Hello from Belgium

*thomas*

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Legacy Outback RX8
Hi all

My name is Thomas and I live in Belgium (near Brussels). I do not own a Levorg (yet), but fell in love with them when I saw one in the flesh back in 2015. After a few French cars, a couple of Alfa Romeos, I finally switched to Japanese cars starting with an SG Forester, followed by an H6 Outback. My parents are currently driving a 4th Gen Legacy 2.0R.

For a long time the Levorg seemed out of reach (pricewise) and my mind was set on getting an other Legacy or Forester, but I think the Levorg might be my last chance to own and drive a modern turbo powered Subaru since the EU is becoming quite strict on petrol engines...

So, I joined the forum to see what's it's all about and to get to know a bit more about these cars in general. I'm very up to date with everything subaru related up to 2009, but not so with the more modern cars.

Cheers

T.
 

nicodache

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Hoooo, un p'tit Forester SG, et une outback sizapla, 2 Sub qui me font aussi quelque chose :cool:
Pis la 2.0R parentale est sympa aussi :D

Soit le bienvenu sur le forum/Welkom op het forum :)

nicodache, Mons/Bergen :)
 

*thomas*

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Legacy Outback RX8
Bonjour Nico, merci pour le message. Je vais continuer en français afin que tout le monde nous comprend ;).

The Outback and Forester are great cars, but I'm hoping the Levorg will deliver a new 'edge'. The Outback - altough quite fast an capable on AND offroad - is to much of a mix for me. It's not 'sporty' enough on the road, but it's to large to be a nice, little offroader when needed (which the forester was). Nico, how do you like the stock suspenion comfort on our roads?
 

nicodache

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it sucks for such a looker :(

if you read through the posts over here (like https://levorgclub.com/search/47054/?q=shocks&t=post&c[child_nodes]=1&c[nodes][0]=1&o=date&g=1), you'll see descriptions of floaty rear and crashy front.

I've been used to wallowy suspensions before (a micra, then a 3rd hand 10y old GG impreza TS), so I'm not really super angry about that suspension, but I know that subaru has done much better jobs in the past.

[edit]I know I'm not good at selling the model :D
Maybe just try & get a test drive of one ? unsure if you got your eyes on one on 2ememain or autoscout just yet, that you could just go check out ?
 
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nicodache

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I had a google. It's actually not illegal to fit coilovers in Belgium. It's just a pain, because you need to get a pro to put them on your car for you, the importer of the coilover needs to provide them with the GOCA paper (that says it matches requirement for shocks in Belgium), they need to do an alignment, and send the goca paper and alignment sheet to federauto to get a second paper, and then you need to have both papers with you in the car at anytime (especially during controle technique).

So I could go to Hoyas, pay 580 for the tein street basis, then add fitment and alignment on top, and then use them legally - provided I'm within 2% (IIRC) of the trackwidth (which I'm already out since I'm on 8" ET44 instead of factory 7.5 ET50 or so).

But that would fix the suspension issues.
 

*thomas*

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Legacy Outback RX8
Thanks for the info !

I was considering bilstein B6's all round to alter suspension, but the tein street basics could be a valid option (but it's a pain with the 'controle technique as you say). Bilstein B6's can be installed by yourself and you'll be completely legal. I don't know what bilstein the specB uses? On a legacy it's B6 rear, B8 front.

Your wheels are within spec. The trackwidth is 1530mm. So 1% each side means the center of your wheel can move 15,3mm out. Even with ET55 you could use a wheel with an offset of 40.
 

nicodache

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Thanks for the trackwidth math.

For the Bilstein ; https://www.bilstein.com/sg/en/blog/full-suspension-power-subaru-levorg/

It looks like the MY18 are already running on B6 and B8.

From https://levorgclub.com/threads/gts-front-end-suspension-bottoming-out.294/#post-1252, the issues is that the front spring is too soft, so they made the shock to harsh to compensate, and the rear is missing dampening. Unsure if this is for the Bilstein or Sub factory ones.

I believe my shocks are Subaru factory ones as mine is a MY15, prior to Bilstein becoming standard equipment (also, they definitely are not yellow :D)

I might investigate the Tein thing with my dealer once they're back from vacation...

[edit]yup, mines are from Sub, 20306va290 for the front left.

