Maserati Levante SUV
"The Maserati Levante SUV is the firm's first 4x4, and as you'd expect it’s luxurious, well equipped and pretty good to drive"
- Luxurious interior
- Decent handling
- Elegant looks
- Pricey options
- Petrol Levante S is expensive
- Diesel not that fast for a Maserati
Maserati is a marque steeped in history and associated with crafting beautiful sports cars like the Maserati GranTurismo. Along with its extensive back catalogue of racing and road cars, even its four-door saloons, the Maserati Ghibli and Maserati Quattroporte, seem more exciting than rivals from Audi or BMW.
But seeing the big sales of cars such as the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne, Maserati realised the future of the company would depend on building an SUV, even if it would upset some loyal fans in the process. A concept car called the Maserati Kubang was unveiled to gauge reactions, and after much speculation, the production Maserati Levante arrived.
Overall, it’s perhaps not as effortlessly beautiful as Maserati’s sports cars or four-door saloons, but it’s also not an aggressive or overly macho SUV. Of course, its grille and Maserati trident badge make it instantly recognisable, and its Italian leather interior and styling cues will be familiar to any Maserati owner.
The Levante is spacious (as long as you don’t find yourself in the middle of the rear seats) with excellent safety virtually guaranteed by a comprehensive roster of airbags, anti-skid electronics and active systems to help prevent a crash before it happens.
Just one V6 diesel engine was initially available, and although this is neither particularly fast nor economical, the Levante’s excellent handling goes some way to upholding the brand’s reputation for performance. A 2017 update streamlined the Levante's trim levels and also brought a 424bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol-engine, though choosing this adds around £14,000 to the car's list price and negatively affects its economy.