Maserati Levante has been an outstanding success with over 90% of buyers being new to the brand. That figure is higher in Australia. Levante allowed Maserati to join the ranks of prestige manufacturers that had an SUV in their model line-up and heralded a revolution for them
We are reviewing the Maserati Levante S GranSport here, the sport level for the S variant.
Style is subjective and I know others are not as impressed, but the Levante carries itself in such a way that disguises its size. It looks much smaller than it actually is. The blue is particularly striking.
From the front it is unmistakably a Maserati, with the grill and famous Saetta logo through to the long sleek design. The bonnet slopes away maintaining a sleek proportion. The headlights featuring Bi-Xenon and LED technology then converge with the Trident symbol at the centre of the grille.
There are also muscular, arching front wings bearing the iconic triple air vents along with the ever-present Saetta logo in the steeply tapered, coupé-like rear section. Such details, along with frameless door windows, the subtle spoiler and quad tailpipes, 19 inch alloy wheels all make an emphatic design statement.
The overall design is well proportioned.
Levante S GranSport delivers a luxury and tactile experience. A key element of buying a car like the Maserati Levante is that the feeling is important. Everything is tactile and the visual language screams sports car, despite the fact it is a SUV. The Italians understand the passion that cars evoke.
The sports car feeling abounds, with the electronically adjustable handcrafted, sport supportive leather seats, through to the small sports instrument binnacle. In line with a long Maserati tradition, customers can personalise the interior according to their individual taste.
The interior is richly leather lined and hand stitched, from the seats to the steering wheel, while the front seats are heated (optionally ventilated) and boast 12 way electrical operation with memory.
The dashboard is finished in a grey surrounded by sumptuous leather. The small instrument panel gives the driver everything they need with two large outer dials with a customizable 7” TFT display.
The central console is designed in order to accommodate the 8.4” Touch Screen, the cluster of drive mode buttons, the brand new rotary knob and the air suspension switch.
Rear seating is more for two rather than three. Given its long wheelbase, the rear passengers have ample room for head, shoulder, and knee and foot placement. The sloping roofline doesn’t impede the feeling of space at all.
The rear seats are split 40/60 and the backrests are foldable in order to increase the loading space and provide a large and versatile load space of 580 / 1,625L capacity. With its regular shape, it can easily accommodate large luggage items.
19 inch polished alloy wheels, 295/45 ZR19 tyres, Powered rear door, Hand stitched leather interior, Maserati 8.4” Touch Screen, Maserati MTC+ which has SatNav and Digital Radio as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Audio System with 8 speakers, Cruise control, Keyless operation, Wipers with rain sensor, Auto-dipping mirrors and Dual zone climate control ventilation.
As you would expect there is a long list of options and genuine accessories available to personalise your vehicle.
Drive and Engine
The twin turbo V6 engine is built in Maranello by Ferrari. It delivers a powerful driving experience with power of 316 kW @ 5,750 rpm and a flat torque delivery of 580 Nm @ 1,750 – 5,000 rpm.
This drives through an eight speed ZF automatic transmission and allows reasonable performance of 0-100kmh in 5.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 264 kmh. It provides seven dedicated shift modes that can be selected from the cluster on the left of the gear knob: “normal”, “sport”, and “off-road” in both automatic and manual mode and the I.C.E. mode – for Increased Control & Efficiency – that was introduced for the first time in the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans.
Combined fuel consumption is approximately 12.0 litres/100 km and combined CO2 emission of 273 g/km. Suspension is a multi-adjustable electronic system with Front Double-wishbone, adjustable Air Springs, Skyhook shock absorbers and rear Multi-Link, adjustable Air Springs, Skyhook shock absorbers.
With a perfect 50/50 balance and 100% availability of torque to the rear wheels the Levante displays outstanding sport driving characteristics. It’s stunning just how good the Levante is.
Safety – While the Levante hasn’t been tested by ANCAP, it still features a large array of Advanced Driving Assistance Systems.
These include:- Six air Bags, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Active Blind Spot Assist, Surround View Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Forward Collision Warning Plus, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Path Function, Front And Rear Parking Sensors and Reversing Camera, Hill Holder, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC), Maserati Stability Program (MSP) and Full-LED Adaptive Matrix headlights
Highway Assist System (Has) –combines Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Keeping Assist to make life easier on motorways, while achieving level 2 semi-autonomous driving.
- Style and presence
- Performance, ride and handling
- Sensory delights
Not so Good Bits:
- Audio Infotainment system looks a little dated
- Poor towing capability
- Thick ‘A’ pillars
Prestige sport SUV’s are meant to transport a family in luxury and comfort while providing an engaging drive experience for the driver. They aren’t about outright acceleration nor top speed. More about point to point transport, a grand tourer in the traditional sense. Here the Maserati Levante S GranSport is amongst the best in the segment. Many vehicles in this segment will perform but are soulless.
The Maserati Levante S GranSport is a grand tourer in the traditional sense. It will fit 4 in comfort, 5 at a pinch, will accommodate luggage for them as well, will consume kilometres with ease and allow you to travel long distances without fuss.
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Facts and Figures: 2018 Maserati Levante S GranSport
- Engine: 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 producing 321kW/580Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Safety: Not tested
- Warranty: Three years
- Origin: Italy
- Price: from $189,900 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.