Car and Driver has published its First Drive Review of the Maserati Levante. Here are some quotes to give you the idea, and then I'll put a link to the review at the end of this post.
It’s best to think of the Levante, named for a wind in the western Mediterranean, as a Ghibli wagon in the mold of the Audi Allroad line. That means it’s a primarily on-pavement, all-weather fast hauler with just enough all-wheel-drive capability and driver-selectable ride-height range to provide some decent trail abilities. Like the current crop of Maseratis, the Levante is fast, it’s ferociously loud when it needs to be, and it wrings the bejeezus out of a corner, but it’s even better than the Ghibli that underpins it. Call it Ghibli 2.0.
the Levante also comes standard with Q4, Maserati’s permanent all-wheel drive. A computer-controlled multiplate clutch attached to the transmission engages drive to the front axle when desired; the rear axle is always engaged. At Fiat-Chrysler’s old Balocco test track, we were pointed down a trail through the woods that included some fairly serious grades, a water trough, and a few suspension-twisting obstacles. Between the extra ground-clearance modes, the seamless forward torque transfer, a limited-slip rear diff, and some surprisingly generous ramp angles, the Levante acquitted itself as a decent mud puppy.
This ain’t no Lexus, and a hearty salute to that! Although Maserati hints at a 22-mpg combined rating when the numbers are released later this year, we expect owners to find the fuel vanishing from the 21.1-gallon tank with greater alacrity. The EPA ratings cannot possibly be better than the lighter and lower-powered Ghibli S Q4, which rates 16/19 mpg city/highway.
2017 Maserati Levante SUV First Drive ? Review ? Car and DriverWith the Levante, Fiat-Chrysler is taking a risk, giving the SUV a dedicated production facility at its Mirafiori plant near Turin and counting on it for 30,000 sales per year. But the company has greatly helped its cause by doing the product right, and the Levante should help keep both Maserati and Italian car-making relevant, at least for now.