No longer are low volume models enough for Maserati as there are now balance sheets to manage. That’s where the Levante S Q4 comes in and its main competition in the luxury SUV segment is the Porsche Cayenne.
Car And Driver contributor Josh Jacquot had a chance to test Maserati’s new SUV recently for a day or more. As with all SUVs, the Levante is a practical vehicle that was able to take on a load of kids and bicycles whilst providing its passengers with a “spleen-splitting ride in sport mode”. That may sound great on paper but the dampers in Sport mode are just too stiff for the roads of Michigan.
To make the ride more comfortable without compromising throttle response, drivers will need to decouple the powertrain from the stiffest damper setting. For an even higher level of ride customization, the standard computer-controlled air springs can be raised or lowered 3.4 inches.
Powering this SUV was a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine that’s producing 424 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system, the Levante’s power delivery may get a bit delayed if you catch the V-6 off-boost but that could remedied by manually operating the gearbox.
Overall, the Maserati Levante is an emotive vehicle whereas the Cayenne was called “antiseptic” by Jacquot.