"Voice" command: test drive Maserati Levante S

The market is not yesterday or the day before yesterday raised the question of “crossover or death” to all manufacturers, no discount on the “legendary”. Fiat-Chrysler long pretended that their premium brands is not very concerned, but eventually joined the “arms race.” Time difficult: the world share in the premium crossover segment crept up to the 50% mark. In such a situation is not enough to be the worst of all, you have to be better! At least in some of the disciplines. We have taken the test Maserati Levante S top-end version, to see whether the Porsche Cayenne Italian competitor serious chance of success.


In an interesting, I must have got a situation the exterior designer Giovanni Ribotta Levante. Like it or not, but otherwise look like a crossover from the Maserati can not – only a squat, muscular, with an angry look in his mouth and oval oscherennoy. But, hell, after all is about as already looks honorary winner of the “High Definition crossover” title Infiniti FX, it also QX70! What do all redrawn from scratch, the City of New brand identity?

Italians acted differently: pretended that Infiniti does not exist. Well, like, yeah, well, okay. They have the right, when in the 50 years Juan Manuel Fangio forged his reputation behind the wheel of a Maserati, no Infiniti was not even in the project and gathered Nissan in Japan is selected from the squalid poverty license Austin, not thinking about “Laksheri”. And although it is not long since the 50s, and Fangio’s name for 99% of buyers of premium cars means a little more than nothing, the Italians still look at the nouveau riche with mild contempt. That there is a presumptuous slogan «Maserati of SUVs», ie “Maserati among crossovers” that can not even comment.


Maserati Levante S
Dimensions (L / W / H) mm:
5 003/1 968/1 679

Driven away obsessive visual association study Italian car closer. But aristocratic profile uniquely Japanese – to take at least the length of the hood. Let the inside for a long time there is no “in-line eights” (the V6 normal, thank you, that though longitudinally), long hood – a hallmark of the breed.

A frameless door? This is not exactly no one in the class. Plus a lot of cute little things “for those who are in the topic”: trident brand on the back of the rack, “airplane” slot on the front wing … But back except on chetyrehstvolnuyu exhaust system, nothing to look at. To my taste, the food turned out deflating by Italian standards, although the same can be said about modern Maserati cars – and their back do not recognize, if not look at the original inscriptions.

More Maserati Levante is very low – less than 170 centimeters from the asphalt to the roof of any SUV will be higher by at least 10-12 centimeters. But do not write in Italian car “parquet troops”: ground clearance is adjustable, and in the upper position provides 247 mm below the lowest point. Of course, with 950-990 mm for overhangs fishing is not the Congress, but on a very bumpy dirt road but on the pits can be moved with no risk to tear dorogushchy kit.

Grace hides the true dimensions of the machine. Is it possible to say that the length of the Levante is over 5 meters? That is the Italian crossover is 15 cm longer than the Cayenne, but 14 cm shorter than the Bentley Bentayga and 18 inferior Cadillac Escalade. Optical illusion!

Finally – a little quibbles. In the “grin» Levante can not even stick his fist, and grilled chicken. The fact that these sections stagger like a baby teeth, it is still all right – in an accident they should not harm any pedestrians or sitting in the car. Therefore such specificity can be considered a result of compliance with safety standards. The problem is that the radiator is behind bars. In normal drive mode, it is covered with curtains, and in the “radical” (we’ll get to that) active shutters open, to improve cooling, and this is where technological innovation is becoming a problem. Europeans have it, may not understand, but we all know what is fraught with blatant radiator.


The architecture of the front panel would look rustic frankly, if it were not a riot of decoration materials: dark wood, brown leather, gray alcantara, polished aluminum … It’s not even the full list (in some trim levels have inserts of silk!). Such a bold selection throughout was to transform the salon into a kind of living Shakro young (if you do not know who it is, the better for you). But not turned!

Incongruous together and looks expensive and elegant, and, moreover, moderately, without kitsch. Well, the designers of my deepest respect.

Few can spoil the impression perhaps that is not too comfortable fit. The threshold is high, narrow doorway – boot into the cabin, willy-nilly accept inelegant posture and get dirty pants. And the alarm button is incredibly uncomfortable – it is easier to reach from the passenger seat than the driver. We immediately see that in Italy is not accepted due to “blink.” Or is it an allusion to the fact that Maserati is not broken?

8.4-inch touchscreen display, which rendered absolutely all functions of entertainment system and the settings of the machine systems to quickly and accurately respond to the pressing (you can use the joystick on the transmission tunnel), but some cuts under piktogramkami confusion and upset the menu card. On the panel of devices and arrow scales at least, we are left only obligatory speedometer and tachometer. All other information (indicators of various sensors, the level of suspension, tire pressure, and so on. D.) Is displayed on the color screen of complex shape.

Not to mention the sound system to the acoustics of Bowers & Wilkins. 17 speakers, almost high-end. Write about how it sounds rather strange – if I write “clean, deep, with fat bass and piercing highs,” it will tell you a little. Insert an entry from the cabin, made in the smartphone recorder? Is that a joke.

Three-spoke large steering wheel with convenient inflow to “2” and “10” and “short rack” allow vigorously to steer with no interceptions, large metal “petals” beneath it and strive to persuade you to manual mode of transmission … But the key to the “steering wheel” could would be poizyskanee, they are clearly on the heels of years out of date.

