Not too long ago, the idea of a sports car maker designing a 4×4 would have been met with ridicule, but today, there’s a vast potential market for people who desire a fast off-roader. Enter the Maserati Levante (starting at $72,000).
Like similar autos in this category, the Levante contains a great set of tools for minimizing impact while off-roading–even if the most daunting thing it ends up encountering is a deep puddle on a rainy day. For instance, it comes equipped with air-spring suspension with user-selectable ride levels that can help you conquer, say, a desert trail, but the more common scenario on the road would be to use the lower ride height to get the best sporting performance from the 50-50 weight distribution.
And there’s plenty of performance to tap here with several engine options: a V6 twin turbo that delivers 350 hp or 430 hp, or a V6 diesel with 275 hp. The top-spec Levante S goes from zero to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 164 mph.
Inside, the Levante includes the usual Maserati perks, such as panoramic electric sunroof and an Ermenegildo Zegna leather and silk interior. It would be a shame to spoil the silk with muddy boots, not that anyone is going to.