The Maserati Levante is further proof that SUVs are here to stay. The trend that Porsche started with the Cayenne is now being followed by nearly every major premium automaker. But even though Maserati has stooped to the high-profit-margin levels of other luxury marques, it didn’t sell its Italian soul to do so.
In spite of rumors that the Maserati SUV would be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s platform, the Levante rides on the Ghibli’s architecture. And in keeping with the Italian sports car maker’s traditions, it’s also pretty darn good-looking. But how does it compare to other swoopy luxury SUVs like the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and the trailblazing Porsche Cayenne?
The Levante wears the Maserati corporate face but inherits more traits from the Ghibli than the larger Quattroporte. The slender headlights connect to the large front grille, which features concave vertical slats. The brand’s characteristic three portholes can be found on the front fenders.
From the side, we can make some comparisons. The Levante features a raked roofline like its competitors, but it doesn’t slope as sharply as the X6 or GLE Coupe. Both of those SUVs feature “trunk” spoilers, while the Levante and Cayenne get roof spoilers that help visually extend the roofline. The Levante and X6 have more defined hips thanks to generous character lines, whereas the Porsche and Mercedes are more slab-sided. Even though the Cayenne is old and due to be replaced any day now, it still holds up next to these three newer designs.
The rear end of the Levante features taillights similar to the GranTurismo, and also gets a quad-tipped exhaust. While the Levante and Cayenne’s hind quarters slope gradually like a traditional SUV, the X6 and GLE Coupe rooflines truncate suddenly at the beltline for a striking—and polarizing—look.
Inside, the Levante receives a healthy dose of leather and wood, much like the Quattroporte flagship sedan. Just like the Quattroporte, the Levante features wide rectangular HVAC vents on either side of the dash. The center vents are oriented vertically. A three-spoke steering wheel proudly displaying the Maserati Trident emblem finishes off the look.
The 2017 Maserati Levante thrusts the brand into the premium SUV game, and it brings competitive design and features to the table. Does it have what it takes to go up against the heavy-hitters in the class though? Tell us in the comments below.
Last week, we looked at the refreshed 2017 Ford Escape, and opinions were mixed.
IBx1 thought it was too close to other vehicles on the market, saying, “It’s too similar to the Edge and the Santa Fe, and no Ford should be a dead-ringer to a Hyundai if the Ford comes out second.”
Isaac37e agreed the design is derivative, but saw a different brand in the Escape’s face: “Looks like a Subaru.”
Still, others don’t mind the look. Oliverrojas said, “It looks fine.Recent updates make it look like it’s been working out at the gym.”