Rate It: Levorg Is What You Call a WRX Wagon, Apparently

By Colin Wood
Aug 22, 2020 | Subaru, wagon, Rate It, Levorg

Ever wanted a wagon version of the modern WRX? The good news is that Subaru does make one. The bad news is that it's not available in the North American market.

Also, if you think it has a cool name like WRX Sport Wagon or WRX Super Touring, you'd be wrong. Instead, it's called the Levorg. A quick internet search tells us that Levorg is, apparently, an acronym for LEgacy, reVOlution, and touRinG.

Odd name aside, the wagon can be had with the same FA20 engine from the current-generation, Japanese-domestic-market WRX, making around 290 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.

The one potential downside? The only transmission available is Subaru's Lineartronic CVT, similar to the one that can also be had in the WRX.

Most of us can probably agree that a manual transmission would be ideal, but if the Levorg were made available here in North America, would you be in line at the Subaru dealership with cash in hand? Or would you look elsewhere for your wagon thrills?

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View comments on the GRM forums
TGMF HalfDork
8/21/20 1:47 p.m.

I dig it. If it was available in the US, with a manual, I might be very tempted. Looks like a great kid hauler  and still some fun to drive. Would need to see how kid seats fit.   I miss the WRX wagons of years past.  Hard pass on the CVT though. 

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/21/20 2:20 p.m.

Anybody driven a Lineartonic CVT?

If I hadn't driven a BMW Fxx 3-series, I probably would've said any auto was a nonstarter. But I have that counterexample. Similarly, VW's DSG proves I can like an automanual. I haven't experienced many CVTs (er, have I driven more than one?), but it (a Nissan) stands out as being every bit as awful as a bad conventional automatic.

DirtyBird222 UberDork
8/21/20 2:26 p.m.
Jesse Ransom said:

Anybody driven a Lineartonic CVT?

If I hadn't driven a BMW Fxx 3-series, I probably would've said any auto was a nonstarter. But I have that counterexample. Similarly, VW's DSG proves I can like an automanual. I haven't experienced many CVTs (er, have I driven more than one?), but it (a Nissan) stands out as being every bit as awful as a bad conventional automatic.

Yea the kids mom had a FXT. I loved the power, hated the transmission. That's essentially the Levorg we got stateside for a few years. 

I don't think they would have a problem selling. Subaru dealers typically don't have WRX and STIs on the lot long and having a wagon variant wouldn't hurt that. The issue would likely be if it was CVT only. Subaru is weird and I'm guessing they have a GM like mindset where they think it would cut into sales of the WRX or one of their 18 CUVs. The GM example is not making another performance car outside of the Camaro, Corvette or CTS-V because it would cut into sales numbers of those cars (Solstice, Sky, Cobalt SS)

TGMF HalfDork
8/21/20 2:43 p.m.

Driven Subaru CVT's. For a CVT it isn't bad....its actually one of the better ones. You can manually "shift" it, and it simulates gears...sorta and will hold that "gear"....sorta, via paddle shifters.  But saying it's a decent CVT isn't really very high praise.CVT does CVT things..... completely lacking in off the line grunt....cant get to the lowest ratio gearing till the revs are up, so hard launching is out.   That's a party trick the WRX does so well with a manual.  The "shift" from simulated gear to simulated gear is like a old slippy slush box. It really mutes the responsiveness of the driveline. 

 I've driven many modern standard automatics and been impressed. For instance a C7 vett auto aint too shabby. I hear the new ones are even better. VW's DSG's are fun, I've driven those, as well as  BMW's SMG (albiet on from a E46M3 so a bit dated these days) and enjoyed that.

 The Subaru CVT isn't those. It has nothing on those transmissions.  

dxman92 Dork
8/22/20 12:38 a.m.

Looks good to me. They need a WRX Wagon stat! yes

Recon1342 Dork
8/22/20 7:02 a.m.

I would buy one of those soooo hard if it came with a manual! Impreza hatch is on my radar for the next daily driver...

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/22/20 9:08 a.m.

Would consider it with a proper H-pattern manual.

With a CVT - that's a hard "Berk No."

newrider3 Reader
8/22/20 7:06 p.m.

