Maserati-Levante-S dos

In-Depth Review: Maserati Levante S, a sporty SUV

Italians are known for many things, one of them are exciting cars and today we bring you a very special one, the Maserati Levante S, this is the first SUV from the house of Bologna. Maintaining the classic sound of a Maserati, this off-road vehicle acceleration is brutal and certainly makes you feel you’re in a sports car. Of course, the finishes are the most refined to expect in a car of this caliber. If I had to describe this Maserati Levante S in three words, it would be comfortable, sporty and traditional.

Its 430 hp and 580 Nm practically remove the hiccups, these figures are generated by a V6 assembled by Ferrari, but in this case we are not talking about the normal version, we are talking about the S version, which achieves an increase of 80 hp compared to basic unit. It is capable of 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 264 km/h. This specimen weighs 2,109 kilos, but its weight/power ratio of 4.9 kg/hp will make us feel in a sports car. This version, unlike the basic model, has a more sporty and aggressive exterior.

To start entering the subject, we are going to talk about the interior and the qualities, then we will comment on the driving sensations, finally we will compare what it offers us for the price you have to pay to have one of these units in our garage and how we usually do, we’ll talk about some possible improvements.

– On the left side we can appreciate the GranLusso package. On the right, the GrandSport kit. The GrandSport is much sportier while the GranLusso is much more luxurious and elegant.

Maserati's only SUV at the moment

Before talking about the interior we have to know that the S version has two finishes, the GranLusso that focuses on luxury and comfort, and the GrandSport, which as its name indicates is a sporty finish. The Sport finish only offers aesthetic modifications such as the cams, which are incorporated as standard, are very large and are anchored to the steering column. It also eliminates some chrome apart from changing some air intake making it more aggressive.

In this case we are going to analyze the GranLusso version, although we have also been able to test the GrandSport and believe me when I say that there is no difference at the level of performance.

This variant has a leather interior, which in this case was black. The interior finishes were carbon, the leather is of the highest quality and the seats are very comfortable, these have a ventilation and heating function. Carbon is present and gives subtle touches that look great on this Maserati. The infotainment system is tactile and has a reasonable size, even so, this system leaves something to be desired, although this model was launched in 2017, this system looks older and is very poorly integrated. As far as functionalities are concerned, the software is better, it has GPS and Android Play or Apple Carplay. The rev counter and speedometer are not digital and in that regard it is appreciated that they are still analog.  Among them is a screen that provides you with very useful information for driving. The cabin feels spacious and the rear seats are as comfortable as the front seats, it is true that the fifth seat is more testimonial since if two people occupy the rear seats on the sides it is a bit tight. In general, the interior is very good and maintains that luxurious and refined appearance that Maserati has accustomed us to. Its interior undoubtedly has magnificent qualities. It is appreciated that Maserati still maintains its essence, but an improvement of the infotainment system would be good since it does not look very integrated into the dashboard.

Do not hesitate that you will feel from the first to the last horsepower from that V6 assembled by Ferrari."

Now we give way to one of the most important sections when buying a car, what it transmits to us. Well, its V6 Bi-turbo transmits an incredible musicality, worthy of an engine with more cylinders. The acceleration is very impressive and the power is delivered from very low in the rev counter. The gearbox is automatic, 8-speed with torque converter, but when you go down with the sequential, the change is slow and does not always change when you ask. However when you go up, the car does go up when you demand it, and very quickly. Fortunately, Maserati has decided to include a button where you can put the car in manual, come on, you decide when it changes at all times and you can speed up the revs as much as you want. The car has four driving modes, Normal, Off-Road, Sport and Double Sport. In Normal mode it is a docile, slightly silent, comfortable and quiet car, while in Off-Road mode the car pulls more and distributes it perfectly to all four wheels, since this car chooses how to distribute the power between the two trains. Even so, the Off-Road mode is suitable for uneven terrain, this mode raises the suspension, and if one day you want to take a field trip, you can take your Levante S without problems. Sport mode is a sport mode suitable for fun, open the exhausts a little, lower the suspension an inch and the car becomes more nervous and sporty. In this mode the aids are not reduced and the transmission is not changed to manual. The most sporty mode is the Double Sport, making way for all the fun, this mode lowers the suspension by 2 centimeters, fully opens the exhausts and brings out the sports car of the Trident that we all want. Do not hesitate that you will get up to the last horsepower and you will get the maximum musicality from that V6 assembled by Ferrari. Without a doubt, these 430 hp are taken advantage of and they allow you to slide a little, although if you want to have even more fun, you can totally deactivate the traction control and put it in manual mode. The cornering of this car is brutal and makes you feel in a pure sports car, still it has a very noble behavior.

Braking is a point to improve, and it would be good if carbon-ceramic brakes could be equipped. The address does not convey too much information and is not as accurate as we would like it to be in Sport mode. Even so, this is a great car and even being an SUV, when you put the double Sport mode you forget that it is one of these SUVs and you feel like a fast and light sports car. Although it feels like a sports car, it comes at a cost, and I am not referring to the economy as such, but to consumption. This car without giving it gas has an average of 15 L/100km and if you give it fuel it can consume 25 L/100km with ease, it is true that to achieve these consumptions you have to be very rough but they can be achieved perfectly. These 25 L/100km may seem like a lot but to achieve these high consumptions you have to drive very aggressively and take out every horse you have inside. This Maserati only consumes 98 gasoline and not 95 as a normal car, it is undoubtedly a sybarite.

Now you will ask me what is the price to pay for this sports car with an SUV body, well, if you want to buy a Maserati Levante S you will have to pay a sum of 113,000 euros, without any of the premium finishes, and if you want to get the GranLusso or The Sport you can pay the amount of 125,000 euros and it will be yours. The unit that we tested cost more than 140,000 euros and had a significant number of extras, it was practically full-equipment in comfort, luxury and safety, the driving aids in this car are extensive and assist you at all times. At CAR REVIEWS MAGAZINE we believe that the price is adequate since there are very few cars on the market that can be so comfortable and docile and at the same time aggressive and nervous. And very few SUVs that make you feel in a sports car like this makes you. Of course it is perfect to have those 580 liters of luggage space and feel like a sports car full of luxury.

If you prefer something more radical you can buy the Maserati Levante GTS for 161,000 euros with 530 hp or if you already like the extreme you can buy the Trophy version of 580 hp for the modest price of 196,000 euros. Even so, you can always buy the normal version with 350 hp or the diesel version with 275 hp, for people who are not looking for that performance but want the luxury and high-quality finishes from the Italian manufacturer.

As for improvements, we propose to Maserati that it incorporate cams in the GranLusso finish as standard and a sportier gearbox that allows us to downshift more aggressively. Finally, it would be great if the car braked a little more, or that it could be bought with carbon-ceramic brakes as an additional option.

Honestly, I can’t hide the fact that when I talk about this Maserati Levante S I get a smile. Thinking about the sensations it transmits is fabulous and without a doubt this SUV is worthy of bearing the name of a sports brand, Maserati has done it again.

Source: Maserati, Tayre Automoción

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