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2018 Maserati Levante: Overview

What’s New for 2018?

After a successful launch last year, the 2018 Maserati Levante returns with some new driver assist features and two new trim lines: GranSport and GranLusso. Later in the year, a new Trofeo trim featuring a 590-horsepower V8 will join the lineup, although it will likely carry a 2019 designation. Stay tuned.

What We Like

Surprisingly reasonable pricing; excellent Uconnect infotainment; fun to drive

What We Don’t

Compromised practicality; ponderous styling; uncertain reliability

Overview

The 2018 Maserati Levante marks an important first for the rapidly expanding luxury-car brand: It’s Maserati’s first SUV in more than 100 years of existence, and it joins the GranTurismo coupe and the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans to help the brand compete against some of today’s top luxury automakers.

Unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle, even with a storied name like Maserati. By now, virtually every automaker offers a sporty luxury SUV. The segment includes the BMW X5 (plus its high-performance M version and its X6 stablemate), the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, the Porsche Cayenne, the Bentley Bentayga, the Range Rover Sport, the Audi SQ5 — and the list goes on and on. Even Lexus is getting into the game with increasingly sporty versions of its once-staid RX crossover.

But the Levante has some advantages. Its Maserati brand name is certainly one. Another is the twin-turbocharged V6 that comes standard under the hood of every Levante and provides a muscular 345 horsepower or 424 hp, depending on which model you get. And then there’s the styling, which — while controversial — is unmistakably different from its rivals.

Another benefit of the Levante is its pricing. While you may expect a Maserati SUV to be well into the 6-figure range, the Levante actually starts at just $76,200 with shipping, while the sportier S version is $87,600. Admittedly, those figures are before options, which are plentiful, but the Levante’s pricing is not far out of line with luxury SUV rivals that don’t carry the alluring Maserati name.

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