Sec­onds

WKND - - On The Road -

VER­DICT FEA­TURES & FUNCTIONALITY

Our real re­view be­gins with a gro­cery test and the Le­vante be­ing a first-timer SUV does well here too. Open up the tailgate and you’ll find a con­ve­niently square-shaped cargo bay with 580 litres of space. Hav­ing a flat load­ing lip and fold­able rear seats help. There is an un­der tray for your odds and ends, too. Be­tween two ver­ti­cal air vents is an Fca-scoured in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with a re­spon­sive 8.4-inch screen and some good in­tu­itive­ness built into the sys­tem; it is a big im­prove­ment over the Ghi­bli. It also has an easy ar­range­ment to link up your phone via Blue­tooth if you’d rather play your tunes over choices of lo­cal RJS. In case you find your­self in your own com­pany, you can fill up the cabin with loads of bass via the Bow­ers & Wilkins that uses a 1,280W am­pli­fier and 17 speak­ers.

The fact that HVAC con­trols are all phys­i­cal and that there is a knob for vol­ume makes the Le­vante’s cabin an er­gonomic set-up. Like other FCA prod­ucts, like Jeep and Dodge, you have con­cealed but­tons for vol­ume and ra­dio sta­tions be­hind the wheel that are easy to en­gage.

As ex­pected, with the pre­mium price comes some novel safety fea­tures —like Adap­tive Cruise Con­trol with Stop & Go func­tion, For­ward Col­li­sion Warn­ing and Brake As­sist Sys­tem, Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing and Sur­round View cam­era with a rather livid per­spec­tive, to name a few.

5.2In the rag­ing super SUV bat­tle, the 2017 Maserati Le­vante S throws a surprise punch. Its tri­dent badge and re-bod­ied coupe-in­spired ex­te­ri­ors will win the hearts of your friends, while its sorted chas­sis and er­ratic-but-fran­tic power de­liv­ery will re­mind you of Maserati’s rac­ing her­itage.

Some plas­tic bits mar the lux­ury feel and the space-rid­dled rear seat­ing and sus­pi­cious off-road cal­i­bre means that it does not ful­fill SUV ex­pec­ta­tions com­pletely. But, over­all, as an al­ter­na­tive to the Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5, it fares de­cently well.

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