Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Maserati Levante VS 2017 Lexus GX460 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 Maserati Levante

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VS

2017 Lexus GX460

Safety Comparison

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For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Levante uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The GX460 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Levante and the GX460 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability Comparison

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The camshafts in the Levante’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The GX460’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the GX460’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the Levante is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Levante’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The GX460’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine Comparison

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The Levante’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 44 more horsepower (345 vs. 301) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8. The Levante S’ standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 123 more horsepower (424 vs. 301) and 99 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Levante S is faster than the Lexus GX460:

 

Levante

GX460

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.3 sec

21.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.2 sec

7.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.6 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Levante with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the GX460 (14 city/20 hwy vs. 15 city/18 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Levante’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GX460 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Levante’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GX460:

 

Levante

Levante S

GX460

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

15 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

12.3 inches

The Levante stops much shorter than the GX460:

 

Levante

GX460

 

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Levante’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GX460’s standard 60 series tires. The Levante’s optional 265/40R21 front and 295/35R21 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Levante has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the GX460. The Levante offers optional 21-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For superior ride and handling, the Maserati Levante has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Lexus GX460 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The front and rear suspension of the Levante uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the GX460, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Levante’s wheelbase is 8.5 inches longer than on the GX460 (118.3 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Levante is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The Levante S handles at .91 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Levante S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the GX460 (25.5 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Levante’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the GX460’s (38.4 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Levante has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the GX460 (9.7 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the Levante to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The Maserati Levante may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 500 pounds less than the Lexus GX460.

The Levante is 7.7 inches shorter in height than the GX460, making the Levante much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction makes the Levante’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The GX460 doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

The design of the Maserati Levante amounts to more than styling. The Levante has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .31 Cd. That is significantly lower than the GX460 (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Levante get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Levante uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GX460 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Levante has 2.2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear legroom than the GX460.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Levante has a much larger cargo area than the GX460 with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Levante easier. The Levante’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.7 inches, while the GX460’s liftover is 33.8 inches.

The Levante’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Levante has a standard power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Levante’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The GX460’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Levante to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GX460 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Levante’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

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