Handing out Car of the Year awards are tricky. For a car to get that prestigious title, it can't be a one-trick pony. It has to be practical but not boring. Decently quick but not thirsty on fuel, not to mention safe, stylish, and offers something different to the table. For it to get that crown, it should satisfy both enthusiasts and the common folk.
So, why have Japan's motoring journalists selected the Subaru Levorg as their car of the year? For them, it's a car that does almost everything.
According to the judges, the all-new Levorg offers a dynamic driving experience, offering a high level of both maneuverability and comfort thanks to the new chassis and all-wheel-drive. Not only that, the new 1.8-liter boxer engine received praises for performance and economy, with the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission providing a smooth drive. There are no doubts about its practicality either, as it is a station wagon.
But for the panel, what swayed them towards the Levorg is the active and passive safety systems. The redesigned Levorg comes with a new generation of EyeSight dubbed EyeSight X. This system makes use of 3D high-precision map data and information, along with GPS and other satellite systems. It features four cameras, with two at the front and another pair at the back. That gives it a full 360-degree field of vision, somewhat like an extra pair of eyes for the driver.
Because of the tech upgrade, the second-generation Levorg is also capable of semi-autonomous driving. But should the unfortunate happen, the wagon protects its occupants with its robust structure that recently received five stars from the Japanese New Car Assessment Program or JNCAP.
To sum up the judges' findings, the Levorg is safe, fun to drive, economical, and practical. Of course, the only way we'll agree with the Japanese judges is once we get the chance to get behind the wheel of this wagon. If anything, the Japanese Car of the Year title raises our expectations for the redesigned Levorg.