SUV and loving it: The Maserati Levante
Levitating in a Maserati Levante
MISS TECH - Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2018 - 12:00am

Yes, you read the title right. Driving a Maserati Levante is much like being in a levitated position that is a notch above the rest of the cars on the road — at least that’s how I felt driving it.

The Maserati Levante is an SUV in a class of its own. It is described as stunning with outstanding performance GT on-road dynamics and fully capable off-road comfort.

When I got the Levante for a weekend drive I was immediately drawn to its cockpit. Yes, there are many fancy levers and buttons to play with, each one giving a tech high. But once I got the hang of the cockpit, I got to enjoy the drive and ride so much more.

Naturally, comfort is prioritized in the Levante, for the driver, that is. Maybe because in Europe most cars are self-driven and not left to the chauffer? That means more good news for those of us who love to drive and not leave that all-important task to others.

I got the impression that the Levante was made for smooth road driving — of course, that was because I stayed on smooth roads during my date with it.

I liked the feel of this Maserati strong and heavy. There was nothing flimsy about this SUV and because of this there safe inside.

In the brochure that came with the Maserati it said:

“The Maserati Levante is a turning point in Maserati’s history. The brand new model, which made its World Premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, enables the Trident to access the largest luxury segment in the world. The Levante significantly contributes to the creation of the most complete product lineup in Maserati’s history. The name Levante was inspired by a warm, Mediterranean wind that can change from mild to gale force in an instant, mirroring the character of the first Maserati SUV.”

Comfort inside

The first thing I felt when I stepped into the Maserati Levante was like being in the first class lounge because of the leather seats. The dashboard and the central console are designed in order to accommodate the Touch Screen, the cluster of drive mode buttons, the brand new rotary knob and the air suspension switch.

Then there is the instrument panel that follows the classic Ghibli/Quattroporte layout and is backlit with white light that contrasts nicely with the warm cabin lighting. I really liked the cool accent of the classic Maserati analogue clock located in the center of the dashboard.

If you like big, personal space while driving, the Levante is top of its class. The rear seats comfortably accommodate three passengers becasue of the long wheelbase and the wide body. The two outer seats are designed to offer maximum comfort and lateral restraint. The headroom is among the best in class thanks to the ergonomic configuration of the seats.

My view: The classy cockpit is lovely.

Drive on

And here is where all vehicles are measured — how they drive. The Levante passed this with flying marks — save for the jeeps, buses and motorcycles — that tried to get too close when stuck in traffic.

There is the all-wheel-drive system and the newly introduced torque vectoring system, which deliver GT on-road behavior. The Levante is designed to deliver best in class comfort on rough roads and smooth roads as well.

Engine-wise the Levante is equipped with the latest evolution of the Maserati 3-liter V6 engines. The 3-liter engine is capable of 275 hp and delivers 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and a 230 km/h maximum speed.

I must add the innovative features in the Levante are Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Forward Collision Warning and Brake Assist System, Lane Departure Warning, Surround View camera, capacitive 8.4” Touch Screen display with brand new rotary control, plus the AHA function, an addition to the Maserati Touch Control Plus which extends the AM, FM and DAB digital radio with a network connection option: the AHA function dialogues with the user’s network-connected mobile device to give access to on-line services while on the move.

‘Nuff said about the tech features.

Drive now

I was on the road in a flash and I loved what I was driving. The Maserati Levante got a few looks from people on the streets and other drivers as well. They are not to be blamed because one can’t help but take a second or even a third look at the Levante as it passes you by.

Why?  Well, the Levante was designed in the Maserati studio at the FCA “Centro Stile” of Turin. Its design defines a new style in the SUV world, combining coupe? lines with impressive interior space.

And, the Maserati DNA is clearly visible everywhere you look, ensuring that the Levante stands out. Its imposing grille is inspired by the sensational Alfieri concept and is destined to be a signature feature of all Maserati cars.

The muscular shape of the rear haunches gives it a distinctive and attractive Italian style which is readily evident as I muscled my way up and down EDSA.

The silhouette of the Levante moves from its feline-inspired headlights along the side of the car to the characteristic Maserati rear pillar, resulting in a coupe? look that is enhanced by the frameless doors, a feature of every modern Maserati.

How can I not love a car that has all the great features of a cat, right?

And the drive —  much better than its looks.

Time to get moving.

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