Subaru’s replacement for the Liberty wagon, the Levorg 2.0 STi Sport, is the closest thing to a WRX wagon you can buy. Priced at $51,990, it’s a legitimate alternative to a high-riding SUV, combining everyday practicality with smile inducing sporty prowess.
- The 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine in the STi Levorg produces 197kW and 350Nm, which gives this wagon a sporty pep in its step. Acceleration off the line is impressive, with a 0-100km/h time of 6.6 secs, with plenty in the tank for efficient highway-speed overtaking manoeuvres.
- Throw the Levorg into a corner with vigour and you’ll be rewarded with plenty of grip. The STi Sport feels planted in the curves, and the four-wheel drive traction is aided by torque vectoring.
- The Levorg’s cabin is spacious and can easily seat five adults. The wagon body style provides lots of haulage capabilities in the 489 litre boot space that which stretches to 911 litres with the rear seats folded down.
- Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system is a handy addition for the safety conscious buyer. Its automatic emergency braking system is well tuned, and can help minimise or even prevent crashes in certain situations. It also means adaptive cruise control is standard, which is a handy feature for long highway drives.
- Tyre noise from the 18-inch wheels can be a tad obtrusive within the Levorg’s cabin, particularly at highway speeds.
- The only available transmission in the Levorg is a CVT automatic. While it is one of the best CVT transmissions on the market, with minimal noise and impressive responsiveness, it lets the STi Sport down. In its most aggressive setting (Sport Sharp) the CVT imitates a torque converter automatic, but tends to hold onto gears for too long to be truly useable day-to-day. The lack of a manual option is a letdown for a car with real performance ability.
- The heated sport bucket seats are comfortable units. However, for taller occupants, the seating position is on the higher side, which isn’t helped by the low roofline.
- The touchscreen infotainment unit in the Levorg is intuitive enough to navigate. However, it can quickly lead to frustration, with many of its abilities locked out while the car is in motion. This means a passenger is unable to connect a phone to Bluetooth, or operate the sat-nav while in transit.