Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Maserati Levante VS 2017 Mercedes G-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 Maserati Levante

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VS

2017 Mercedes G-Class

Safety Comparison

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The Levante offers optional Automated Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The G-Class doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Levante’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The G-Class doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Levante’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The G-Class doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Levante offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The G-Class only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Levante’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The G-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 G-Class uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Levante and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal 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 and available blind spot warning systems.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Motor Trend the Levante S is faster than the G550 4.0 turbo V8:

 

Levante

G-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.2 sec

9.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.9 sec

15.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.6 sec

3.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.9 MPH

95.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Levante gets better fuel mileage than the G-Class:

 

 

Levante

G-Class

 

 

3.0 twin turbo V6 (345 HP)/Auto

14 city/20 hwy

13 city/14 hwy

4.0 twin turbo V8

 

3.0 twin turbo V6 (424 HP)/Auto

14 city/19 hwy

12 city/14 hwy

5.5 twin turbo V8

Regardless of its engine, the Levante’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Mercedes only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the G-Class G550/G63.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

 

Levante

Levante S

G550

G63/G65

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

15 inches

12.4 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

10.7 inches

13 inches

The Levante’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the G550 are solid, not vented.

The Levante stops much shorter than the G-Class:

 

Levante

G-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

210 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

129 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 G550’s standard 55 series tires. The Levante’s optional 295/35R21 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the G65’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Maserati Levante’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Mercedes G-Class’ solid front axle, which allows the Levante’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

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 Mercedes G-Class has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Levante has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Levante flat and controlled during cornering. The G-Class’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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

The Levante has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Levante’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Levante has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the G-Class.

The Levante has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Levante’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the G-Class (118.3 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Levante is 4.5 inches wider in the front and 6.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

The Levante S handles at .91 G’s, while the G65 pulls only .58 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Levante S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.2 seconds quicker than the G550 (25.5 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Levante’s turning circle is 6.2 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (38.4 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Levante has a 2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the G63 (9.7 vs. 7.7 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 1000 to 1850 pounds less than the Mercedes G-Class.

The Levante is 10.2 inches shorter in height than the G-Class, 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 G-Class 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 G-Class (.54) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Levante get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Levante has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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 G-Class doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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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 G-Class’ swing out door blocks loading from the driver’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 G-Class doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Levante’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The G-Class’ power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

Extended Keyless Go standard on the Levante allows you to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mercedes G-Class doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Levante has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the G-Class only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Levante detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The G-Class’ cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Levante’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The Levante has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The G-Class doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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The headlight lenses on the Levante are made of plastic to be lighter, more resistant to damage and less expensive to replace than the glass headlight lenses on the G-Class.

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