R1 650 000
The SUV category has been growing year on year, with an ever-increasing number of premium automakers adding these types of derivatives to their product line-ups. Maserati is the latest to launch a full-size, luxury SUV into the local market and the Levante, named for a warm, Mediterranean wind, is a high-end luxury proposition that goes head to head with the likes of Porsche’s Cayenne, BMW’S X5 and Range Rover’s Sport models.
The styling of the all-new model is particularly distinctive, with a large air-intake dominating the visage and proudly hosting the Trident logo of the Italian marque. Overall, the shape is quite curvy, more so than many of its rivals, giving it an edge in the appearance department.
Powering the Levante is a 3,0-litre V6 turbodiesel that produces 202 kw of power and 600 N.m of torque, the latter developed between 2 000 and 2 600 r/min. Power transmission is handled by an eight-speed automatic and drive is sent to all four wheels. Variable torque split front to rear and a mechanical rear limited-slip differential ensure that Maserati’s first SUV can venture off the beaten path. The manufacturer claims that the Levante will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6,9 seconds and reach a top speed of 230 km/h.
Standard specification is expectedly high, although potential owners can order any number of options, many of which can be bought in packages. Included in the price is a five-year/ 100 000 km service plan and three-year unlimited mileage warranty.