I really think the Subaru CVT is matched well to the 2.0 turbo. We had a '15 Forester XT for about two years, and it was great. Forget the "fake gears" mode, put it in Sport mode and hold the accelerator at the percentage throttle you want, and the engine and trans hold the RPM steady, boost maxes out, and the thing scoots away rapidly. The CVT is perfect for the modern small-turbo quick-spool engine, since it's out of breath at like 6k rpm anyway. Honestly the FXT CVT was my favorite automatic transmission, now second favorite compared to the TDI with DSG that we bought as replacement.


I spent a lot of time while we owned that car fantasizing about putting the FA20DIT and CVT into an old light Subaru like a 1st gen Impreza wagon or 1st gen Forester. I think it would be a weapon for rallycross.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/22/20 7:19 p.m.
Jesse Ransom said:

Anybody driven a Lineartonic CVT?

You find yourself regularly going way faster than you expected.  I've found myself accidentally doing 55 on surface streets in a turbo Forester.  The acceleration is very linear and there's no auditory cue as to how much you are accelerating.

I really like it, it's well calibrated for expected acceleration vs. engine output.  It's always running the engine at the best speed.  A manual trans or traditional automatic, like a stopped clock, is always in the "wrong" gear.


Some people can't get over the engine staying at 2200 or 3000 or whatever.  Probably similar to how some people hate electrics because there are no engine noises.


1kris06 HalfDork
8/22/20 8:29 p.m.

I was day dreaming how I could afford one if they came stateside back in 2015.


Guess I'll keep dreaming.

Ben Jolly
Ben Jolly New Reader
8/23/20 11:07 a.m.

It's a lot prettier than the hatchback cars. 

Hard pass on the CVT though. My family fleet (besides the NC Miata) is two 4th gen Imprezas: I have a 2016 sedan (GJ) with the 5 speed, and my wife drives a 2014 hatch (GP) 'Sport' with the CVT. My previous Subarus: 2008 Forester with a 4 speed auto, a 2006 Baja Turbo with the 4 speed auto, and a 1998 Forester with the 4 speed auto.

The Impreza is pretty underpowered as it is, and the CVT's response in the auto mode is absolutely maddening. The 5 speed car is slow too, but at least when you tell it to go, it goes.  

My Subaru automatic transmissions were always reliable and would kick down quickly in mountain driving or to overtake. The CVT, you floor it, and


it starts some tepid acceleration. The manual mode for the CVT is a slight improvement, but it is still awful compared to even a geared auto.

I truly loathe driving it and there is no way I could live with it as a daily driver. My wife clearly has a lot more patience than me laugh, if only I could channel that patience into her learning how to drive the other two cars we own...

If the Levorg came with a geared auto I'd consider it, a 6 speed MT would seal the deal for sure. 

jharry3 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/25/20 9:13 a.m.

I really liked the STi hatch back with the spoiler.   I never liked the "boy racer" wing on the sedan. It was like a flag to L.E. to give out a ticket.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/25/20 10:21 a.m.

The CVT is wretched. I test drove a WRX with it and we made it about 1/4 mile down the road from the dealership on the test drive and I turned around, went back, gave them the keys and told them there was no way I'd buy the car at any price they'd be willing to sell it to me. 

I'd probably forgive it a little if they had it programmed to keep the car in boost instead of tuning it for economy. 


mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/25/20 10:23 a.m.

Dad just replaced my Moms Outback with a Passport, specifically because he hated the CVT in it. 



wspohn Dork
8/25/20 10:58 a.m.

Decent car, but on the whole I'd rather have a new Mazdaspeed 3 Sport.  They are part way there by adding a turbo - now if they can revive the full deal, I might get one for my wife!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/25/20 6:24 p.m.

Every time I see this thread, I get Elton John stuck in my head.


And now you do too.  Muhuhahahaha!!!!

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/25/20 7:33 p.m.

What does Elton John have to do with WRX wagons?


irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/25/20 7:41 p.m.

I've always thought the Levorg was cool. I'd much rather have that body style than the WRX hatchback.

That said, i stopped reading when I got to "CVT." No amount of cosmetic coolness can counteract the suck that is CVT. 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/28/20 2:42 p.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) :

Because He shall be le-vorg...


i had the same thought, pete.  Insane minds and all that...

9/3/20 2:17 p.m.

I'd buy this in a heat beat.  And don't knock the CVT until you try it.  The WRX CVT is not the same as the regular Impreza.  It is not perfect but it works just fine.

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