Although I had the option of taking the Levante around the Hill Route at Millbrook Testing Facility earlier on this year, I chose instead to test its capabilities around the off-road course.
Driving slowly around the many obstacles the Levante felt tight and secure. Without a traditional low ratio gearbox, my escort for the drive encouraged me to constantly use the foot-brake to keep our speed down during the long, steep descents. Inevitably we began to slide sideways on some of the steeper sections, so a touch of the throttle was required to straighten things up again. I need to check whether the Levante has any kind of Hill Descent Control as the guy from Maserati wasn’t sure, but I can’t imagine it hasn’t, but with its modern AWD system the Levante cruised around with ease.
Like other manufacturers, Maserati didn’t want to get left out of the SUV boom, as it’s the fastest growing segment, and no matter what your pedigree and heritage, money is money, and manufacturers have a responsibility to make as much of it as they can to appease their shareholders, and of course survive.
Being a Maserati, I wasn’t surprised by its level of opulence, though my lasting impression of the Levante is that its transmission tunnel tapers in near the pedals, thus there wasn't a lot of room for my left foot. On reflection I wish now that I had taken it around the Hill Route, I bet it would have been a hoot!
By the way, apologies for the lack of photos, I was having too much fun getting it dirty!