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

A Maserati is supposed to feel special, and in a lot of ways, the 2022 Levante Trofeo fulfills that requirement. That said, there are some flaws in this gem that are awfully hard to look past. It's a pendulum constantly oscillating between greatness and frustration, and the result is a luxury SUV that has a lot going for it, but it doesn't feel fully baked.

The first major swing comes from simply looking at the Levante Trofeo. It's a very attractive SUV, with muscular fenders, a sharply creased hood and the corporate grille that looks better here than on either of Maserati's sedans. This SUV looks especially menacing in my tester's Rosso Magma paint (a $17,000 option!), which plays the aggression note well alongside blacked-out trim and 22-inch anthracite-finished alloy wheels. Hints of carbon fiber peek through on the lower bumper, but the car is generally devoid of the stuff -- a positive personal note, because I think it's getting pretty played out. The rear end keeps things interesting with a sloping roofline that gives this ute a hatchback-ish look, and you'll never hear me complain about a big set of tailpipes.

Open the Levante Trofeo's pillarless door, though, and the pendulum starts its return trip. The leather is supple, the shift paddles are prominent and the Alcantara microfiber on the headliner adds a premium touch, but that's where the visual love affair ends. The high-gloss carbon-fiber trim looks and feels chintzy, and the satin-finish plastic around the center console controls is even cheaper. But the most unacceptable part of the Trofeo, which starts at $157,695 including destination, is the window and headlight switchgear. The windshield wiper stalk, start button and headlight toggle can be found on nearly every other Stellantis vehicle, and despite flicking a bit of chrome onto them, there's no ignoring that the window switches were designed in the DaimlerChrysler era. Those parts feel about as cheap as you can imagine.

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The Good ~ Brilliant engine note ~ Sufficiently athletic ~ Excellent infotainment

The Bad ~ DaimlerChrysler interior bits ~ Oddly ponderous air suspension ~ Buzz, your price tag, woof

The Bottom Line If style and sound are your top reasons for buying a car, it might be easier to overlook the Maserati Levante Trofeo's flaws.

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

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