When Maserati announced that they were entering the luxury SUV market, I rolled my eyes in disapproval. Though I never was a huge fan of Maserati, I still regarded them as a producer of fine Italian automobiles…not trucks. So as expected, Maserati have revealed their new SUV, the Levante. And all I can do is sigh in disapproval. Allow me explain why.
Starting with the exterior, I really don’t like how this thing looks. The shape is awkward and lazy. It looks familiar, and I do not mean that it reminds me of Maserati. In fact, when I first saw photos of the new Levante, I mistook it for a new Infiniti QX crossover. Yes, it is not downright ugly, but it is not beautiful, something that is expected from Maserati.
The interior of Levante looks Maserati-ish, but somehow the Italians have made a large car look cramp on the inside. Good looking? Yes. Something I’d want to be in for extended periods of time? Questionable. Seats and steering wheel look nice and sporty, but the central control system looks more Hyundai than Maserati. Ahhh Italian quirks.
Finally, the mechanically bits. One can get a Levante with either a 3.0L V6 gasoline engine, or a 3.0L V6 diesel engine. The gasoline powered motor makes either 350hp or 430hp, depending on the version of Levante chosen. The diesel makes 275hp. All Levante’s come with 4-wheel drive. Now, all of these engines are great for this car, I must admit, however the fact that there is no V8 option at launch bugs me... a lot.
The Levante is Maserti’s attempt at the luxury SUV market, a market where the competitors are BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, and Land Rover. All of the marques listed have V8 options for their midsized to larger SUVS. The fact that Levante does not come with the glorious Ferrari made 3.8L twin-turbo V8 is very disappointing, and a missed opportunity in my humble opinion. Hopefully, the Levante drives better than how it appears on paper.