part of the anti-crossover crowd, this is the best argument yet for the missus if she wants the practicality of a crossover, but with the performance from the Subaru WRX.
From the outside, the WRX hints are clearly seen. The front fascia is almost similar to the sport sedan’s, but with aggression dialed down a bit. Whereas the WRX is an athlete ready to claim the victory, the Levorg is more like the athlete attending hospitality school. You know it’s got the capability, but this time around, he’s well dressed up and ready to show the world the chivalry ain’t dead. The signature hexagonal grille, adaptive LED headlights with C-shaped LED daytime running lights, as well as widened fender flares and rocker panels are all telltale signs of what the Levorg used to be, a rally-bred sports sedan with the added practicality of a wagon body. The rear fascia is less striking than the front, though it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Overall, the Levorg is one handsome wagon that strikes a nice balance between sportiness and sensibility.
Once drivers settle inside, there’s plenty of space for the front occupants to move around. Drivers have an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, plus the steering wheel tilts and telescopes generously, letting drivers find their ideal position easily. The sport seats do an excellent job of hugging drivers into place, keeping them secure when the Levorg grips through the corners. The Levorg’s interior is also a nice place to be in, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces, as well as blue stitching details, in conjunction with the expected hard plastics in the lower areas of the interior.
In terms of rear seat space, the Levorg’s a mixed bag. The space on the outboard seats is okay, if not as spacious as the Mazda 6 wagon’s, no thanks to the thick sport oriented front seats. The middle seat, however, is a different story. The seat is raised reducing headroom, plus there’s a huge center tunnel further reducing space for the middle passenger. At least you get two USB ports at the back. Its trunk, however, is vastly spacious. It’s comparable to compact crossovers like the Subaru Forester, so if trunk space is your concern, this is one reason for you to consider a wagon.
Infotainment duties are provided by the Starlink infotainment system, which operates intuitively enough. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard. There’s also another multi-info display on top of the dash and in between the two gauges.
Also bundled is EyeSight, which includes automatic emergency braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, among other things. Do note that EyeSight is able to autonomously manage the throttle and brakes, which is useful in long highway drives and stop and go traffic. So if you people are sick of EDSA’s heavy traffic, then EyeSight is going to be your best friend. This comes on top of blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert. If you want to see our EyeSight tech review, just click this link.
Under the hood of this Levorg is the same 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed H4 boxer engine from the WRX, producing 265 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque @ 2,400 – 5,200 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission.
So how does this WRX with a large trunk perform on the road? It’s absolutely sublime. Whereas the WRX beats you up with its firm ride and a cabin that lets more tire noise creep in than most vehicles, the Levorg has certainly learned a lot during its time in hospitality school. The suspension is firm but pliant in all the right places. Its long travel suspension allows the suspension to beautifully absorb most road bumps. The 18-inch wheels with low profile tires still let a few bumps permeate through, but far and wide, the Levorg is a lot more comfortable than I remember. This new one delivers a fine balance between precise and agile handling along with a much more pliant ride.
Though the Levorg is based on the WRX, the steering is friendlier here. It’s not as heavy, nor does it provide the same level of feel, but it’s still responsive and extremely pin-point precise that you know where to point the vehicle through corners. The softer suspension gives up a bit of agility when navigation through numerous sweeping bends, but the WRX only has the advantage on any road that’s as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The Levorg’s handling, meanwhile, is not easily unsettled by road bumps when transitioning from one corner to another.
With so much power on tap, the Levorg 2.0 accelerates effortlessly. By default, the Levorg 2.0 GT-S always starts in Intelligent or I mode. While it provides adequate power for most circumstances, if you truly want to feel whatever is left of its WRX underpinnings, leave it in Sport or S mode. Sport sharp or S# mode is too aggressive for me for daily use, but enjoyable when the roads open up, and then, all hell breaks loose. A simple tap of the gas pedal is enough to send this wagon to light speed. Okay, I may be exaggerating, but the Levorg in the appropriate mode is a hell lot of fun down the twisties.
For a wagon with so much power on tap and with permanent AWD, fuel economy is quite good. For the entire week that the Levorg was with me, I achieved 9.1 km/l (11 l/100 km based on the trip computer) which is excellent for the amount of power and handling capabilities that this wagon has.
Pricing for this Levorg 2.0 starts at P1,998,000, which is extremely close to the Subaru WRX. Now, since I’m a die-hard wagon fan, I know which car I’d throw my money into. Many have splurged for the Subaru Forester XT because of its powerful engine, high ground clearance, excellent off-road capability, and spacious interior. With the turbocharged Subaru Forester XT already out of the picture, the torch has now been passed on to this Subaru Levorg 2.0 GT-S. Not only does it fulfill a void now left by the highly popular turbocharged crossover, but it also provides a strong case for enthusiasts who want the practicality of an SUV, but with the performance of the WRX. The Levorg is anyone’s best argument yet for avoiding a crossover.
Pricing and Rating
Exterior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★☆
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
Overall: 4.5 out of 5