The Levorg retains some of that appeal. It’s keener than the average family estate to drive and has the security of four-wheel drive.
The interior feels like a Subaru’s always did, with a welcome nod to modernity. And it’s more spacious inside than cars of a similar size outside.
That, though, is about the limit of its appeal. Dynamically, it’s not sufficiently far from an average estate car to win over those who’ll otherwise find a Scout variant of a Skoda Octavia acceptable, and although its 1.6-litre engine produces creditable performance, it’s mated to a transmission that saps its enthusiasm and economy.
So, in the end, the Levorg doesn’t feel quite as wilfully different as a Subaru traditionally would, nor do its more conventional aspects outdo those of the cars it’s up against. So unfortunately, the new Subaru Legacy-successor falls behind the Ford Focus ST-3 Estate, BMW 3 Series Touring, Seat Leon Cupra Estate, the Skoda VRS 230 Estate and the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.
To close the gap to this formidable set, the next facelifted Levorg, which is still some way off, will need have reduced running costs, a manual gearbox option and provide an entry-level trim.