Maserati Levante is a completely unique crossover that perfectly combines the traditionally flawless Italian style and authentic sports spirit of the legendary brand.
Maserati named its first-ever SUV after a warm Mediterranean wind Levanter “that can change from a light breeze to an irresistible natural force in an instant” to mirror the character of the upcoming beauty. Well, to some extent it corresponds to reality with all-Maserati Levante S.
What does all-Maserati mean?
The basic floorpan, chassis and powertrain come from a diesel 4×4 Ghibli. But the suspension arms have been modified for greater travel that an off-roader needs and they ride on variable-height air springs and adaptive dampers. That way, it can crouch during the high-speed driving, lowering the cutting drag, or lift to keep the belly off the floor when you are in the rough, and compensate for the considerable variations in load an SUV will be asked to swallow. The body has been strengthened and feels very solid.
In most parts of the world, it will get Ferrari 435 hp twin-turbo V6 petrol — complete with famously rousing exhaust. However, British get only a 280 hp diesel. Good thing we don’t like them… We’re about diesels, you know.
What about the ‘sports’ part of SUV?
It’s not just fast on the straight. Even on a track, it is remarkably composed and stays well damped and neutral, resisting roll and understeer. The steering is very progressive, and stability at very high motorway speeds is impressive. It cannot altogether disguise the weight, but you hardly feel the height.
Maserati Levante is offered in three versions in Ukraine. Those who want to get Maserati’s first crossover and impress others with its looks, yet eager to save at gas stations and dislike fast driving, can buy Levante Diesel. Its 3L engine gains 275 hp, allowing the crossover to do 0~100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 230 km/h. However, this version has a base cost of EUR 76,555, not the cheapest one.
The most affordable Levante has 350 hp engine. The price for this version starts from EUR 71,334. It accelerates to 100 km/h only in 6 seconds and travels at up to 251 km/h. Such characteristics are surely impressive.
But the most extreme version is Levante S. It has the same 3L gasoline engine with a double turbo and a whopping 430 hp in power. Now, that is impressive! Moreover, it dispatches a 0~100 km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds and accelerates to 264 km/h. Though, the price is EUR 91,033.
Maserati Levante has six ground clearance levels with two options to change them: trivial — using the toggle switch on the floor console, or more exciting and vibey — by gaining speed and pressing Maserati to the ground or switching to off-road mode to lift Levante even higher.
Maserati Levante operates in several modes — normal, off-road, sports and smart I.C.E. In summer, it switches the power unit to the increased control and efficiency (economy) mode, and in winter, it uses the winter mode functions. And you are always free to turn on the manual gearbox. It could be an intriguing experience to break loose on a mountain serpentine or a racing track, where you can actually feel the engine on each gear and control rpm with the lever or understeering switches. However, the gearbox still reacts to kick-down.
You can recognize recognise a large wheelbase of Maserati Levante even when looking from the side. So, it’s not a surprise to see so much space in the second row. The rear seatback has a hatch for storing sports equipment. It’s not meant for building materials, indeed. The cupholders have no covers, so your elbows are going to rest over them. Levante offers the rear passengers with own air vents, electric socket and two USB connectors to charge their devices. Though, you can order 2-zone climate control. In normal mode, the crossover is rear-driven. And only the base version wheels with 18″ disks are of the same size — all other versions have rear ones wider. This assists the powerful Italian SUV to start confidently, not necessarily on a dry asphalt. The air suspension sustains pleasant ruggedness even in the normal mode and provides enough comfort in the sports mode with superior handling of rolls and vertical oscillations. The usability of the rear trunk is outstanding. It has a volume of 580 litres in travel configuration, a convenient rack for small things and ‘curry hooks’ for larger bags.
Although Levante is a fresh solution from Maserati, it inherits all the family features of the brand — uncompromising luxury, powerful engine line, innovative technologies, all-wheel-drive system and attractive design.
Sources: motorpage.com, levantemaseratti.com, opinions and comments of auto experts