2018 Maserati Levante Review
Car Tested: 2018 Maserati Levante; Road Test No. 910
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.71 – 1.81 Crores
The Maserati Levante looks the part and it feels quite special and exclusive too
The luxury car market has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years and new product launches have been quite interesting, with automakers exploring new segments and body styles and venturing out of their comfort zones too. One such automaker is Maserati. This Italian company has always been known for their sports cars which are low-slung, offer excellent driving feel but come with certain flaws too. Now, the same company has ventured into the luxury SUV segment with the Levante, which is quite out of the ordinary. So, time to find out whether the Levante lives up to the massive hype that it has generated.
Motor Quest: The Maserati Levante is based on the Kubang concept SUV that was first showcased at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011. The vehicle is manufactured at the company’s Turin plant. While other countries get multiple engine options, the Asian market gets only the diesel engine, at least for now.
Exteriors – We will have to give it to the automaker for designing an SUV that’s so much a Maserati in its silhouette. The long swooping bonnet, imposing front grille with the chrome bars and of course the Trident logo, iconic triple air vents and a strong character line that runs from the rear door to the rear fender on the side make this vehicle, unmistakably a Maserati. The sleek projector headlights with LED DRLs, round fog lights placed just below the headlights, sporty bumper and the beautifully sculpted wheel arches give the Levante a lot of character.
The SUV is offered in two variants – GranLusso and GranSport. GranLusso focuses more on luxury while the GranSport trim is sports-oriented. The GranSport trim gives you 20-inch Nereo light alloy wheels and the GranLusso trim comes with 19-inch Zefiro light alloy wheels. The rear profile is the most beautifully put together part of the SUV with a sloping roofline and a raked windshield. The LED tail-lights might remind you of the Ghibli.
Interiors – The design of the dashboard is similar to some other cars from the stable. However, what’s different here is the sense of space and the driving position, all thanks to the SUV form factor. Remember this is an Italian car and the quality of materials used in the cabin speak for themselves. Choose the GranLusso trim and you get exotic wood, leather and even natural silk from Zegna (a first on any production car) while the GranSport trim gets a cabin with carbon-fibre design elements. The quality of materials and ergonomics are also far better than say, the Ghibli. While German cars still get better quality all around, the Levante has some rough edges too and certain parts in the cabin are also shared with other cars from the FCA stable.
Some parts like switches, stalks and knobs are shared with other FCA cars
There is a 3-spoke steering wheel and behind it are the analogue instrument gauges with a large 7-inch central MID display. An 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system called Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC+) with a standard 280-Watts 8-speaker audio system takes care of the infotainment duties. There is also an option of a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon Premium Sound system or a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound system. The infotainment system gets USB, AUX, SD Card, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. While the audio system sounds good, it isn’t as modern or feature-loaded as some of the Levante’s rivals. The infotainment system can be operated via touch or the rotary dials on the centre console or even by voice commands.
While the front seats aren’t the most comfortable in the segment, they do offer good cushioning and support. While space at the rear is good but not all that great, the rear seat is extremely comfortable once you get in and the premium upholstery inside the cabin does offer a feel-good factor. Other features offered are panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control (four-zone is optional), 12-way electrically adjustable front seats with memory function, soft close doors and front and rear parking sensors with reversing camera. The vehicle gets 580-litres of boot space and the ground clearance can be reduced to 162 mm for easier loading.