Levante

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2020 Maserati Levante Overview

For the 2017 model year, Maserati became the latest premium European automaker to join the SUV craze with its own midsize crossover. Called the Levante, it features a similar platform and powertrain to Maserati’s Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. And while its styling conforms to the typical crossover SUV shape, the Levante still features distinctive Maserati styling cues like narrow headlights, a large grille highlighted by thick vertical bars, three small porthole vents on each front fender, and of course Maserati’s famous trident badge.

The Levante is still a fresh model to the market, so other than adding standard xenon headlights, it goes into the 2020 model year largely unchanged. The Levante comes with either a V6 or a V8 engine (both twin-turbocharged) and in base, S, GranLusso, GranSport, S GranLusso, S GranSport, GTS, or Trofeo trims.

Most versions of the Levante get a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. It makes 345 horsepower in its lower output, but versions with S in the name get a boost to 424 hp. All Levantes have all-wheel drive (AWD) and shift through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Stepping up to the GTS or Trofeo trim adds a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 with 550 or 590 hp, respectively. Both engines sound fantastic and come courtesy of the fine folks at Ferrari.

The GTS will do 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, which are the kind of numbers that exotic supercars were putting up just a few years ago. Levantes have an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph but untethered, a Levante Trofeo will do nearly 190 mph. Since the Levante is largely based on the same platform as the Ghibli, it should drive like a lifted sedan, which is what it is, but features like adaptive shocks and air suspension with torque vectoring keep this SUV planted and sharp. V6 versions manage 15 mpg city, 21 highway, and 17 combined, while V8s get 14/18/15. They’re poor numbers, but nobody ever bought a Maserati to be fuel-efficient.

Being a Maserati, the Levante spoils its passengers with full leather upholstery, open-pore wood trim, and clean brightwork throughout the interior. The analog clock on top of the dashboard is also a classy, old-school touch, while tech features include standard navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, five USB ports, and Maserati’s Touch Control Plus infotainment system centered on an 8.4-inch touchscreen. That said, the Levante has been criticized for its conspicuous Fiat Chrysler switchgear.

The premium luxury/performance crossover market is increasingly competitive these days. To choose the Maserati, you’d have to pass over the BMW X5/X6, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Audi Q7. On paper, the Levante isn’t a standout, but it does look and sound great, plus it comes with a lovely interior and the cachet of a Maserati badge.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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