The SUV segment is a niche quite squeezable. It’s not a secret that everyone loves one. Most of the SUVs have an incredible space, outstanding performance, and an attractive design. This time, Maserati has joined the boat of SUV models with its completely new 2016 Levante. A car that has been rumored for about 5 years and finally is here, ready to play.
We are used to those Italian super sports cars. Now, we are impressed by the adaptability of Maserati with the incorporation of this sexiness to its repertory. An SUV based on Kubang concept car, one hundred percent created by Maserati with the same Italian theory in its guts.
However, the Levante is aimed to be an extremely luxury and prestigious SUV, capable of the challenges implemented by the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X6 but offering a really affordable price tag for such an amazing car.
Maserati had the advantage of having Jeep as a partner, an SUV specialist. Harald Wester, Maserati’s boss, said that the Levante is one hundred percent Maserati, exclusively with Maserati’s parts, but the advice and concepts that Jeep gave to the Levante are quite obvious, having never built an SUV.
Let’s review this Italian SUV.
Drivetrain and Performance
The 2016 Levante is not far away from its sporty and fastest brothers. All engines available on the Italian SUV are 3.0 L V6, one of them is given to the range-topping, the Levante S variant. Along with a twin-turbo system, the gas-based engine produces 430 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. The performance is incredible, going from standstill to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 164 mph. Fuel efficiency settles at 10.9 L/100km.
The cheapest gasoline engine is a 3.0 L V6 with twin-turbo producing 305 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, which can launch the Non-S Levante from standstill to 60 mph in 6 seconds and reach a top speed of 156 mph. The fuel efficiency is rated at 10.7 L/100km
However for Diesel lovers, there is an available option for them. A 3.0 L diesel engine which produces 275 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, launching the Levante from standstill to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 143 mph. The efficiency is 7.2 L/100km.
In addition, every engine will be equipped with a four-wheel drive, eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Multiples driving modes are available to adapt to any circumstance.
Design Line and Interior
The moment you see the Levante, you notice that it’s all the way an inspired version of Kubang concept. A muscular SUV with top-notch materials and a sign of Maserati style left everyone surprised. Whether if you are close or far away, when you stare at it, the vehicle gives the sensation to be one of the best SUVs in the market. Sporty, luxurious, and with Italian roots is the perfect way to describe it.
The cabin gets the styling concept of the sedan lineup, of course, larger and adapted to the SUV needs. The premium leather upholstery comes as standard and when you go to top-range models, there is another higher-grade skin. Everything is top-notch and delivers a true premium and exclusive feeling.
In terms of cutting-edge technology, the Levante is well fitted with features as 12-way electrically adjustable seats and an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen includes app support, AHA functionality, and HomeLink. The gauge cluster is shown in a 7-inch display. Also a power tailgate, controllable via rear-mounted buttons or the key fob, is found.
The sound system is a high-quality one, powered by a 14-speaker unit from Harman Kardon and a 17-speakers surround setup in higher trims. The Levante has a useful and versatile cargo space with 20.5 cu-ft in the rear, enhanced by a 40/60 split seat row.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 Levante is an incredible opportunity for those who luxury and comfort are mandatory. The performance and the ride quality is mandatory to satisfy people like us, hungry for speed. If you want a complete SUV with performance, styling, quality, and luxury, this is your bet.
Starting price at US$63,000.