What a badge.
Very little in the car world gets you excited like the Trident at the front of a bonnet of a beautifully crafted Italian piece of gorgeousness.
Unfortunately, it's been a fair few years since Maserati have created a truly special car. The Gran Turismo is arguably unique, particularly in this world of turbo charged GTs we live with but launching an SUV is either genius or brand shatteringly silly.
Well, only one way to find out. Take one out for a drive.
Watch my video review of the Maserati Levante
Have Maserati done something good?
It's hard for me to talk about this. It's hard because I'm a car "purist" as it were. I think brands should stick to what they know. That view is outdated and very probably wrong but that's how I see it.
With that in mind, I am trying to look at the release of the Levante in a balanced, non biased fashion.
So, to answer the question at the top of this paragraph...yea, kind of.
If you want to shift units in the motor arena nowadays, you need to offer the most popular variant of vehicle. That variant is an SUV and therefore makes sense that Maserati have launched such a model.
Based on trying to breath life into the brand, the Levante is something good.
Does it perform, feel and have the appeal of those "traditional" Maseratis of old? Definitely not.
Then again, should we really expect it handle like a 3500 GT? Also definetely not.
How is it to be in?
I'd strongly recommend watching the video above...my face says it all.
The Maserati Levante Gran Lusso is good. Nothing more, nothing less. It's big, comfortable and has just enough poke to give you a small thrill when you give the throttle a little nudge. It will carry you around a corner pretty well with remarkably little body roll. Will it trouble the Cayennes of this world, no. The competition is far more nimble and sporting than the Levante.
The dash and infotainment is a tad dated but frankly works perfectly fine. Would I be happy paying £70k and seeing the inside of the Lusso? Honestly, no I wouldn't be massively thrilled.
What's the verdict?
I'll start with the facts. The Levante in itself hasn't done enough to push Maserati sales up the way. That is a sentence that fills me with sadness.
Maserati have made some fantastically beautiful and sporty cars. This isn't one of them but I desperately, DESPERATELY want the Levante to spear head a triumphant return for the Italian marque.
The thing is, it's just a decent SUV with a Trident on the front....that isn't a bad thing. It's just a thing.