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Maserati has finally joined the lucrative SUV market with the new Levante and drive reviews are slowly trickling through. PistonHeads managed to get their hands on one equipped with the 350hp petrol V6 engine.


The interior is covered with the famed Maserati cows; seats, dash, door, armrest, etc and maybe that will be enough to make you think twice before writing off the Levante because of its average touchscreen. As for the ergonomics, the seats are quite big and you may find yourself sliding around a bit but they do make up for that with ample head space.

On the road, you’ll barely hear any wind noise even at Italian motorway speeds. The loudest noise you would hear is the roar of exhaust valves opening up in Sport mode. Still, the Levante’s cabin noise is comparable to that of other luxury SUVs. Standard air springs are combined with variable dampers to make your ride both smooth and quiet.

Body roll is well controlled and the hydraulic steering is balanced and accurate but you won’t get a lot of feedback on uneven roads. Problems started to appear when they tried to push the Levante harder; ABS kept triggering when it wasn’t necessary and the stiffening of the dampers in Sport mode made the car feel a bit ungainly when hitting bumps under braking.

Overall, a well-executed SUV that can even go off road. Nothing extreme like the Land Rover trails but the additional 45mm ground clearance from the air suspension and dedicated off-road mode should be enough for the odd dirt hill climb.

Just be prepared for the cost of running this thing. The official fuel economy rating for the Levante is 39.2mpg, 25.9mpg combined for the S model, and a CO2 emission rating of 189g/km. On the bright side, it could be worse if it wasn’t for the extremely low drag co-efficient of 0.31Cd.
 
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