SUVs are all the rage right now and Maserati wanted to take advantage of that with their own segment competitor, the Levante. There’s definitely a lot of interest if the Socal public’s reaction to Arthur St. Antoine’s test Levante is anything to go by.
As an editor for Automobile, test driving new vehicles is in the job description and Arthur had the chance to spend a whole week with the uplevel SQ4 edition. Hidden in that clean and elegant body is the same twin-turbo DOHC V-6 powering its Ghibli sports coupe sibling, but with updated intake and exhausts systems. Delivering 424 hp, the Levante can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds which is somewhat surprising if you take it’s nearly 5,000 pound curb weight into consideration.
One gripe he did have was of the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift paddles, something that felt old and clunky in his hands. The shift lever and its lack of detents didn’t help either as Arthur found himself shifting into park or neutral when all he wanted to do was go in reverse.
But other than that, the Levante is a brilliant vehicle that can easily cruise along at triple digit speeds and you wouldn’t even know that you were speeding. That’s how quiet the cabin is, with no wind noise and barely any engine sounds coming through.
Maserati’s goal is to sell around 30,000 Levantes in North America annually and after using it as a daily driver for a week, Arthur thinks the goal is well within reach.