Maserati Levante V6 Sportivo X 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 5 door estate

Ten Second Review

The Levante is a luxury SUV from a brand you probably wouldn't expect to be making such a thing. Following the Jaguar F-PACE and the Bentley Bentayga, we've got this car, the Maserati Levante.

Background

It's mark of the rise and rise of the SUV that every single luxury brand now knows it has to have such a thing within its model portfolio. Maserati has been dabbling with the idea for years, showing its Kubang concept at motorshows as long ago as 2003. The brand finally got around to updating this Giugiaro prototype in 2011, but it took until 2016 to get it into production, badged as the Levante. Was the wait worthwhile? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

Under the bonnet of the Levante variant that most UK customers will buy lies a 271bhp VM Motori V6 diesel, which is an update of the engine that Maserati offers in its Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons. If you want it, there are three twin turbo petrol options; a 350hp V6, a 430hp 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 built by Ferrari that boasts a top speed of 164mph and makes 62mph from rest in just 5.2s. Or a 550hp 3.8-litre V8 in the most desirable GTS model, which reduces the rest to 62mph time to just 4.2s. Whatever your engine choice, on the move, what's unusual about this car is the way that it's constantly able to monitor the location of its centre of gravity. Every time you turn the wheel, the Levante is able to determine the load it's carrying and work out what that'll do to its centre of gravity. It'll then continuously adjust its air springs and electronic dampers to suit. As a result, Maserati claims that this car understeers less than any of its rivals, this helped by a 51:49 front-rear weight distribution and a 4x4 driveline that sends 90% of the V6 engine's torque to the back axle by default. If a lack of traction demands it, this proportion can be adjusted in just 150 milliseconds, these continuous shiftings visible on an attractive instrument cluster graphic. 62mph takes 6.9s en route to 143mph. Can you go off-road in it? Actually yes. The Levante comes with adjustable ride height, hill-descent control and lots of torque. Plus there's plenty of wheel travel and a couple of off-road modes. But if you seriously take to the undergrowth in this Maserati, you'd be a brave buyer.

Design and Build

This car is based on Maserati's Kubang concept. That prototype was originally supposed to run on Jeep hardware and be built in the US. In the event, the Levante is actually put together from Maserati bits and is screwed together in Italy at Fiat's huge Mirafiori plant in Turin. Aluminium is extensively used around the structure and the bodywork - you'll find it in the doors, the tailgate and the bonnet for example. Despite that, the Levante is still a pretty heavy thing, tipping the scales at 2,205kg - which makes it significantly heavier than rivals like the Range Rover Sport or the Volvo XC90. Open the frameless doors then step inside and you'll find the Levante's cabin furnishings as sumptuous as you'd expect those in a Maserati to be. Owners should love the leather-upholstered dashboard and the high-set driving position, while the infotainment system promises to be more convincing than that found in Maserati's saloons. There's a Mercedes-like single stalk controlling indicators, wipers and main beam, while behind the smart steering wheel, there's a pair of alloy gearchange paddles.

Market and Model

You'll pay around £55,000 for the diesel version and around £70,000 for the petrol model. We can see those figures tempting some buyers in the large luxury SUV sector. That pitches the Levante right into the heart of the BMW X5 / Mercedes GLE / Range Rover Sport / Volvo XC90 segment - and it's certainly a more exclusive choice than any of those SUVs. The asking figure pitches this car in between Porsche's 258bhp Cayenne V6 diesel and 380bhp Cayenne V8 diesel models. Equipment levels include as standard leather trim and all of the usual executive niceties. Plus from a dynamic perspective, there's self-levelling suspension, height-adjustable air springs and electronic dampers, torque vectoring and a limited-slip rear differential. And of course, there's plenty of scope for buyer personalisation with a wide range of optional equipment including a Zegna Mulberry Silk interior.

