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Darren Moody gets behind the wheel of a new Subaru Levorg and gives us his views.

​Still hankering for something with a bit of performance, but don't want to follow the pack and get into an SUV? Does family mean you need a level of sensibility? Perhaps Subaru has the answer for you.

​​To a large extent the Subaru Levorg is a WRX wagon. Under the bonnet is the same 2.0L direct injection turbo-charged boxer engine delivering 197kW and 350Nm, driving all wheels via Subaru's Lineartronic CVT auto, which is one of the best-behaving CVTs on the market.  Levorg gets Subaru's Intelligent (SI) Drive system that enables three different driving modes – the economical intelligent mode; the Sport# mode, which puts the CVT into an eight-speed stepped mode while sharpening up throttle responses; or manual mode, operated by paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

Levorg offers top-notch safety, earning a five-star ANCAP rating, but raises the bar even further by the standard fitment of Subaru's third-generation eyesight system. The latest version provides a 40% improvement in length and width of the stereo camera view, enhanced pedestrian detection performance and pre-collision braking and steering assistance. Upgrade to the GT-S and you get lane sway and departure warning, blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert side-view monitor and high-beam assist.

The wagon configuration means there's plenty of space down back. In fact, dimensionally the Levorg isn't that much different to earlier generation Liberty wagons. While still not at the absolute pointy end, Subaru's interior fit, finish and trim have come a good way during the past few years. Add doses of technology and a satisfying list of standard features and the inside of a Levorg is a pretty nice place to be.

It might hide a WRX drivetrain under its sport-wagon skin, but you don't get a hint of that boxer exhaust note from the WRX. In fact, occupants are extremely well-insulated from road and engine noise. The base spec GT gets keyless entry and start, LED head and tail lights, 6.2-inch touchscreen with full Bluetooth connectivity, reverse camera, dual climate control, privacy glass and 18-inch alloys for $42,990.

GT-S gets upgraded Bilstein suspension that offers a firm, flat ride, but does crash a bit through larger road imperfections. Heated leather sport seats, 7-inch touchscreen, standard navigation, auto lights and wipers head a long list of additional features with a price of $48,890 (plus on-roads).

A $4000 option on the GT-S is the Spec B, which gets a host of STI interior and exterior styling options including; front, side, rear and roof spoilers along with front strut tower bar, shift knob, red push-start button and STI styled 18-inch black alloy wheels.