Maserati has finally launched the long-awaited Levante SUV in India. It is available in three trims – standard Diesel, opulent GranLusso and the performance-packed GranSport. First showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Levante is Maserati’s first plunge into the growing SUV segment.
The Levante, as Maserati claims, is named after the warm Mediterranean wind that can change from a light breeze to an irresistible natural force in an instant. It looks indistinctively Italian with its sleek headlamps flanking the iconic Maserati grille. There are characteristic gills on the front fender and Trident insignia on the D-Pillar in a typical Maserati fashion. There are no less than 13 body colours to choose from.
The sloping roofline lends the SUV a crossover-coupe like stance while the subtle rear is akin to the other practical Maseratis like the Quattroporte and Ghibli. The quad-exhaust lends a sporty appeal too. The SUV rides on stylish 21-inch wheels wrapped in all-weather tyres and measures 5,003x2,158x1,679mm with a wheelbase of 3,004mm.
On the inside, the Levante is as lavish as one could expect from an Italian SUV. There are exotic materials like leather, wood and suede. The 8.4-inch infotainment screen dominates the dashboard. The list of features includes Bowers & Wilkins or Harman Kardon sound system, ambient lighting, four-zone climate control, and premium perforated leather option. Driver aids include adaptive cruise control with start-stop function, forward collision warning, automatic brake assist system and lane departure warning, blind spot alert, surround view camera and power lift tailgate. There are five different suspension settings as well.
Under the hood is a 3.0-litre turbodiesel producing 275bhp at 4,000rpm and 600Nm from as low as 2,000rpm. The eight-speed automatic transmission channels all the output to the Q4 all-wheel-drive system for a 0-100 sprint in 6.9 seconds, and a top speed of 230kmph.
Being a Maserati, the exotic SUV gets a host of configurable options including stitching, headliner material, wheels, and upholstery. Priced between Rs 1.4-1.5 crores, the Levante comes as an Italian alternative to other potent SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne GTS, Range Rover Sport, BMW X6 or the true-blue off-roader, the Toyota Land Cruiser. If one does not want a high riding vehicle then the Luxo-barges such as BMW 730Ld, Audi A8 60TDI and Mercedes-Benz S350d come as opulent choices in that price range. Then there are high-performance cars like BMW M3, Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911 all of which could quench your adrenaline rush for the price of the new Levante.