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.
The Maserati Levante was never supposed to have a V8. Like its Ghibli sedan sibling, Maserati's SUV was only slated to use V6 power, in 345- and 424-horsepower states of tune. But some crafty Italians decided to see if the Quattroporte GTS' 3.8-liter V8 could fit under the SUV's hood, and presto, the 550-horsepower Levante GTS and 590-horsepower Trofeo were born.
This Ferrari-built V8 feels right at home in Maser's midsize SUV. And after a week of testing a GTS model in and around Los Angeles, I can't imagine buying a Levante without it.
I'm eager to test the more powerful Levante Trofeo, but as it stands, I have no complaints about the GTS' 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. Maserati quotes a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time of 4 seconds flat, and hard acceleration is accompanied by the sort of sonorous wail you'd expect from an eight-cylinder engine made in Maranello.
The Good A Ferrari-sourced V8 wakes up the Levante, and is complemented by great steering and a nicely tuned chassis.
The Bad A lot of the interior materials are Fiat-Chrysler parts bin stuff, and some of them are pretty low rent.
The Bottom Line Now that it finally has the engine it deserves, the Levante GTS is one of the better-driving SUVs you can buy today.
The other exotic Italian sports car maker will debut a new customization program and a high-end leather interior for its models at the New York Auto Show.
Modena? More like Modern-a, once the upgrades are done.
This $7,500 package adds about $13,000 worth of kit.
Only 50 examples of each car will be sold with this package.
Maserati’s stylish Levante SUV gets some much-needed V8 power.
It might not be the best-driving car in its segment, but if you're after Italian good looks, the Ghibli will supply 'em.
The Maserati will fulfill your needs, but it may leave you wanting.
It's a flashy Italian sedan with the soundtrack to boot, and a host of changes for 2018 make it better to live with.