Luxury automotive brands that are following the money would find themselves shifting their lineups to be more crossover-heavy.

Whether they go really high upmarket like the Bentley Bentayga ($230,000) or at the most basic premium level like the Lexus RX ($42,000), folks are throwing money at posh SUVs and crossovers.

One notable recent success story can be found with the Porsche Macan, which quickly became the brand’s top-selling vehicle globally in its first full year of production.

Porsche’s Italian rival Maserati believes that it can emulate that success, hoping that the 2017 Levante can attract 30,000 buyers worldwide in its first year out in the market. If the Macan can attain more than 80,000 sales, why not right?

As an overview of what the Levante is capable of, it uses a 3.0L V6 for 350hp and 368lb-ft torque in its base model. The higher trim Levante S dishes out 430hp and 427lb-ft torque with the same engine.

For a smoother, more fuel efficient ride that packs more torque buyers can opt for a diesel variant of the V6 that is good for 275hp and 442lb-ft torque.

2017 Maserati Levante

2017 Maserati Levante

Powering the 2017 Porsche Macan is also a 3.0L V6 at 340hp and 339lb-ft torque. That model, the Macan S, has been pushed a trim up and is now replaced by a 2.0L turbo-four at the entry-level slot. That model churns out 252hp and 273lb-ft torque, while the top-trim 3.6L V6 engine remains at 400hp and 406lb-ft torque.

Though it comparatively lacks punch to its Italian rival, the Macan is helped by a launch control system which gives it a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.4 seconds while the Levante needs 6.9 seconds to make that dash.

A major disadvantage for the Levante is its $72,000 price tag, which goes up to $83,000 for the Levante S. Though it competes closer to the Cayenne in terms of specs, the German SUV is still a good $4,000 cheaper than the Levante.

The value of Porsche’s SUVs relative to Maserati is further amplified by the Macan’s new entry-level model that goes lower to $48,550 from its former base price of $52,000 for the 3.0L V6 model.

Staff Reporter

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