Motor Image has been building steadily to the launch of the Subaru Levorg, an all-new entrant they hope will claim a strong footing in the markets with its rakish and very Subaru-ish wagon looks, all-wheel drive grip and turbocharged flat-four power.
At the 2015 Bangkok Motor Expo, it makes its regional debut alongside the updated Subaru XV, with prices starting at 2.35 million Baht, and is earmarked to make its way into Malaysian showrooms around midway through 2016. Tan Chong International Limited (TCIL) Executive Director, Glenn Tan, was reserved about it’s price once it hits our shores, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Levorg takes its name from a rather interesting medley of abbreviations, specifically: LEgacy, ReVOlution, and finally TouRinG. We were, admittedly, a little apprehensive about that name but over the months its quirkiness and bold choice pronunciation kind of grew on us. It is distinctive, and surely a more characterful name will aid in the awareness to prospective customers. First impressions are important, after all.
Staying on the exterior for a moment, the Subaru DNA does make itself very apparent especially toward the front of the car. That over fascia is reminiscent of past Imprezas and that hood scoop is almost a brand trademark by now. Also the dual chrome-tipped exhausts are clearly meant to hint at this car’s sporting persona, as does the 18-inch wheels.
The Levorg we spent some time, all too brief, with was the Levorg 1.6 GT (not higher the 1.6 GT-S), two units of which were on display along with the 2016 Subaru XV. Under the hood, we find a turbocharged 1.6-litre boxer engine that chucks out 170PS and 250Nm of torque. Of course, this being a Subaru, drive is sent to all four wheels with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and a six-speed Lineartronic CVT.
Inside, the dark interior is accented with glossy black and aluminium fixtures. There are also grippier-than-usual fabric seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit mounted centrally below the air-conditioning vents, a top-mounted vehicle information display, keyless entry and start. Being a wagon, the Levorg provides excellent practicality with 60:40 split folding rear seats that increases maximum storage capacity to over 520 litres - perfect for those furniture spending sprees.
We’re hesitant to specify a Malaysian price, even tentatively for the Levorg, as it is well dependent on financial fluctuations between the Ringgit and Yen as it will arrive fully imported. What’s more, 2016 will be a busy year for Motor Image and Subaru in Malaysia, as the 2016 Subaru XV is due to make its local debut in January, followed by the locally-assembled (CKD) Subaru Forester that takes precedence over the Levorg. More on this as it comes to light.