Maserati Levante

Maserati offers a choice of two different Ferrari-sourced V6 engines in the Levante, each displacing 3.0L and utilizing two turbochargers. In the base Levante, the engine makes 350 hp, which is good enough for a run to 60 in under 6 seconds with a top speed of 156 mph. Opt for the Levante S and power is boosted to 430, while top speed grows to 164 mph. Either way, power is sent to all four wheels through an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission.

All other merits aside, Maserati manages to sell some of their vehicles based on styling alone, and the Levante shouldn't break this tradition. Making an SUV necessitates somewhat macho styling language, but the Levante manages to not overdo it, looking more svelte than its competitors, while still offering lots of little details that catch the eye in pleasing ways. The styling pays off as well, with an extremely slippery, best in class coefficient of drag which contributes to both top speed and fuel economy. In addition, Maserati claims that their new SUV has an ideal 50/50 weight distribution and the lowest center of gravity in its class, both immediately noticeable in the way the vehicle corners.

Standard equipment on the base Levante is fairly extensive, though plenty of optional equipment is still available. Nevertheless, all Levantes come with active air suspension capable of raising and lowering the vehicle to suit conditions, 19-inch alloy wheels, leather interior trim, an 8.4-inch touch screen, plenty of connectivity options for iPhone or Android, bi-xenon headlights and heated front seats that are electronically adjustable. The Levante S adds a few more safety features like a blind spot detection system as well as a Panoramic sunroof.

Maserati takes bespoke manufacturing seriously and there are a ton of options for the Levante, not just in the comfort and convenience department, but in the styling department as well. There are no fewer than eleven different interior color schemes for the seats and dashboard, including a striking shades of red with contrasting inserts. Brake calipers meanwhile can be painted silver, black, red yellow or blue to go along with optional 20-inch or even 21-inch wheels. Four different types of wood are on offer for the interior trim, along with standard piano black and of course, optional carbon fiber. A Harman/Kardon premium sound system offers 10-speakers and 900 watts of power, while an even nicer Bowers and Wilkins sound system is also available. The option list is incredibly extensive with nearly every convenience under the sun on offer, allowing buyers to create the Levante that's perfect for them, while also being a completely unique vehicle. Other standout options include ventilated front seats, a sportier but heated steering wheel, electronic rear window blinds and a heated rear seat.

Editors' Review

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Alongside the inescapable rise of the sport utility vehicle, there's been a complementary rise of high-performance luxury SUVs. From the Porsche Cayenne to the Lamborghini Urus, all of the major performance players are getting into the game, and I reckon the 2019 Maserati Levante is about as close as we've gotten to a Ferrari SUV… at least, for now.

Ferrari-built V6

The prancing pony DNA manifests as a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, Ferrari-sourced V6 that lives in the Levante's engine bay. You can also find this Ferrari-built engine powering Maserati's Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans -- as far as I can tell, the V6 is exclusively used by Maserati. The base Levante gets 345 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque from this powerplant. Stepping up to this Levante S trim also steps the output up to 424 hp and 428 lb-ft. 

Top-trim GTS and Trofeo models replace the F160 for a twin-turbo V8 good for 550 and 590 hp, respectively, but that's a story for another day.

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The Good The 2019 Maserati Levante S wraps stylish Italian style around SUV proportions. Its Ferrari-built V6 and surprisingly nimble handling combine for a dramatic and engaging driving experience.

The Bad The interior isn't as luxurious as some of its competition and the MTC Plus cabin tech, while effective, isn't as flashy or fully featured.

The Bottom Line The 2019 Maserati Levante S isn't the best in its class, but with engaging performance and dramatic flair, the Italian SUV has an emotional appeal all of its own.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 7.5
  • Design 8
  • Media 7

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