Suzanne Keane gets behind the wheel of Maserati’s first SUV the Levante
What is it? When you think of Maserati an SUV may not be the first image that pops into your head but the Italian manufacturer has taken this luxury segment by storm with the arrival of the Levante which following its launch was their highest selling car across 72 countries.
First impressions of the new Maserati Levante? Manufactured in the Mirafiori plant in Turin the Levante was always going to be dripping in Italian opulence. The signature imposing grille dominates the front end and smooth lines lead you past frameless doors to the characteristic Maserati rear pillar which enhances the coupe-like look – boasting best in class aerodynamics.
What about the interior? Inside the cabin there’s space for 5 adults and depending on your choice of trim the finish is either luxurious or sporty. The fluid lines of the dashboard wrap around an 8.4” touchscreen and an air suspension height setup switch gives an indication that this isn’t just a pretty cruiser. In terms of practicality the boot will swallow 580 litres with a 60/40 folding back seat.
And on the road? The Levante comes with a 3L twin turbo V6 engine pushing out 350hp. The upgraded Levante S has been boosted to 430bhp and will get you to 100kmph in 0.8 seconds less (5.2 seconds). A 3L diesel lump is also available with 275bhp. As expected the Levante S is a bit of an animal on the road but what really impressed me was its off-roading capabilities. No hill or mud pool was too much when the air suspension was raised up giving a ground clearance of 247mm. Aluminium electronically controlled dampers monitor driving conditions and adjust each wheel separately to ensure handling is optimised.
How much? Motor tax will range from €750 to €2,350 with emissions of 189g/km, 249g/km and 253g.km. Fuel consumption, depending on engine choice goes from 7.2l/100km to 10.9l/100km.
How safe? A long list of safety features come as standard with the Maserati Levante such as 6 airbags, ABS, hill descent control and hydraulic brake compensation. The Bosch ABS-ESP9 system reduces the risk of roll-over and Trailer Sway Mitigation reduces wobble if you need to tow heavy loads.
What are my options? There are two main trim levels to choose from along with 26 possible interior design combinations. The GranLusso is for those looking for luxury and a GranSport gives the Levante that additional sporty feel. The GranLusso has a choice of Ermenegildo Zegna Silk or full premium Italian leather upholstery and comes with a Harman Kardon Sound System. The GranSport has a piano black grille and body detailing along with red brake callipers and 20” alloy wheels. Inside the cabin there’s plenty of carbon trim and an additional option pack will give the Levante a more aggressive look with black chrome effects to the exterior details.
3 words to describe the Maserati Levante S; Sleek; Stylish; Sumptuous
2nd July 2018