Rivervale Review - Maserati Levante
It’s been a while since news surfaced that Maserati were dipping their toe in the SUV market; well the Levante has arrived and it's got something about it.
I jumped into the Levante for the weekend to see if the hype was worth it.
The first thing you notice is the distinctive styling, the front Maserati grill is striking and imposing and certainly got plenty of looks, combine this with the exhaust microphone button turned on and you certainly feel like you are driving a Maserati.
However, this model is now competing with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, Macan, Mercedes GLE, BMW X6, X5 and Audi Q5 and Q7 which all have their following. Considering the time the other models have been on the market the Levante offers a fresh take, with what seems to border more on the crossover scale than the outright SUV. The driving position is lower than expected however the space and power are all in the right quantities for this vehicle.
Although the diesel engine was a bit ‘safe’ not offering a massive amount of excitement when you put your foot down, when you are carrying precious cargo in the form of your 6 month old child, you start looking at the practicality of the vehicle with more regard.
Firstly the boot space is brilliant, enough to comfortably fit in a large buggy and a family shop. The ISO fix fittings for whatever reason seemed to actually make the child seat fit better and offered fantastic protection from the glaring sun with the anti-glare tinted rear windows.
The entertainment system, complete with Apple connectivity for apps, messages and music worked very well. The touch screen was seamless and slick and was a massive hit with the wife working the sat nav and keeping the tunes alive simultaneously without too much trouble. The luxury feel inside was very comfortable and provided both an executive feel and an easy clean option for spillages.
424 BHP takes the Levante to 60 MPH in just 5.2 seconds! Not surprising considering the 3.0 litre twin turbo engine thst sits inside it. With a combined MPG of 16, you can travel 295 miles in just one tank of fuel. This car has an 8-speed automatic transmission meaning you get a smooth ride without having to change gear.
With 4 doors and 5 full leather, spacious seats, this vehicle is perfect for families, yet not too large to drive by yourself. If you fancy taking control, you can use the shift paddles located behing the steering wheel to change gear manually to suit your style of driving.
If you want to put your foot down, you'll love the sound of the V6 which has a top speed of 164 MPH. Even if you're just cruisng at low speeds the low rumble is enough to excite anyone.
The features of the Levante are very up to date and modern. It includes adaptive cruise control by measuring the speed of the car in front of you so you dont get too close or start backing off. Another feature would be the lane monitering so that if you start to drift into a lane where oncoming traffic is approaching, the car will bring you back into the right lane gently.
With the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar hitting the market at similar times it will be interesting to see how these models match up. It is no secret that the Maserati has the badge that offers something different and exotic and is all round a very good SUV, albeit more of crossover!
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