Maserati is a century-old brand. Also recognized and aspirational. One of those that arouse admiration just by naming it, because it synthesizes the best of the Italian tradition in the design and manufacture of luxury sports cars. However, in a curious phenomenon, it often goes unnoticed by buyers of cars in this category.
Perhaps some consider it more expensive than it is, it may be perceived as less reliable than similar ones of German origin or with a limited product offer. They are prejudices that, little by little, are crumbling with such interesting proposals as the first SUV in its long history, the Levante, also available in a version in which, being faithful to its principles, it reinforces the essential energy efficiency.
The Levante Hybrid uses the mechanics with the same name as the Ghibli, a coupe-cut saloon that opened the door of the brand to a more ecological future. The arrival of this solution to the fashion segment was inevitable, so this Levante SUV is the answer to the needs of a market delivered to a body format that is as attractive as it is functional.
Its five-door, five-meter long box exudes good Italian know-how, with a design loaded with personality. Dynamism and elegance in equal measure, with an imposing front grille dominated by the trident that identifies the brand and a highly fluid silhouette. In this Hybrid version, there are details in blue, such as the side air intakes or the logo on the rear C-pillar, which differentiates it from its brothers and advances its commitment to efficiency.
The interior atmosphere is also what is expected from the flash of a brand like Maserati. It competes in the big leagues, with highly qualified rivals and every nuance must serve to confirm that it is a special car, of noble birth and constantly evolving towards the new needs of its customers.
The materials are exquisite, as are the finishes, while the equipment has everything that is already considered essential in a product of its positioning. It displays some analog clocks on a seven-inch TFT instrumentation screen, while the other control center relies on an 8.4-inch screen with enhanced graphics.
The habitability is correct in the front seats and somewhat fairer in height in the rear, an inevitable consequence of the fall on the roof behind. The boot has a capacity of 580 liters, enough for the typical use of a family of four. It is not, of course, an SUV designed to meet high expectations of space, for this there are other options on the market designed with that objective.
Bet on efficiency
Maserati has withdrawn from its catalog the Levante with diesel mechanics, now leaving the Hybrid as the entry point to the range. The Modena house uses micro-hybrid technology with a 48-volt system to achieve the compromise between performance and efficiency. This version had to be as exciting as a six-cylinder gasoline engine, but consuming and, therefore, polluting less.
The option chosen is a four-cylinder engine, two-liter displacement, with turbocharger and a performance of 330 hp together with a torque of 450 Nm. These are data that translate into the official performance of 245 km / h of top speed and an acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in six seconds, with a fuel saving of 20% compared to the Levante V6 with 350 CV: it approves an average of 9.7 liters per hundred kilometers in the WLTP cycle.
A genuine Maserati
Making a car-less greedy is a relatively straightforward challenge for engineers these days. Combining efficiency with sportsmanship seems somewhat more complicated and is what Maserati has successfully achieved with its Levante Hybrid, which thanks to this enjoys all the advantages of the DGT Eco label.
Do not forget that it is a car that weighs two tons and rises to almost 1.7 meters in total height, so the presence of inertia must be considered inevitable. And so it is, although with a significant nuance: Maserati has managed to distribute them and have them under control so that driving enjoyment is guaranteed on any type of track.
Ideal weight distribution between both axles (50/50), the advantages of a highly advanced pneumatic suspension (which even facilitates driving off the asphalt with certain guarantees), the impeccable steering in terms of precision, the variable ground clearance, and the all-wheel-drive with multi-plate clutch ensures that the objective pursued by Maserati is more than fulfilled: a beautiful sporty but also efficient SUV.
The pleasure of driving
Because beyond such a technological display, what dazzles the Levante Hybrid are the sensations it transmits behind the wheel. A car that is poised on all types of roads, with almost unbreakable stability and agility when cornering that leads to forgetting that it is a vehicle of such dimensions and weight.
Indeed, 330 hp are far from being benchmarks in this segment, the performance convinces but does not dazzle. However, it will be enough for a large number of users, perhaps even more comfortable with an acceptable performance than with other power deployments that get more than one in trouble.
The Levante drives easy, in normal conditions it presents with its rear-wheel drive, to send power to the front wheels only in case of need. So his reactions, his touch, is that of a sports car that pushes from behind and does so with solvency, smoothly but with dynamic effectiveness.
Effectiveness and efficiency. That’s the Hybrid’s winning combination. It is not that the 48V technology works miracles, but the intervention of light hybridization at certain times, even allowing inertial driving (under sail) on the road, helps to reduce consumption to quite reasonable levels. Rolling at a good pace, without excesses but with joy, it is easy to keep the cost below 10 liters per hundred kilometers, a satisfactory figure for which it also represents savings in CO2 emissions.
Maserati Levante an interesting alternative
The Maserati Levante Hybrid is a different SUV, special, luxurious, sporty, and brimming with personality. A more than qualified rival for models of the prestige of the Audi Q8, BMX X6, Mercedes GLE, Range Rover Velar, or Porsche Cayenne, which is no small matter.
And with a base price of 91,650 euros that is more than competitive within its segment. It is not, of course, a negligible figure but it is justified for those who can afford to pay for it and enjoy an SUV that breaks certain schemes.
It is much less seen than most, it is surrounded by a halo of legend that cannot be bought with money, it is balanced in performance and consumption, it has a design capable of turning heads as it passes and few will be able to say that it leaves you indifferent. A pleasant surprise that underpins the plans of a traditional company that looks towards a future with much to discover.