Cost of Ownership

You don't think about buying a Maserati luxury SUV, then worry too much about the cost of running it. Still, if you're interested, the Italian brand quotes a 39.2mpg combined cycle fuel figure and 189g/km of CO2 as a return from the 3.0-litre V6 diesel variant. As for the petrol version, well, best not to ask. Now that the Ghibli and the Quattroporte have established use of diesel power in a Maserati, the used market should be quite comfortable when the time comes to sell this Levante. As a result, residual values should be strong thanks to the car's relative rarity. And the engine is a proven Fiat Group unit, so is unlikely to cause any issues.

Summary

We can see the Levante introducing a whole new raft of buyers to the Maserati brand. Yes, a car like this will enrage the brand's purists, but they won't keep the company afloat. As Porsche proved with the Cayenne, a successful luxury SUV can do exactly that - and provide the funds for future Maserati models more in keeping with what we expect from the marque. In the meantime, if you're in the market for a large luxury SUV and want something deliciously different, put one of these on your wishlist. You'll enjoy it.

  • Through load system including ski bag
  • Soft close doors
  • 3 spoke multifunction steering wheel
  • Nero heated leather sport steering wheel
  • Rear armrest with 2 cupholders
  • Maserati active shifting aluminium gear shift paddles
  • Fabric headlining trim
  • Front and rear head restraints with embossed Trident logo
  • Power height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Air conditioned front passenger glove box with USB Socket
  • Front armrest with twin mechanical opening, with illuminated storage compartment, air conditioned and 12V socket
  • Brushed stainless steel sports pedals
  • Full premium fine grain leather on instrument cowl, uppper and lower dashboard, armrests, door handles, upper and centre door panel
  • One 12V socket and two USB sockets for rear passengers
  • Front and rear steel door sills
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • Perforated full premium fine grain leather upholstery
  • Metallic paint
  • Air shutter control
  • Body coloured side skirts, front and rear sport fascias with front inserts, front lower profile and rear diffuser in gloss black finish
  • Electric panoramic sunroof
  • Body colour lower mouldings - lower bumpers, wheels arches and sides
  • Chrome effect boot sill finishers
  • Chrome line exterior
  • Twin, dual pipe exhaust system in chrome plated stainless steel
  • Sport rear spoiler in body colour
  • Front grille with vertical grille bars in piano black finish with bezel in chrome finish
  • Easy access pack - Levante
  • Nerissimo pack with black door mirror - Levante
  • Driver Assistance Pack Plus - Levante
  • Maserati NavTrak vehicle tracking system with Automatic Driver Recognition and Remote Inhibition
  • Keyless entry and go
  • Aluminium key fob
  • Perimeter alarm system including volumetric sensing, anti-lift device and electronic immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with pressure displayed within the central digital cluster
  • Front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, rear seat belts with load limiters
  • Dual stage Driver/Passenger side, window Airbags
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Curtain airbags
  • Passenger airbag deactivation system
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Stop/start system
  • Power tailgate
  • Audio system with 8 speakers
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 22.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 13.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 24.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 11.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 19
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 12.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 22.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 20.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 23
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 13.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 13.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 10.7
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 12.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 21.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 14.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 24.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 11.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 26.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 20.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 12.8
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 79
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 74
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 81
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 4
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 95
  • Special Order: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Based On ID: 84897
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Service Interval Mileage: 12500
  • Coin Series: Sportivo X
  • Coin Description: V6
  • Special Edition: True
  • Badge Power: 350
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6
  • Top Speed: 156
  • Engine Power - KW: 257
  • Engine Torque - NM: 500
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5750
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 369
  • Engine Power - BHP: 350
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 51
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 277
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 283
  • HC+NOx: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 242
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 289
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 430
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 260
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 312
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 303
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 464
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 259
  • CC: 2979
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 84.5
  • Camshaft: QUAD CAM
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 86.5
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Compression Ratio: 9.7:1
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Width (including mirrors): 2158
  • Wheelbase: 3004
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 5005
  • Height: 1693
  • Width: 1981
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2109
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.7
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 580
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 80
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1625
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2780
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Alloys: True
  • Tyre Size Front: 265/40 R21
  • Space Saver: False
  • Wheel Style: ANTEO DESIGN
  • Tyre Size Rear: 295/35 R21
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2