Maserati Levante Review

It would have been easy to scoff at the idea of a Maserati SUV in years past, but ever since Porsche introduced the Cayenne (over jeers of brand fans, many of whom now own one), luxury performance SUVs have become a popular and lucrative segment. The Levante is one of the newest entries, and it has the formula down pat, with a powerful turbocharged V6 engine, a plush leather interior and a body structure derived from the Quattroporte sedan. It also has the advantage of exclusivity: Compared to Maserati, the Porsche Cayenne is as common as a Corolla.

The Maserati Levante is an impressive handler, with power to spare and a suspension that makes it difficult to remember that you're piloting a big, heavy SUV. Drawbacks include a cramped back seat, use of some Fiat Chrysler switchgear in the cabin, and the indifferent build quality that is part and parcel of an Italian vehicle. If you are looking for a sport luxury SUV that is sporty, luxurious and exclusive, the Maserati Levante is well worth a look.

Current Maserati Levante
Maserati sells the Levante in Q4 and S models. Both are nicely equipped with an adaptive air suspension, leather upholstery and a power liftgate. The primary difference between the two is power, though the S model also gets bigger brakes, a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded interior and other creature comforts. As with other European luxury marques, the options list is long and lavish. Most of the S model's upgrades can be had on the Q4.

Both versions of the Maserati Levante are powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The Levante Q4's engine is tuned for 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the Levante S serves up 424 hp and 428 lb-ft. Acceleration is rapid with either engine. Maserati says the Levante Q4 sprints from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and the Levante S does the deed in 5.1 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates are similar (and similarly lousy) at 16 mpg combined for the Q4 and 15 mpg for the S. These are poor numbers even by performance SUV standards.

The Levante's interior is both posh and customizable, with several buyer-selectable color and trim combinations. Maserati's interior designers were not shy in their use of leather, which seems to cover just about every surface. Some of the switchgear and the infotainment system's touchscreen interface are shared with Fiat and Chrysler vehicles. This isn't necessarily as a bad thing since the quality of the parts is in keeping with the Levante's price tag, but familiarity can be a disappointment, especially for former Chrysler, Fiat and Alfa Romeo owners upgrading to a Maserati. Front seat space is generous, but room in the back seat is just adequate. Cargo space is about average for the class.

Out on the open road, the Levante is an impressive performer. The exhaust note is fantastic, and both engines are exceptionally quick, though the 424-hp Maserati S has a noticeable performance advantage. The air suspension is brilliant, providing a comfortable and relatively quiet ride with the kind of twisty-road handling normally reserved for sport sedans — not at all what we expect from an SUV that can tow 6,000 pounds.

Used Maserati Levante Models
The Maserati Levante was a new model introduced in 2017.

Yearly Differences
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* Prices based on national average