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Sponsored: The 3 biggest differences between the 2017 and 2018 Maserati Levante

Why should you upgrade your Levante?

The Maserati Levante has been a revelation in the automotive marketplace. Since its introduction with the 2017 model year, the Levante has surged in popularity, bringing a 713 percent increase in sales to North America alone in the last year. It's a big number but it’s no surprise, when considering all the Levante has to offer.

The Levante wraps Italian luxury and Ferrari-tuned power into an athletic and capable cross-over package. For the 2018 model year, Maserati has made the Levante even more appealing. Here are three of the biggest changes.

GranSport trim level

Every Maserati Levante is available in a base trim of either the standard Levante or the Levante S. The entry-level Levante is by no means basic Bluetooth, leather-appointed cabin materials, a power-lift gate, Apple CarPlay and a Ferrari-sourced engine are all part of the base Levante.

Opting for the S will add an upgraded and more powerful powertrain, staggered-width 19-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, a panoramic sunroof, upgraded interior and leather, a blind spot alert, rear parking sensors and remote start.

Whether you choose the Levante or Levante S trim, an additional trim option for 2018 is the new GranSport performance-geared trim level. This package includes a rear roof spoiler, black grille, interior and exterior black details, soft-close doors, sporty seats, a firmly bolstered and powered sport steering wheel, brushed chrome gear shift paddles and power aluminum sport foot pedals.

GranLusso trim level

While the GranSport trim level is geared toward performance, the GranLusso trim option is all about luxury. First and foremost, every GranLusso package equipped Levante comes standard with Maserati's exclusive hand-stitched Ermenegildo Zegna Silk Edition interior. This package combines the fine Italian leather with mulberry silk seat inserts, embellished with a hand-stitched micro-chevron pattern. The door panels, roof lining and sun visor are covered with Zegna silk jersey as well.

Aside from the Zegna package, the GranLusso trim also includes a variety of upgraded luxury appointments. Thoughtfully designed details like metallic finish protection plates beneath the front bumper, metallic roof rails, 12-way adjustable comfort seats, a fine wood steering wheel that is power adjustable, and a cabin surrounded in Radica open-pore wood trim are all part of the premier GranLusso package.

Safety and handling updates

As enticing as the new trim packages are, Maserati has also improved technology and safety features offered for 2018. The steering is now electronic as opposed to hydraulic, which introduces more torque to the steering at low speeds for greater resistance, precision and handling. A new driver-assistance package includes traffic-sign recognition, active blind-spot detection and a new highway assist feature that acts on the steering to pull the car back into line if it detects lane departure.

The Levante is also customizable when it comes to driving dynamics. The only vehicle in its class to offer a mechanical limited slip differential, the Levante is primed for optimal control under all driving conditions. Air suspension with six settings for any terrain is also standard. Going off road? Raise up the suspension. Going on a long highway cruise? Drop the suspension to its lowest setting and enjoy improved economy and comfort along the way.

No matter your preferences and personality, the Maserati Levante is a unique and exciting alternative to other offerings. Visit the experts at Maserati of Kirkland to see the Levante and Levante S, take a test drive and see how the Maserati Levante feels to you.

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