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Maserati Levante (2016–)

Last updated 22 February 2019

 
4
Kerb weight 2109–2205 kg
Warranty 3 years / Unlimited miles
Servicing 10,000–12,500 miles

Full specifications

Driving

When the Levante was initially launched just one engine was available - a 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel. It's the same engine used in the Ghibli and the Quattroporte and has identical power figures with 275PS. That's slightly more than a Porsche Cayenne diesel and the Levante also has slightly more torque with 600Nm.

The Levante is slightly quicker than the Cayenne from 0-62mph, taking 6.9 seconds, but it's the in-gear pulling power that makes the Maserati so strong on the move. All that torque means it's rapid when you want to overtake a slower vehicle or are pulling onto a fast dual carriageway from a short slip road.

Economy is pretty good with a claimed 39.2mpg, although in everyday driving you're more likely to be seeing a figure in the late 20s. But even then, with an 80-litre fuel tank, you won't have to stop for fuel too often.

The engine isn't exactly quiet - we'd best describe it as 'characterful' - but the deep rumble does add to the feel that this is a sporty SUV that's designed to be noticed. The throttle response is better than that of the Ghibli and the Levante is keener to respond when you want acceleration.

Put it in Sport model (there are two sport modes in fact) and the engine note is even more pronounced, plus the exhaust is louder, although accelerate hard and you're met with a not especially nice suction noise rather.

While there are no issues with performance, selecting a gear in the Levante isn't that great. The gear lever has quite a clunky operation rather than the slickness of something like a BMW. It means that it's easy to get P when you're going for R, resulting in embarrassing stationary revving rather than parking...

When you're on the move, that's not a concern of course and the Levante's eight-speed gearbox works superbly well. Like the Ghibli and Quattroporte, it also has a manual mode where you can use the steering-wheel mounted paddles to change gear.

They're fixed to the column rather than the wheel, which makes them a little awkward to use. It also takes quite a pull to change gear rather than the minimal action of paddles on cars like the Audi Q7. But this is a personal preference thing and most people rarely use them in everyday driving.

Where the Levante excels is with its ride quality. Thanks to the air suspension, it's incredibly smooth and comfortable, despite the big alloy wheels. The ride height adjusts depending on your speed, plus you can lower it to an access height when parked. Even over poor road surfaces or motorway expansion joints, it continues to ride well.

There are, however, a few small issues that only become apparent if you start to drive the Levante with a bit of gusto, which we're sure is the point (this being a Maserati). The brakes seem strong initially, but lack bite when you really need to engage them, for example approaching a tight bend at speed.

Then there's the steering. It's heavy and meaty at low speeds but strangely lacks feel when you're negotiating a corner. That's not to say the Levante doesn't handle well. Quite the opposite, in fact - it's one of the best SUVs around through corners with minimal body roll and huge reserves of grip. Good enough to rival even the Porsche Cayenne.

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
3.0 23–24 mpg 6.0 s 156 mph 278 g/km
3.0 D 34–39 mpg 6.9 s 142 mph 189–190 g/km
3.0 S 23–24 mpg 5.2 s 164 mph 253 g/km
3.0 SD 23 mpg 5.2 s 164 mph 282 g/km
3.0 V6 39 mpg - - 189 g/km
List Price from £58,370
Buy new from £54,210
Contract hire from £585.40 per month
 

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