Over the convenience of landing in the first crossover brand worked well: the ranges of the longitudinal and vertical adjustments of seats are wide, all adjustments, of course, with electric drives. Rear sofa is molded for two passengers, and even in the middle cushion noticeably shorter than on the sides – and otherwise not have expected.

But with the practicality of a full order! For rear armrest hides repeating its shape for long-length flap. Sam trunk stowed accommodate 580 liters of luggage.

Plastic organizer hidden under his floor, and even deeper – “dokatka”. Interestingly, in the multi-functional shelf lined with Alcantara (brand must be kept even in “hozchasti”!), And the bottom has a mesh for a variety of small things.

On take-off!

You do not have to ever hear the sound on the afterburner engine piston fighter? For example, the Yak-3? I Levante S under full throttle just reminded him, though, “Yakovlev” was a 1100-hp 35-liter the V12, but now “only” bi-turbo 3-liter V6, the most outstanding in the charged version 424 liters. from. Forcing for serial motor is not that prohibitive, but it is very impressive even for a Porsche Cayenne GTS background, where 440 “shot” power from 3.6 liters.

Maserati Levante S
Fuel consumption per 100 km

Urban cycle lExtra Urban, lCombined cycle, l15 8.5 10.9

I do not know whether the case in the natural ear for music of the Italians, or they simply skillfully “act out” the image of the most operatic nation in the world, but the voice Maserati Levante S engine – this is what I want to listen forever. Under his song is not ashamed to die. The sound is mesmerizing to the extent that, standing in a traffic jam, I often translated AKP in “neutral” to give the command “voice” and enjoy the roar of the divine.

What? Ambient? Yes, they, too, melted with pleasure. And those who did not melt, just envious.

And if you go to the “road” mode and not particularly to stomp the gas pedal, the V6 imposed on you will not be – a great insulation miss unless the upper overtones. Even if you switch to the “sport”, the motor will remain modest. It was only the second stage of the sport mode yes to failure pedal squeezed whisper masterpiece Ferrari engineers’ time to, native, Tear them all. ”

And will be opened by the action of pneumatic valves in the exhaust system, and it becomes almost “forward flow” and welling out tight jet noble rage …

Passport 5.1 seconds to “hundreds” – credit, as you know, not only our “piston Caruso.” A special pride of Italian engineers – a curb weight of just over 2 100 kilograms and a drag coefficient of 0.31, achieved through streamlined forms, active dampers in the “mouth” grille and almost flat bottom. A weight distribution – ideal, 50/50, and this is another “digital fetish.”

Maserati Levante S
Maximum speed:
264 km / h

I regret to admit that familiarity with Levante S was shorter than we would like, and the road caught the public completely. A ride on this at this Maserati – is like playing a shooter in the “immortality” mode. Initially solid Veselukha, and then even uninteresting.

You still always first, always. On the line – Abandon hope all ye who enter dared. The bend – do not even try to resist. I’m in an urban environment is not the first attempt was able to feel the line beyond which the Italian fighter starts noble slip astern (in sports Levante mode becomes rear wheel drive) – the marginal rate on the arc this SUV playfully udelyvaet “prisportivlennye” sedans, and all in real life would be not even limited to stabilization systems, and your fear.

Consumption? If a lot of growling and actively demonstrate to others who’s the daddy, that is 25-26 liters. If it is possible for some time to ride safely, in compliance with the traffic rules, the readings will be reduced by almost half, to 13-14 liters per 100 kilometers.

Suspension, especially if you set “aggressive” setting will be stiff, but not extreme – you can go and joints, and small pits, does not fall out the spine tries. And in the “civilian” mode, all and all a good idea, though, interestingly, the height adjustable clearance character does not change.

Finally, I note an incredibly sharp brake – by subjective feelings, they work not worse “porshevskih” but in fact they are considered in the SUV segment, the benchmark for others to follow.

What is the result?

The choice of car
Translation from Cayenne: test drive Porsche Cayenne

The undermining of the foundations and pillars of concussion when in already far 2002 Porsche brand began selling its first SUV under the symbol 955, the zealots of tradition literally exploded noble anger: that is, …

Maserati Levante S – a car is a good crazy. And I would venture to suggest that having every chance of success in Russia, provided that the FCA will it really fit. The product, of course, is not a mass, and the attitude of the Italian brand, we – as something infinitely distant from everyday life. On the other hand, are not we all belonged to the Porsche in the early 2000s, when still only preparing for the launch of the very first Cayenne? That’s right.

Now, full of happiness left to release the most-most Levante version with a turbocharged V8 (the benefit of those are in the Ferrari lineup) to compete on an equal footing with the Cayenne Turbo S. And even if the Italian SUV will be on some meaningless in real life split second faster tsiferki these will mean a lot. Especially in combination with the attractive price, which is already known! The Russian will take a non – formal withdrawal plan Levante us not, ruble prices not just multiply the value in euros of 70 will not work – the price is not so clumsy appointed.

Take Germany. There Levante S markedly more profitable: from 88 000 euros against 101 000 Cayenne GTS have a similar impact on capacity. Modest Levante Diesel is almost flush with the base Cayenne Diesel (around 70 000 euros), slightly boosting of winning at (275 hp. V. 262). And do not forget even about the fact that Maserati are much larger, but not by much heavier. I alone Stuttgart the SUV, with all its virtues, no longer seem so exceptional?

In short, the sale will necessarily need only make an effort. Anyway, engineers and designers have done everything possible for that.

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