Just testing: Subaru Levorg 2.0i GT Lineartronic

Want to rediscover your love of driving? Tim Gibson reckons Subaru’s latest grand tourer is a good place to start

By Tim Gibson

It’s a crystal clear evening in the countryside. I’m leaving a late meeting in the middle of nowhere, and the road is empty. It’s a twisting A-road, full of beautiful bends and crisp cambers. The sort of road that just begs to be driven.

    It’s like someone has snuck out and painted glue on the tyres. They just won’t give up their grip.  

And, boy, have I got the car to drive it in: the new Subaru Levorg. A 2.0-litre petrol-powered grand tourer that looks every inch the spiritual successor to the super-fast Imprezas whose DNA it shares.

To be clear, it’s not the fastest car by any stretch. The engine generates 148bhp, which isn’t a huge output. But Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive set-up makes perfect use of every single one of those horses. It’s like someone has snuck out and painted glue on the tyres. They just won’t give up their grip.

All of which makes for a thrilling experience. It’s not so much that you drive the Levorg quickly. I don’t think I break the speed limit once during my absorbing drive home. But the razor-sharp handling and astonishing poise mean you feel every bend and, yes, can take them a bit more briskly than in a conventional family car.

I’ll be honest. I’d forgotten how much I love driving until I piloted the Levorg for a week. I don’t think there was a single journey that didn’t end with me taking a detour, just to add a few minutes to my time behind the wheel. Likewise, I made sure every trip incorporated at least one country road. I think it would have been rude not to.

This is the sort of car on which Subaru built its reputation in the 1990s: a dependable estate with a decent-sized boot and plenty of room for the whole family, but offering the sort of driving experience that would keep any hot-hatch-loving boy racer on their toes.

Indeed, if you grew up as I did hankering after a gold-wheeled Impreza WRX, the Levorg is a pleasing trip down memory lane. It’s like turning on the radio to hear Oasis blaring out. Or popping home and opening the fridge to see it full of pork pies and Scotch eggs. Takes you right back to your youth, summoning all the emotions and excitements of the past.

And here’s the thing: because, for most of us, the Impreza WRX was just a dream. Even if we could afford to buy one, the cost of insuring it put it way beyond reach. So we made do with our souped-up Golfs and Escorts, longing for the day when we became respectable grown-ups whose car insurance premiums didn’t run into the thousands of pounds.

    Where it’s in a class of its own, though, is in delivering sheer driving pleasure.  

Now, that day has come. And the Levorg represents the acceptable face of our teenage longing. It’s a smart family car, one that looks perfectly at home in the office car park. It’s practical, safe (very safe, thanks to a dizzying array of active safety features) and hugely comfortable. In fact, you can see that Subaru benchmarks itself against Volvo when it comes to all three of these features.

Where it’s in a class of its own, though, is in delivering sheer driving pleasure. Honestly, it’s brilliant. Just a dream come true.

Okay, so it’s fairly thirsty (I averaged 32mpg during a week of mixed-use, but with a lot of motorway work) and the interior isn’t a patch on more premium offerings. And some will find the styling a bit weird, as is always the way with Japanese cars.

Oh, and the heated seats either burn your backside to smithereens on high setting or deliver less warmth than a rabbit’s fart on low setting.

These niggles aside, the Levorg is a winner. And, once you’re piloting it along a quiet country road, you’ll forgive it anything. It’s sublime. Totally sublime.

That’s what I think as I career along on my way home, at any rate. In that moment, I can’t think of a car in the world I’d rather be driving. Not a Bentley or a Porsche or a Mercedes-Benz can match the Levorg for the base pleasure it delivers. A bit like Oasis, really: flawed, absolutely, but impossible to resist.

On test

  • Subaru Levorg 2.0i GT Lineartronic
  • 148BHP
  • 62mpg combined (official figures)
  • 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds
  • 167g/km CO2 emissions
  • Price: £30,995 on the road

Tim Gibson has written about cars for 25 years. His work regularly appears in The Daily Telegraph and other national media.

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 16 December 2019

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Just testing: Range Rover Evoque D180 First Edition

You may also enjoy: Five ways to make your car ready for winter

Jobs currently available

New job
Designer
Sector: Creative Arts and Design
Salary: £25,000 - £28,000 per annum
Location: Kelvedon
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909686
About the role

Are you an experienced Designer looking for your next opportunity?

Are you proficient on a MAC?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based on the outskirts of Kelvedon.

Your duties will include:

  • Producing good, eye-catching design concepts
  • Striving for creative output that is to the highest standards in execution and application
  • Upholding best practice ideas and aiming to consistently deliver the best design output
  • Good problem-solving and contribution towards concept idea generation
  • Proficient Mac operating and creative software skills
  • Strong design and visualisation ability
  • Contributing to creative team development with inspiration, insight and design trends found in the wider creative industry
  • Good communication skills and able to articulate work and ideas to the Creative and Client Services teams
  • Supporting the delivery of pitches and presentations
  • Well-rounded contribution to all design projects

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday – Friday 09.00 – 17.30.

If you are interested then apply today!

