Despite the GT name and turbocharged petrol engine, the Levorg isn’t a performance car by any stretch of the imagination. From standstill, it takes a mediocre 8.9sec to get to 62mph, even with the four-wheel drive system guaranteeing traction.
Part of the problem is the CVT gearbox, because the ratio is constantly variable; it never responds crisply to a demand for acceleration and feels quite lazy as a result. There is a manual mode that creates ‘virtual’ gears but, even when changing gear yourself, shifts are inconsistent in their speed and have a certain elasticity. Engine noise is also a big annoyance, especially when you plant your foot and cause the CVT to send the revs soaring for an uncomfortably long time while the gearbox works out what to do.
The Levorg shares suspension components with the hardcore performance-focused WRX STI; this becomes clear when you drive down a bumpy road. While the car ultimately feels stable and stays planted to the road, whatever the weather, there is a surprising amount of vertical movement due to the stiff suspension, making it rather uncomfortable.
Once you’ve got your head around that, you can focus on the precise steering that allows you to place the car easily. It can cross-country quickly but ultimately the engine just doesn’t have enough power to make it truly fun.
There is at least precise steering that allows you to place the car easily and, being a Subaru, it is more capable off road than many other cars. Ultimately, though, the engine simply doesn’t have enough power – or refinement – to make it truly enjoyable.