Maserati Levante Research

The Car Connection Maserati Levante Overview

The Maserati Levante is the Italian automaker's first SUV. It was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva auto show and released in North America roughly six months later for the 2017 model year.

Available in base Levante or Levante S configuration, the four-door crossover is also sold with a diesel engine in other parts of the world.

With the Levante, Maserati takes head-on the burgeoning luxury crossover crowd that includes the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Porsche Cayenne, and BMW X5.

MORE: Read our 2017 Maserati Levante review

The Maserati Levante arrived in the U.S. in summer 2016 in two configurations. The base Levante is powered by a 350-horsepower, twin-turbo V-6, and a higher performance Levante S boosts performance from the turbo-6 all the way up to 450 hp.

Although the SUV is a new segment for the luxury automaker, the SUV doesn't stray far from the hallmark details made famous by the luxury automaker. The Levante proudly sports the trident in its concave grille, and a long curvaceous hood that reaches back into the passenger cabin. An aggressively sloped roofline cuts down from the rear doors dramatically, and meets with wide rear haunches that flare over the 255-mm wide tires.

Quad-tipped exhausts blast the V-6's signature sound from the back of the Levante, and bypass valves open further in Sport mode to announce the Levante's rapid approach—or equally rapid departure.

The aforementioned twin-turbo V-6 is sourced from Ferrari and planted in the Levante—alongside similar versions found in the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans—and mated exclusively to an 8-speed automatic. According to Maserati, the Levante and Levante S run up to 60 mph in 5.8 and 5.0 seconds respectively, and both are equipped with all-wheel drive as standard. An adjustable air suspension system is standard on all models, and paired with a torque vectoring system that helps the Levante carve corners and tackle mild off-road obstacles. (Maserati says that the Levante has the lowest center of gravity in its class, which doesn't necessarily bode well for bouldering, we suspect.)

The Levante boasts a 50/50 weight distribution and mechanical locking rear differential for sportier behavior and a top speed of 155 mph, which we don't suggest on public roads.

Inside, the Levante is awash in the luxury and leather fittings that would be expected with its luxury price tag. The SUV is equipped with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, adapted from parent-company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and a rotary controller for volume control and settings. Ultra-luxury fittings such as Ermenegildo Zegna silk are available in the Levante, which can boost the base price tag of nearly $74,000 for a Levante up to nearly six figures for a fully equipped Levante S.

The Levante is built at the automaker's Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.

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