If there was one automaker that could bring a small wagon to market and make a success of it, you’d have to believe it would be Subaru.
With a lineup already chock-full of non-traditional offerings, it’s not a stretch to imagine Subaru offering something to go up against the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. And maybe that’s because in other parts of the world Subaru does just that. Meet the Subaru Levorg, the Impreza-based wagon that North Americans are being deprived of.
Launched in Japan in 2014 as a slightly smaller successor to the Legacy wagon, the Levorg has been slowly spreading to other parts of the world that still value the added practicality of a so-called sport-tourer. That means this continent, with its infatuation with crossovers and sport utilities, will sadly remain Levorg-free for the foreseeable future.
Adding insult to injury is the drool-worthy Levorg STI Sport that Subaru sells in its home market of Japan — it sells a similar version in Australia called the Spec B — that is all but ready to take my deposit and run.
Now before you get too excited, know that the STI designation is a little deceiving: This Levorg sadly isn’t a WRX STI with a bigger boot. In the simplest of terms, it’s kind of like the WRX wagon you’ve always wanted. It features the same 2.0-liter turbocharged mill that powers the WRX, with output rated similarly to the 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque on offer in that car. And while the transmission is a bit of a disappointment — the only one offered is a continuously variable automatic — the rest of the car brings the goods.
A set of Bilstein shocks at all four corners is part of the standard kit, while an STI-badged body kit and wheels means it looks serious. It also gets an impressive accessory catalog — trust me; I scooped one from a dealership in Tokyo — that features everything from a bolt-on exhaust to a strut tower brace, and even a brake kit.
Subaru’s PR folks caught me fawning over the Levorg STI Sport on more than one occasion during a recent trip to Japan to drive the new Crosstrek, and it felt like some sort of cruel joke as I spotted examples all over Tokyo. Sadly — though perhaps thankfully for Subaru’s sake — I never had a chance to drive one while I was there, but that hasn’t made me love the idea of it any less.
Despite my pleas, Subaru’s North American sales and marketing team has assured me that there are no plans to bring the Levorg to our shores anytime soon. And that’s why I propose my own plan: Let’s all band together and email Subaru at the same time asking — no, begging — for the Levorg STI Sport. It’s harder for them to say no if we’re all in on it together.
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