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Subaru re-jigs Levorg for 2018

Hot hauler: The Subaru Levorg line-up has expanded from two variants to four with the model year 2018 version.

New 1.6-litre variant brings the price of Subaru Levorg down to $35,990 plus ORCs

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Subaru logo1 Aug 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

SUBARU Australia has introduced a new entry-level version of its Levorg wagon, bringing the price of entry down by $7250 to $35,990 plus on-road costs in a bid to build the appeal of the slow-selling load lugger Down Under.

The Levorg arrived in Australia in June last year – two and a half years after its reveal at the 2013 Tokyo motor show – and was offered with one powertrain in two specification grades from $43,290 for the GT and $49,140 for the GT-S.

To bring the price down, Subaru has brought in a new powertrain for the base offerings, which has never been made available in Australia before.

It is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 125kW from 4800-5600rpm and 250Nm at 1800-4800rpm, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The new 1.6-litre unit consumes 7.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle while emitting 169g/km of CO2 and is available in base GT from $35,990 and GT Premium at $42,890.

Naturally all Levorg variants are fitted with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.

Subaru has retained the 2.0-litre turbocharged boxer four-pot for the GT-S, which keeps its $49,140 pricetag, while a new sportier flagship STI Sport variant tops the range at $51,990.

The 2.0-litre unit delivers 197kW at 5600rpm and 350Nm at 2400-5200rpm, is paired with a CVT, and consumes 8.7L/100km and emits 201g/km of CO2.

Subaru has not provided 0-100mk/h times for the 1.6-litre variants and it is unclear if the 6.6-second sprint for the 2.0-litre models has been maintained.

The Japanese car-maker has addressed some criticism of the Levorg’s ride with the model year 2018 update, by tweaking the Bilstein front and rear suspension in the 1.6 GT Premium, 2.0 GT-S and 2.0 STI Sport to ensure a smoother ride.

Changes to the set-up include damping force, rebound length, front arm rubber bush plates and the diameter of the rear stabilisers, making for a flatter ride with minimal pitching and better absorption of bumps.

The brakes have also been altered, with 2.0 variants benefiting from brake pads that are made with a high friction coefficient material.

New LED headlights and higher-quality LED foglights are the extent of the exterior tweaks over the outgoing model. There are seven exterior colours on offer, while STI Sport buyers can opt for WR Blue.

The EyeSight driver assist system with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane sway warning, lead vehicle start alert, pre-collision braking system, pre-collision brake assist, pre-collision throttle management, pre-collision steering assist, brake light recognition and lane keep assist is standard on all Levorgs.

Also standard from base GT up is vehicle hold assist, dynamic headlights, front and rear foglights, reversing camera, heated and electric folding door mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels with a space saver spare, a rear diffuser and tailgate spoiler, LED tail-lights and automatic lights and wipers.

It also gains a 6.2-inch touchscreen with a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control air-con, idle-stop, cloth trim, rear privacy glass, push button start, a new larger 5.9-inch multi-function display, auxiliary jack, USB ports front and rear and a leather multi-function steering wheel and gear shifter.

Stepping up to the 1.6 GT Premium adds the Bilstein suspension set-up, an electric sunroof, a windscreen de-icer, black accents in headlights, heated front seats, leather trim with blue stitching, 7.0-inch screen with sat-nav, front sports seats, 18-inch alloys, a Smart Rearview Mirror that can display images from the rear camera and a Vision Assist package that includes blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, high beam assist a front camera and a side view monitor.

The 2.0 GT-S ditches idle-stop but gains a Sport # driving mode and black accents on the wheels.

Finally the STI Sport adds STI flourishes such as exhaust tips, side sill plates, 18-inch alloys, tuned suspension steering wheel logo and instrument cluster logo, as well as maroon leather trimmed seats and a unique front and rear bumper.

Subaru Australia managing director, Colin Christie, said the expanded Levorg range would boost the appeal of the sporty wagon.

“Levorg has opened up a whole new performance niche for Subaru since we launched just over a year ago,” he said.

“We can now see even greater opportunity with the addition of two 1.6-litre turbo variants that will make this fun, flexible wagon available to an even greater cross-section of customers.

“Equally, by adding the prestige of the STI badge to the range-topping 2.0 STI Sport, we’re catering to customer demand for something even more exclusive at the top of the range – so the freshened MY18 line-up represents a significant opportunity for us.”

In the six months it was on sale last year from June, Subaru sold 1621 Levorgs in Australia, and so far this year, Subaru has shifted 493 examples.

Rivals for the Levorg include the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf wagons, the just launched Renault Megane, Peugeot’s 308 and a number of other mid-size wagons.

2017 Subaru Levorg pricing*
GT (a)$35,990
GT Premium (a)$42,890
GT-S (a)$49,140
STI Sport (a)$51,990
*Excludes on-road costs

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