1200_IMG_20210810_181938.jpg
 
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nicodache

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For a long time the Levorg seemed out of reach (pricewise) and my mind was set on getting an other Legacy or Forester, but I think the Levorg might be my last chance to own and drive a modern turbo powered Subaru since the EU is becoming quite strict on petrol engines...
FWIW, something to consider ; the Levorg engine we got in belgium (the 1.6 DIT) is manufactured with a 2010-Europe-friendly design - downsized engine with a small turbo for torque. Unsure if it was made for EU marked specifically, or because the other engine (2.0 beast with 300cv and 400nm) wouldn't sell outside of japan/australia. Market for wagons is also shrinking all over the world, so they need to make it appeal not only to subaru fans, but also to whoever might consider a wagon and would default to an Octavia/508/classe C/3 series/etc.

So if you like to row your own gears and hear a mofo pschiiiiuuuu whenever you change gear, the Levorg may leave you sad.
If you're after torques, a scoop, and smooth CVT drivetrain, than the levorg is a nice car indeed :)

Also, there's a new levorg coming out (and we've already got one member that drives one in Japan) that is available (in japan - no word for belgium yet) with a 1.8 DIT too :D
 

*thomas*

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Legacy Outback RX8
I'm not sure about the Bilstein standard equipment. In Japan and Aus/NZ there was a 'specB', which - just as with the Legacy 'specB' come with bilstein shocks and altered suspension. The EU brochures say nothing about this, which would seem odd from a marketing point...

The 1.6 was available in Europe, Japan, South East Asia (Singapore f.i.) and even for a short period of time in Australia as a 'base' model (when we got the 2.0 non turbo). I still need to testdrive one, but 170bhp and 250Nm of torque seems plenty. My Forester had 125Bhp and 190Nm of torque and it was fine. The H6 is fun and seeing how fast you can go on the autobahn is always nice, but it's no fun car to drive on Broads and it feels like a barge when I'm driving in town.

The CVT will be new to me, but I've been driving an automatic for many years and wouldn't want a manual car as a daily drive. There's nothing fun being stuck in traffic slipping the clutch in first/second... ;)
 

nicodache

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The Bilstein apparently became standard equipment (instead of the subaru shocks) in 2018. Other people here may confirm - I haven't seen it for myself, and it could indeed be market specific.

As for the traffic jam (or as we call it in Belgium, heure de pointe/spits), the CVT is indeed king, especially if you got eyesight, should you suddenly have to brake while you're actually checking the latest office news on your mobile :D
 

*thomas*

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Legacy Outback RX8
The Bilstein apparently became standard equipment (instead of the subaru shocks) in 2018. Other people here may confirm - I haven't seen it for myself, and it could indeed be market specific.
I had a quick look at Japanese brochures, and from the beginning, they state that the GT-S Levorg (so the high-end model) has Bilstein shocks. In the Australian Brochure, I couldn't find anything about this, but car review from 'down under' state that the SpecB has Bilstein suspension. In de EU brochures, nothing can be found... Which is odd...

Btw Nico, were did you find the Tein suspension with TüV?
 

nicodache

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I actually can't find anymore the thing that said Tein were available in Belgium with GOCA paperwork. I may have assumed it was the case as my dealer states (on his website) he sells and fit those.

A quick search shows that you can get KW or D2 coilovers with GOCA though, so not all is lost (even if most resellers don't seem to carry a goca approved version for levorgs...)
 

MarkMelbourne

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MY18 GT-S, Mazda2
The Outback and Forester are great cars, but I'm hoping the Levorg will deliver a new 'edge'. The Outback - altough quite fast an capable on AND offroad - is to much of a mix for me. It's not 'sporty' enough on the road, but it's to large to be a nice, little offroader when needed (which the forester was). Nico, how do you like the stock suspenion comfort on our roads?
Hi Thomas,
I came from a Forester GT hoping the Levorg GT-S would be the that with more spice. You are going to love everything about it on great sealed roads.

However, you need to know: This is a WRX sports car. The stock suspension setup and wheel size is going to concern you on poor roads to the point where you'll need to replace the suspension ... let alone consider any offroad. In short, there isn't enough suspension travel or tyre thickness on the rims to even approach Forester or Outback for some offroad fun.

I am currently playing around with different suspension tunes to see how happy I can get with the car but I caution you: If you love Outback and Forester, you need to go shopping for a hot SUV instead.
 

