Recently, I was invited to test out an extraordinary Maserati for a weekend.

And what an exquisite ride it was. Leaving my rusty, I mean, trusty little Golf at home I ventured to pick up my new (borrowed) wheels at the Maserati showroom and as soon as I popped my little bottom in the drivers set, I could tell this was going to be a smooth ride.

I had to take a few minutes to acquaint myself with this new Levante SUV. It was was designed in the Maserati studio at the FCA “Centro Stile” of Turin and Its design defines a new style in the SUV world, combining coupé lines with class leading interior space.
So, considering it is in his TV it wasn’t too ridiculously big – I didn’t feel like I was jumping into a combat vehicle!

The Maserati DNA is clearly visible everywhere I looked, ensuring that the Levante certainly stands out amongst competitors.

The imposing grille is inspired by the sensational Alfieri concept and is destined to be a signature feature of all Maserati cars from now on.

As amazingly high tech as it is, fortunately there aren’t too many unknown bells and whistles so I had a relatively easy start as I made my way out of the showroom and down a couple of the busiest and most congested streets in Sydney. Always with my heart beating fast, as car like a Maserati can go off in a sec – just st the touch of the accelerator.

To really give the new Levante a good run, I drove her down to Avoca, near the Southern Highlands, and it was a seamless ride.

Now, I’m not going to go all tech or car torque on you because I know, that many of you don’t really want to know!

What you do want to know though is what driving a top-of-the-line Maza is really like.

Ok, so it CAC go from 0-100 kmh in 5.2 seconds and 264 kmh at top speed. Umm. I was not prepared to be fined, so 110km  was about the most I managed to top on the freeway heading south.

Some of the ‘inclusions’ include Electric Power Steering enabling active ADAS; Highway Assist; Lane Keeping Assist; Active Blind Spot Assist; Traffic Sign Recognition
and a 360 degree camera. Pretty special, huh!

The Maserati Levante S has a recommended retail price from $169,990 (plus statutory charges, dealer costs et al.)

And yes, the twin turbo 321 kW Maserati Levante is on sale in Australia and compliments the Levante Turbo Diesel that has taken Maserati to unprecedented sales levels in Australia, and heralds a wide range of improvements to the Levante.

The luxury continues in the GranLusso, exemplified with ‘standard’ Zegna silk upholstery interior, which is accessed through, along with soft closed doors that gently and silently pull themselves shut when required.

Obviously you can craft and personalise ‘your’ Maserati Levante that is reflection of your personality and driving requirements.

These include no less than seven different alloy wheels, five of which are new for 2018. There are five different interior trim choices, two different steering wheels and four different colours for the brake calipers amongst the plethora of personalization choices.

“When the Maserati Levante arrived in Australia early this year it provided a uniquely capable car, on and off the road, one that blended Italian style, performance and handcrafted interiors with the ability to go into the bush, climb sand dunes or simply provide a level of flexibility not seen before in a Maserati,” said Glen Sealey, Chief Operating Office of Maserati Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

“With the Maserati Levante S, the introduction of the GranSport and GranLusso versions and the significant improvements across the range, further hone and refine these abilities, add, in the case of the Levante S, a new level of performance.”

So after my two day love affair with my super-super  SUV I motored her back to the dealership and called an Uber to get home. Hello Toyota Camry.

By Melissa Hoyer