2019 Maserati Levante GTS – Quick Drive

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The 2019 Maserati Levante GTS starts at just under 120k which is really not a bad price, considering the Porsche Cayenne Turbo starts at 125k and that’s before options in a Porsche, so actually more like 150k lol… Where as the Levante GTS has pretty much all of the options you would want at its base level. The other super sport SUVs in the class to consider would be the BMW X5 M, and Range Rover Sport SVR. The Range Rover just isn’t as fast and lacks that extra dose of fun the Levante GTS has. Now the BMW X5 M is able to keep up with the GTS, in fact, it’s .1 – .2 seconds faster but it just lacks that Italian soul the GTS has.

Powertrain

when you have a turbocharged 3.8 liter Ferrari built V-8 under the hood which makes a stunning 550-horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque (at just 2,500 rpm) which can do a 0-60 in 4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 181 mph, it’s hard to argue with or even go up against. I just love watching the rpm needle go past 4k rpm’s mark, you get this super aggressive engine note plus you get thrown back into your seat, it’s just so much fun. All power is routed through Maserati’s Q4 intelligent AWD system which is RWD bias but can send up to 50% of power to the front wheels when needed. Having driven the Levante in inclement snowy weather, I can attest to the fact the Q4 system worked very well provided seamless power transition. Another tool which the Levante utilizes is an incredible ZF automatic 8-speed transmission which provides buttery smooth shifts when cruising or razor-sharp eye-batting quick shifts when needed. I really can’t attest enough to just how great this 8-speed really is, makes driving the GTS all the more pleasurable.

Handling and Suspension

Now sure, it’s great to have 550 horses under the hood, but you want a suspension that can actually compliment that power and not just use it to run fast in a straight line. For starters, it has an ideal 50/50 weight balance between the front and rear axle plus the chassis has been tuned for the GTS. The Levante was already a great handling vehicle to begin with, but once the engineers really dialed in for this GTS model, nothing can compare. The handling is razor sharp, you actually get feedback from the wheel, you can feel the road. It’s all quite fantastic! When taking quick corners or piloting along the curves aggressively, you would think you’re driving a sedan with just how well the suspension stays in-tune to what’s going on. And thanks to the adjustable air suspension you can actually have a semi-comfortable ride when not racing down beautiful mountain roads.

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All Things Considered

When you just sit back, look at the vehicle, startup that Ferrari V-8, hear the engine roar to life and drive down the road with that ZF 8-speed shifting flawlessly and 550 horses under the hood wanting to push the limits of every single speed limit sign, you remember why you got the Levante GTS. It’s a focus hyper performance SUV and that’s why you buy it. In fact, I believe the Levante GTS is the single most focus on performance SUV in its class which is why I’m giving it an overall rating of 4.5/5. Its sheer driving pleasure coupled with that Maserati brand cashe which can’t be matched by BMW or Land Rover makes it an incredibly compelling choice.

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