The Maserati Levante is a luxury crossover (i.e. SUV + passenger vehicle). It’s quite swanky and surprisingly fast for a diesel-engine car. In a nutshell, the Levante fits the mold of contemporary luxury SUVs: it’s huge, powerful, and uses design elements from its manufacturer’s high-end sedans and coupes.
While the Levante is designed mainly for paved roads, its use of the Ghibli and Quattroporte platform makes its body more bend-resistant, allowing it to cope with a bit of off-the-beaten-path driving. It’s not going to be as rugged as regular off-roaders, however. If you’re into that, get a Land Cruiser or Jeep instead.
The Levante certainly has enough power to propel its 2.2-ton body to 62mph in 6.9 seconds. When turning corners, it disguises its height well – although not so much its weight. The steering has a good about of weight and is precise, while the chassis stays well-damped, neutral, and able to properly minimize understeer.
Its stability at expressways makes the Maserati Levante suitable for driving long distances. The experience is improved by its air suspension. Why?
- It lifts to keep the car’s belly off the road when driving over rough spots and compensates for load variations that SUVs are supposed to handle.
- The Levante also crouches when driving at high speeds. This lowers the car’s center of gravity and cutting drag.
Where the Levante flounders is fuel economy, which averages at about 15mpg in the city and under 20mpg in highways. It’s on the low end of the spectrum, even when compared to other luxury crossovers. To be fair, the Levante runs on a 3.0L V6 engine so expect higher consumption than smaller SUVs (like the 2.0L Porsche Macan).