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2021 Subaru Levorg: more safety, new engine, huge touschscreen

John Law

Subaru has detailed the new second-gen Levorg, which now boasts a 1.8-litre turbocharged boxer engine, plenty of additional safety equipment, and much more contemporary interior.

The new Levorg is underpinned by the Subaru Global Platform (SGP) which it is slated to share with the next-generation WRX.

Subaru is taking preorders for the Levorg in its home market, though Subaru Australia has not confirmed anything more than that the second-gen Levorg will come to Australia.

2021 Subaru LEvorg Rear 3/4
The new Levorg is familiar, but different.

An initial glance suggests the exterior of the new Levorg is very similar to the outgoing model. However, the front end gains a more prominent grille that appears to extend forward from the car like some kind of sea creature, while the bodywork generally looks more tautly stretched over the wagon.

Around the back of the wagon, the styling is more sculpted and sophisticated than before. Photographs suggest that this may be the best looking Subie on the market when it arrives.

To improve interior space, Subaru has lengthened the Levorg by 65mm (4755mm), while stretching the wheelbase to 2,670mm (20mm). Height and width remain the same at 1,500mm and 1,780mm, respectively.

2021 Subaru LEvorg Interior
Subaru has added much-needed tech to the Levorg.

The new Levorg shifted to a vast portrait orientated touchscreen, it measures in at 11.6-inches and is standard across all grades. Front heated seats are standard in Japan, with rear seat-heating offered. Optionally, Subaru offers a 12.3-inch fully digital driver’s display with rather snazzy Audi-esque graphics.

The Levorg has become somewhat of a cult classic in Australia after being spawned from the Impreza Sport Wagon sold into the mid-2000s. It now has to deal with direct competition from the Golf R Wagon and hot hatches like the Civic Type R.

One of the Levorg’s selling points – and detractors – has historically been the drivetrain. Subaru’s excellent all-wheel-drive system wins favours, but the sole option of a CVT gearbox means that enthusiasts found it hard to get along with. The second-gen Levorg remains CVT only, for now.

2021 Subaru LEvorg Front 3/4
For now, all Levorgs will be powered by a 1.8-litre turbo ‘four.

In Japan, Subaru is offering the new Levorg with only one engine option, a ‘CB18’ 1.8-litre turbocharged boxer ‘four with outputs of 180kW and 300Nm, that’s up from the outgoing entry-point 1.6-litre turbo in Australia by 55kW and 50Nm.

However, the power is down compared to the range-topping GT-S and STI Sport in Australia. A 2.0-litre boxer currently powers those variants, with beefier outputs of 197kW and 350Nm.

Currently, Japan’s Levorg line-up uses the ‘CB18’ engine to power the STI, we expect a hotter 2.4-litre ‘FA24’ motor from the US market Forester – currently tuned to 194kW and 365Nm – to motivate the next-gen WRX and, hopefully, upper-spec Australian Levorgs.

2021 Subaru LEvorg Back seat
It’s bigger for better occupancy comfort.

Active safety features for the second-generation Levorg include standard front and rear AEB, adaptive cruise, lane-keep assist, and driver alertness monitor. Upper-grade Levorgs will get more including a 360-degree camera, junction AEB assist, adaptive headlights and hands-off adaptive cruise with stop and go functionality.

The all-new Levorg may look similar, but new underpinnings and a much more tech-filled cabin will make it a more compelling option when it arrives in Australia.