So, you’re thinking of buying a Maserati SUV? Sweet.

But, full-disclosure, you should probably know that you’re a HUGE douche-nozzle and I want to punch you in the throat right now.

Don’t get me wrong, the Levante is a breath-taking realization of how the masterful engineering and craftsmanship of a Maserati can be translated into a luxury SUV. Nearly unparalleled in its union of performance and elegance, the Levante’s rich pedigree is deserving of your desire. Standing head and shoulders above the inferiors battling each other within the over-saturated SUV class, it serves as a true benchmark of unparalleled excellence.

I’m just bitter because I can’t afford one.

(We may have never met, but I can pretty much hear you from here…) 

“It’s more affordable than you think. A base-model Levante starts at $73,850.”

Hey, Dick. This morning I left the house without my debit card, and was ecstatic to find three crumpled dollar bills in my pocket, which (combined with $.14 I found in my console) scored me a super-sh*tty cup of coffee. Assuming that I’ve now exhausted my financial flexibility for the week, I’m just going to go ahead and “postpone” my plans of buying a Levante. If that’s all right with you, of course.

God, it’s a beautiful car.

Just the idea of a Maserati SUV is enough to bring together my childhood love of sport performance and my middle-aged desire for front-seat ventilation. (Don’t judge me. A seven-figure bank account doesn’t make you exempt from humidity, okay?)

All jokes aside, there isn’t an inch of this vehicle that I wouldn’t be willing to dry hump. I mean, the 2017 Levante is Maserati’s first foray into the SUV segment. That’s right; their first try, and they’ve already nailed it. I can count on one hand the number of things I’ve nailed on the first try, each of which I am legally unable to elaborate on further.

But let’s take a closer look at the Levante.

First impression, you’ll notice a contoured body that conveys both athleticism and elitist superiority. It’s like someone took McKayla Maroney’s Instagram account to a car designer and said, “Scroll through, and see if anything inspires you.” This car knows how good it looks, understands how well it performs, and makes no apologies about either. This is the vehicle that I would show someone who thinks that an all-wheel drive SUV can’t be sexy.

(If you’ve opened up another browser window to check out McKayla Maroney’s Instagram account, you’re missing the point of this article. But, well done!)

Fire up the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and appreciate the arrogant symphony. Drop the hammer and wrangle 424 horses in a 5.1 second race to 60 mph. Just lean back and let the eight-speed automatic transmission do the work, while you enjoy the near absence of road noise. By all reports, the Levante handles with an assured confidence that is worthy of its heritage.

Because isn’t that what you’d expect of a Maserati? Even in SUV form, you’d anticipate the performance and precision synonymous with Italian sports cars. With the Levante you receive exactly that, delivered in a distinctive SUV experience. After all, this is not an Outback or a RAV-4. While it is an SUV, designed to accommodate both passenger and cargo loads, it focuses on neither. This is a luxury SUV that creates a unique driver-centered experience.

Can you put a price tag of luxury? Sure you can. Judging by the added cost of the Levante’s Luxury Zegna enhancement package, the price of luxury is approximately 1/3 of the total cost of my current vehicle. Well, that’s humbling. But the rich materials used throughout the interior convey the refinement offered by the Levante (and this is where the front-seat ventilation comes into play). The seats are designed to increase air flow in both cool and warm conditions, and are accented with chevron-stitched silk from Ermenegildo Zegna. You don’t need to be able to pronounce it or buy a $1,000 pair of leather-stitched moccasins to appreciate the resulting comfort.

An 8.4-inch touchscreen works seamlessly with the infotainment system and the rear-camera. Throw in the Advanced Driver assistance package, and you gain 360-degree parking assistance, along with a number of driver-assist features. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and emergency breaking are fairly standard in today’s cars, but I felt it important to point out (just so you didn’t start thinking you were better than me).

But don’t worry, “Moneybags.” You can recoup a few “elitist points” at the pump. With modest highway fuel economy of 20 mpg, you’ll get plenty of chances to whip out your AMEX at the service station. Not that it matters…after all, you’ll be cruising along the coast in luxury while I’m commuting to work in a 6-year old sedan that I am hoping will last me another three years or so. Luckily, I can ignore the sound of potential repairs by cranking Motley Crue.

Oh, don’t like Motley Crue? Figures.

I’m not sure what kind of music you’re planning to listen to in order to embrace the Levante’s awesome 900-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system. My best guess is that it’s probably opera, like Il Divo or something. (In all fairness, I had to Google “Simon Cowell Opera Group” to remember Il Divo’s name).

At the end of the day, the Levante is a breath-taking Maserati SUV. It may not be designed for the demands of everyone’s lifestyle, but it is certainly designed with luxuries that everyone could appreciate and aspire to.

I wish you and your new Levante the best; I really do.

Don’t worry about me. I’ll be over here, scrolling endlessly through its features, seated upon my throne of porcelain (with its unparalleled union of performance and elegance) thanks to a super-shitty cup of coffee.


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