Friday, August 19, 2016

Maserati Levante vs. Bentley Bentayga

The Italian sportscar company, Maserati, is morphing from Italy's Porsche to Italy's BMW ever since cars like the Quattroporte and the Ghibli are slotting alongside the aging GranTurismo coupe and if that wasn't enough, a new SUV, called the Levante, is joining the ranks of the Maserati lineage.

2017 Maserati Levante

The Levante is Maserati's first ever SUV that was made to compete against the likes of Porsche's Macan, BMW's X3, Mercedes' GLC, Audi's Q5, even Jaguar's first ever F-PACE and because SUVs are becoming the norm in today's automotive society, the Levante proves that it handles like a Maserati even in its bigger packaging fit for the outdoorsmen in them. Fitting for the high rollers who have a hectic lifestyle ahead after their long week of business, the Levante caters them with something that its competitors had with a major twist.

Although the Levante's design is what you called kinky, it's still sexy from every angle even for a bulky exterior. You can think of it as a bouncer who knows how to kick butts with his martial arts per se. On the inside, the dashboard is highly reminiscent of the Porsche Cayenne with the shift lever looks like it came from BMW. At least it wasn't as complicated as the Cayenne when you operate the gizmos offered on the Levante. For a five-seater crossover with lots of room in the back, this is the more practical one for your next week off from work.

For an SUV, the Levante sits in the same stuff that you get in the Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons and at launch, the turbocharged 3.0L V6 was offered in petrol and diesel guise, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The petrol version produces up to 430HP of power and does 0-100kph in 5.2 seconds with the top speed of 264kph, more than what the Germans can do. The diesel version promises fuel economy as low as 7.2 litres/100 km under the New European Driving Cycle, although that consumption for a diesel-powered Maserati does raise some eyebrows to those conspiracy theorists who are still clueless about diesels and their discrepancies. Although we remain clueless, the Levante was benefitted by its clever aerodynamics system that takes charge of its engine temperature, reduces the aerodynamic drag of the car and subsequently reduces fuel consumption and emissions.

Despite being heavier than the Ghibli, the new Levante handles with precision thanks to its Q4 All-Wheel Drive system and Torque Vectoring and although too grippy to be called a fun car full-stop, its well-balanced dynamics made it a serious player in the sport crossover genre. Get use to it more and you will be able to accept that the Levante is a good car to handle despite its chunks. In other terms, it behaves just like what a Maserati should.

There are some feared that despite its potential capabilities, the Levante can't live up to the Maserati lineage because its too bulky to be classified for a sportscar. Too bulky to be a sportscar, huh? What if there's something that is way too bulky to be a sportscar, it isn't one?

2016 Bentley Bentayga
This is the first ever SUV from Bentley, called the Bentayga and with its design as bizarre as its naming, you can consider this mammoth to be the most outlandish car made by the Brits. Underneath its whopperness lies a brand new 6.0L W12 TSi engine producing 608PS of power and 900Nm of torque. Couple that to an 8-speed gearbox, it does 0-100kph near the five second mark and onwards to 301kph. 

Although the Bentayga is one of the most powerful SUVs in the planet, you can't just storm in like what others did with the Continental GT because its dynamics are so the drama for a whopper supreme of that size. Car enthusiasts had to admit that the Bentayga's interior is the most luxurious for a crossover, even a Range Rover can't have those kind of stuff found on the Bentayga, but considering the struggle on how to get it round the corner or tackle off-road in uncharted territories, the Bentayga wasn't made for the most insane drivers everywhere, considering the load and effort needed to turn this bulky machine around from A to Z, unless if you get the Bentley Dynamic Ride system kicking alive and well, which gives the driver many ways to drive in different conditions.

Pricing? That sounds like too much for a whopper supreme because the Bentayga starts at £160,200, which is more costly than the Levante's starting price of 73,417 Euros, depending on exchange rates and region. So, there you have it. With their first ever SUVs step into the luxury car limelight, it's everyone's fair play for the two because if you are interested in dynamics, the Levante is the better bet, but if its power and luxury you're after, you can go with the awkwardly styled and named Bentayga. Whichever you go for, it's anyone's guess.

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