The Maserati Levante is the latest in a growing list of SUVs by manufacturers with no previous utility vehicle expertise. Think Jaguar F-Pace, Bentley Bentayga, and, most controversially, Porsche Cayenne. Unlike the Cayenne, however, Maserati's high-riding offering has not had an easy time in the marketplace in its early going. For the past four months, Levante owners have had to bring their shiny, new, Italian luxury crossover back to the dealer once a month, every month. As Carscoops reports, Maserati has issued yet another recall for the Levante—the fourth since December of last year. At low speeds, the Levante’s transmission may shift itself out of gear and into neutral. Previous recalls involved backup cameras that froze up in cold weather, and seating adjustments that caused electrical shorts.
When our own Lawrence Ulrich drove it in Italy last year, he praised (among other things) the Maserati’s Ferrari-derived engine gargle and class-leading body control, but criticized rear-end design and its electronic console shift lever. He eloquently (and now rather ominously) said the shifter “looks like a Buick leftover and can turn gear selection into a crap shoot.”
When the Levante was being developed, there were rumors of it being based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, FCA being Maserati’s parent company and all. However, the Italian automaker was adamant that their crossover wouldn’t be a Jeep in a Trident-branded frock, and would use its own underpinnings from the Ghibli and Quattroporte. Upon hearing about this latest recall, and given Jeep’s own gearshift-related issues, we can’t help but wonder if Maserati should have opted to use their own electronics as well.