Maserati declared unashamedly victory in that effort by calling his new Levante “2017 Maserati SUV.” And now that we have some of northern Italy’s sidewalk hammered in what may be the closest thing to a Ferrari off-roader that we will ever, at least for a while, we buy the sales pitch. The shiny silvery Trident is pushing the truck genre in a way that truly remains the Modenese boutique’s strongest selling points. Taking the Ghibli sedan for his guts, Levante both improve on that vehicle and offer the character that is different from all the SUVs that have preceded it. No small achievement, but as Maserati CEO Harald Wester said: “It must be good, we have been working on this for 13 years,” a reference to the original 2003 Maserati Kubang concept.
It is best to think of the 2017 Maserati Levante, named after the wind in the western Mediterranean, as a 2017 Maserati Ghibli car in the form of the Audi Allroad line. That means it’s a prime spot on the sidewalk, all-weather fast hauler with just enough capacity all-wheel-drive and driver choose ride height range to provide some decent trail capabilities. As the current crop of 2017 Maserati SUV, the Levante is fast, it’s furious hard when it should be, and wring the bejeezus out of a corner, but it’s even better than the 2017 Maserati Ghibli that underlies them. C
Meanwhile, the 2017 Maserati SUV throttle response in the gas V-6 is significantly improved over the all or nothing Ghibli’s. The engineers contrived Levante’s accelerator pedal stroke for a powerful initial response, the eight-speed ZF automatic downshifting quickly to save the tour in to produce a fuller torque range. This deep, esophagus clutter, so obviously Italian, never gets old, and that’s one thing that separates the Levante of the German luxury-crossover contingent, including the Audi SQ5 and Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. Another distinguishing feature is the steering wheel.
Maserati sticks with the hydraulic assist in a world gone largely electrical, which helps to give the large, three-spoke steering wheel an organic preparedness. This pick and dips on a continuous sidewalk in a vintage way now largely lost in the broader industry. Nothing gives a sense of control over a direct connection to the front wheels, and with good visibility from the corners, the large Levante is an easy car to precisely place in a turn. When a driver confidently clips a corner inches from a curb in a car more than 16 feet long, weighs about 4,650 pounds and tow nearly 6,000 pounds, then Maserati had done his job.
2017 Maserati SUV Interior
The 2017 Maserati SUV Levante’s suspension, an evolution of the Ghibli’s service aluminum control arms up front and five on a corner in the back, with standard air springs with electronically controlled dampers; Maserati brands the system as the skyhook. A longer suspension stroke as the Ghibli and five ride height settings that two off-road positions that increases the ground clearance by a maximum of 1.6 inches as much as 9.7 inches above the guard ground is one of the changes.
The biggest challenge said engineers were investigating the 2017 Maserati SUV Levante’s suspension both a Sports stiffness and, if necessary, a taffy-like a squishiness for trail work, something attainable only with computer controlled springs and dampers. Even though only about one percent of owners expect to ever go off-road, says Maserati, and the most in Dubai where rich yahoos would take out their luxury 2017 Maserati SUVs to play the Empty Quarter in the dunes, all 2017 Maserati SUV owners like knowing which can do their cars.
2017 Maserati Exterior
On the road, the suspension is more compliant than we expected, especially on the standard 19-inch or optional 20-inch wheels on the S, that giant 295/40 Pirelli tires pZErO bear in the back. Even so, the chassis sucks bad pavement better than choppier Ghibli we tested a few years ago. You can be firm with a sports area, but the thinking at Maserati’s 2017 Maserati SUV buyers want a little more everyday comfort.
Still, the 2017 Levante is a beautiful time machine, especially in the 20s, which is to transfer some nervousness after the ride, and doubly especially with an engine just waiting to jump to 4,000 rpm at the slightest provocation. This is not a Lexus and a warm greeting to this! Although Maserati hints at a 22-mpg combined rating when the numbers released later this year, we expect owners to find out the fuel away from the 21.1-gallon tank with greater alacrity. The EPA ratings can not possibly better than the lighter and lower-powered Ghibli S Q4, which rates 16/19 mpg city / highway be.
2017 Maserati SUV Engine
The 2017 Maserati SUV Levante run the Ghibli’s relatively small but fervent 3.0 liters twin-turbo V-6 with two horsepower ratings to choose from: 345 in the $ 72,000 base Levante and 424 in the $ 83,000 S. The latter is a 20-hp increase output the Ghibli S’s due to changes in intake and exhaust Levante and software tweaks, and the factory put the 60-km sprint in 5.0 seconds (5.8 seconds for the 345 hp model). The last Ghibli S we tested the deed in 4.7. We were told that prototype Levante’s is built using the Quattroporte’s 523-hp 3.8-liter V-8 but announced no plans to produce it.