*thomas*

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Aug 10, 2021
Messages
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Vehicle(s)
Legacy Outback RX8
I actually can't find anymore the thing that said Tein were available in Belgium with GOCA paperwork. I may have assumed it was the case as my dealer states (on his website) he sells and fit those.
You can have tüv approved suspension and get goca paperwork. You'll need to pay 75€ to our great government and wait approx 2 weeks for them to make the paperwork. For my RX8 I will use tein with tüv and follow the procedure to obtain goca paperwork. But, when I looked at the tüv website, there's nothing with tüv for the Levorg :(...

Hi Thomas,
I came from a Forester GT hoping the Levorg GT-S would be the that with more spice. You are going to love everything about it on great sealed roads.

In short, there isn't enough suspension travel or tyre thickness on the rims to even approach Forester or Outback for some offroad fun.
Thanks for the insight.

In Europe, we don't have the GT (and other) trim levels on Foresters. IIRC, the GT was offered on the SF chassis with the 2.0 turbo engine, is that correct?

Do 17 inch wheels increase comfort? The car looks very good on 18s, but for the sake off comfort I'd consider using 17s...

I mostly use my Outback on road (95% off the time). When I take it 'offroad', it's usually some dirt road, a campsite or a fishing spot. Other cars have access to these spots, so the Levorg should be able to cope with them as well. The only thing that concerns me is that - once the pandemic is 'over' (we can travel more freely) - I'd like to visit my family in Sicily at least once every two years. Sicily is a great island, but some areas and villages are a pain to navigate trough with a larger car (most off the population drives FIAT 500 sized cars for this very reason). When I took me Forester SG there, it fitted in so well and exploring the island was a joy. Still, the new Forester has outgrown the SG immensely that I see no reason to persue another Forester.

My other options are:
- to have my GF to buy a larger car compared to what she has now (she fancies a Jeep Compass, don't know if Aus has these)
- to buy an older, small suv (like a forester SG, or even a pajero io/pinin) that i can take on my journeys...
 
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MarkMelbourne

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MY18 GT-S, Mazda2
In Europe, we don't have the GT (and other) trim levels on Foresters. IIRC, the GT was offered on the SF chassis with the 2.0 turbo engine, is that correct?
Mine was a 2000 GT Forester. Yes I think. The 140kW 245Nm engine seems tame, but the car was far smaller and lighter than today's SUVs.

Do 17 inch wheels increase comfort? The car looks very good on 18s, but for the sake off comfort I'd consider using 17s...
Given the same suspension setup, my understanding is the higher the rubber sidewall, the more comfort you are going to have, especially on poor roads or dirt roads. The wheel diameter for both 18s and 17s is the same, you just get more rubber sidewall.

To put it into perspective:
My old 2000 Forester 16" had 129mm sidewalls.
Levorg GT-S 18" has 101mm sidewalls.
Levorg GT 17" has 108mm sidewalls.
Outback MY21 18" has 135mm sidewalls.
Mazda CX5 Maxx Sport 17" has 146mm sidewalls.

My basic understanding is if you want high speed cornering on great roads, get the bigger rims.
Conversely, for comfort and performance on poor roads or dirt roads, get the biggest sidewall.

Would welcome someone more knowledgeable to back me up or correct me here :)

I mostly use my Outback on road (95% off the time). When I take it 'offroad', it's usually some dirt road, a campsite or a fishing spot. Other cars have access to these spots, so the Levorg should be able to cope with them as well.
Your assumption is "other cars", normal cars, can do basic offroad, so Levorg can too. I'm sorry you are wrong, my wife's Mazda 2 (at a third of the price) has vastly more comfortable ride and ability to go on dirt than Levorg. If you want to drive on poor sealed roads, you need to replace the suspension. If you want to drive on dirt roads, Levorg may not be for you at all.
 

nicodache

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If you want to drive on poor sealed roads, you need to replace the suspension. If you want to drive on dirt roads, Levorg may not be for you at all.
Well, I've done dirt roads with ugly bumps.
It works, but you need to approach your standard forest dirt road (and I didn't say mud, nor water pond) like one would approach rock crawling.

As for belgian roads, it works, but it's better if you aim for around the potholes, and are ready to replace random bushings every 30kkm after 100kkm
 
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