2017 All-Stars Contender: Maserati Levante
Large new Italian aims to charm with personality
Our first encounter with the 2017 Maserati Levante was a positive one, with editor-in-chief Mike Floyd having his way with several versions across northern Italy, including a run on the A26 Autostrada. That positive experience earned the Levante, which is the Trident's first go at an SUV, an invitation to our All-Stars Competition.
Maserati provided us with a 424-hp Levante S, which also boasts 428 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 time of 5.0 seconds courtesy of a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, a powerplant that prompted contributor Steven Cole Smith to ask "why is the best engine here in an SUV?"
"There is no shortage of zippy crossovers on the market, but few have the quirky, characterful appeal of the Levante, from the bass hum of its exhaust note to the tall aluminum blades of its paddle shifters," noted contributor Basem Wasef of the 4,649-pound Maserati.
"Still don't dig the exterior style, but the interior looks nice and the seats are very comfy. In cruise mode it's a fine luxury hatch, in full sport it's a beast! Engine sound is incredible, great grip, steering even feels good," chimed in contributor Nelson Ireson.
Others shared Ireson's concerns about the styling. "It's not fantastic to look at and the interior is nothing special," noted contributor Mark Noordeloos, while design guru Robert Cumberford described it as "under-styled."
Will the Levante's personality overcome its questionable looks on the way to an All-Stars trophy? Come back on March 11 to find out.
2017 Maserati Levante S Specifications
|PRICE||$83,800/$99,000 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||3.0L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
424 hp @ 5,750 rpm, 428 lb-ft @ 4,500-5,000 rpm
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV|
|EPA MILEAGE||14/19 mpg city/hwy|
|L X W X H||197.0 x 85.0 x 66.1 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.0 sec|
|TOP SPEED||164 mph|