Recommended. Maserati backs up with showy looks with performance.
Maserati has a long heritage of top luxury and sports cars but it couldn’t resist jumping on the SUV bandwagon. And who can blame it – the segment continues to be growing rapidly and every big manufacturer wants a slice of it. The question is has Maserati done it right?
Well, there’s no denying that the Levante is a bit of a fashion accessory – it’s luxurious inside and out and it outclasses some rivals such as the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the Audi Q7, Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne in that department.
There are three versions – Levante Diesel, Levante and Levante S. All cars get alloys, leather, air adaptive suspension, all-wheel-drive, cruise control, hill descent control – yes, it is geared for actual off-roading too – electric driver’s seat, touch screen display, climate control, power tailgate.
And, let’s be honest, you’d expect a luxury SUV to have all of that. Optional bells and buttons include bigger alloys, all-round camera, adaptive cruise, heated seats, ventilated seats and a hands-free tailgate.
The interior is sublime, there's plenty of room in the back and lots of tech on board, including an excellent integrated touch screen system, lane departure warning, collision warning systems and so on.
You can also have sound systems from premium names like Harman Kardon and Bowers & Wilkins. But, more than all of this, it drives pretty well, too. Maserati has a sporting bloodline and it shows with handling that's really rather precise and rewarding, yet married to a comfortable ride.
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel, with 275hp, has plenty of pull and it's a smooth, torquey drive. It’s good for 142mph and 62mph in 6.9 seconds. You still get a reasonable 39 to the gallon as well.
It’s this engine that’s likely to sell the most – it’s a balance of power and economy – but there are options for the petrolheads as well. The 3.0 twin turbo V6 petrol can be had in either 350hp or 430hp outputs, with the latter hitting 62mph in 5.2 seconds, which certainly gives a supercharged Range Rover Sport a run for its money.
So, yes, it is a bit of fashion accessory, but it backs up the show with plenty of go and it's a rewarding car to drive.
1. Cracking performance.
2. Sublime luxury.
3. Stays true to the badge with a decent drive.
We don't like:
1. Is it a bit gaudy?
2. Not the cheapest car to run in the real world.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: There’s only one – but the 3.0-litre V6 goes nicely.
Most sensible: It’s reasonably economical too, on paper at least.
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