Read more
New job
Small Plant Engineer / Mechanic
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £20,000 - £26,000 per annum
Location: Earls Colne
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909734
About the role

Just Recruitment is seeking a Small Plant Maintenance Engineer to join a company on the outskirts of Halstead, Essex.

  • Due to the company’s location, you must be able to drive to be considered for this position.
  • Working Monday to Friday, 7.30am-4.30pm - Must be flexible to work shifts to assist with holiday cover/absence when needed.
  • Working as part of a maintenance team, primarily in the workshop, to ensure all site equipment (handheld and small tools) remain serviceable, safe and functioning correctly. (Knowledge and experience of two-stroke engines will be a distinct advantage as would welding/fabricating experience.)
  • Assisting with preventative and reactive maintenance when required on all machinery and production-related equipment.
  • Carrying out other tasks and duties as reasonably directed by your Foreman and Line Manager.

Key skills and experience required:

  • Experienced mechanic with a good all-round knowledge of mechanical and electrical principles.

The company will consider a graduate/college leaver with a genuine interest in Mechanics / Engineering, as they can offer in-house training and guidance.

A competitive salary is on offer with a wide range of additional benefits.

Performance-based yearly bonus scheme, with 50% paid in December and 50% in March.

23 days paid holiday plus the statutory Bank holidays.

Health insurance policy that contributes towards dentist/optician costs, physiotherapy etc. Recently-refurbished canteen serving subsidised healthy meals produced by our experienced chef.

Working Monday to Friday, 7.30am–4.30pm – Must be flexible to work shifts to assist with holiday cover/absence when needed.

Read more
New job
Mechanical, Electrical & Trim (MET) Technician
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Competitive depending on experience
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909711
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an experienced Mechanical, Electrical and Trim (MET) Technician on behalf of a company based on the outskirts of Sudbury.

You will be keen to get involved with all aspects of the Bodyshop.

Duties:

  • To strip and fit damaged panels, interior trim and mechanical/electrical parts
  • To perform all work assigned in a timely manner, economically and to company and manufacturers standards
  • Assess faults
  • Job cards and assessment reports
  • Accessing and removing mechanical and electrical components
  • Removing and fitting non-structural body panels
  • Removing and re-installing mechanical and electrical systems
  • Vehicle valeting
  • To operate equipment and carry out all duties in a safe manner
  • To maintain equipment, protective clothing and work areas in a clean, tidy and safe condition
  • To maintain a high level of competence for the work to be undertaken by undergoing on-site training, attending courses at suppliers and manufacturers and reading technical bulletins as required

Qualifications:

  • ATA or NVQ is essential

Personal qualities:

  • Reliable friendly and willing to continue gaining training to keep up with the latest technology
Read more
New job
Semi-Experienced Estimator
Sector: Property and Construction
Salary: £20,000 - £24,000 per annum
Location: Earls Colne
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909869
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Semi-Experienced Estimator on behalf of a company based in Earls Colne, Essex.

Your main responsibilities:

  • To contact the clients, architects and engineers either by phone or email to obtain accurate information about their precast concrete flooring and/or stair requirement.
  • To produce accurate quotations that reflect the clients’ requirements.
  • To liaise with colleagues within the Sales and Estimating department regarding the project in order to increase the likelihood of securing the project.

Candidate requirements:

  • 1-2 years of experience within an Estimator position essential.
  • A good understanding of the Construction industry.
  • Additional knowledge of software such as Bluebeam and CAD software such as Autodesk is desirable although full training can be provided if necessary.
  • Outstanding time management skills with the ability to prioritise accordingly.
  • A confident and professional telephone manner is essential.

Working Monday - Friday, 40 hour week.

Free parking is available.

23 days annual leave plus bank holidays.

Read more
New job
HR Administrator - FTC
Sector: Recruitment and HR
Salary: £20,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 909861
About the role

Are you an experienced HR Administrator looking for your next role?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an HR Administrator to join a company on a part-time basis (20-25 hours per week) to cover maternity.

Your duties will include:

  • Assist with the recruitment process, including advertising job vacancies and arranging candidate interviews.
  • Draft and send offer letters and contracts (new starter induction packs).
  • Provide the first point of contact and excellent customer service.
  • Resolve absence, holiday queries and first level benefits queries.
  • Process leaver information ensuring all relevant information is prepared, processed and issued on time.
  • Assist/distribute company announcements and ensure communication across the group.
  • Manage department e-mail inbox.
  • Assist with payroll queries.
  • Maintain and establish accurate e-filing and storage systems in line with GDPR legislation.
  • Respond to specific requests for information from internal and external clients at all levels.
  • Managing employee data such as maintain the staff database to include the input of new starters, leavers, holidays and sickness records, probation reviews.
  • Managing internal employee recognition scheme.
  • Attend and participate in the Staff and Works Committee meetings.
  • Organise employee training.
  • Maintain Temporary worker onboarding process.
  • Review company Suggestion Boxes.
  • Maintain organisational charts.
  • Assist the HR Manager with other duties in line with candidate’s skills and experience.

You will have experience in working with confidential information and in an HR environment, as well as have good analytical skills.

This is a part-time, contract position working 20-25 hours per week.

Interested? Apply today!

Read more