If the current crop of German and Japanese luxury mid-size SUVs fail to get your blood pumping, the 2022 Maserati Levante might have the muscle and flair that you're looking for. Whereas most Audi and Mercedes-Benz SUVs' standard engines are turbocharged four-cylinders, the Levante goes straight into the good stuff, starting with a twin-turbo V-6 base engine and culminating with an optional twin-turbo V-8 that's good for up to 580-hp. At first glance, the Levante's cabin appears to be the ultimate in poshness; it's layered with fine materials—including a unique leather-and-silk upholstery option from fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna. But a closer inspection reveals some parts-sharing from mainstream Jeeps and Chryslers that take us out of the high-end fantasy we expect from the trident-badged brand. The Levante's impressive performance speaks volumes though, and the Maserati brand's boutique nature means buyers will be driving something with built-in exclusivity.
What's New for 2022?
Maserati has given the Levante lineup an overhaul for 2022, ditching the familiar GranLusso, GranSport, and GTS models with a new three-trim arrangement that starts with the luxury-oriented GT and steps up to the sportier Modena and high-performance Trofeo. The GT is powered by the twin-turbo V-6 engine, which has received a slight power bump to 350-hp. The Modena gets a pumped-up version of the V-6 with 430-hp while the Modena S boasts a 550-hp twin-turbo V-8. The Trofeo is powered by a 580-hp version of the twin-turbo V-8. All models receive updated Maserati logos throughout and sport new trim badging above the Levante's fender-mounted vents.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Although it adds a lot of coin to the bottom line, we'd spring for the Modena S model and its sexy-sounding 550-hp twin-turbo V-8. The Modena S also adds 20-inch wheels, a leather interior with stitched dashboard and door panels, and steering column-mounted paddle shifters. All Modena S models also come with red-painted brake calipers and the Nerissimo Pack appearance package, which adds darkened exterior trim for a more menacing look.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
While the Levante is not the quickest or the most powerful performance-oriented luxury crossover, it certainly plays one of the better soundtracks. Under the hood of most Levante models is a twin-turbocharged V-6 routing its 350 horsepower—or 430 horses in the Modena—to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. In our testing, a 2017 V-6–powered Levante delivered a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.1 seconds, besting the Mercedes-AMG GLE53. The Modena S and Trofeo models come with a twin-turbo V-8 making 550 and 580 horsepower, respectively. At the test track a GTS (which is replaced by the Modena S for 2022) launched itself to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, while a Trofeo did it in 3.6. With its adaptive shocks set in Sport mode, the Levante's ride is jarring when driving over all but the smoothest road surfaces. Comfort levels are much more agreeable, though the suspension is hardly supple, with the shocks in their default setting.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
On paper, the Levante is no fuel-sipper. In fact, its EPA estimates for V-6 models—16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway—are closer to V-8–powered rivals than to other V-6s. In our real-world testing, however, the V-6 impressed us with a highway fuel-economy result much higher than its ratings suggested with a 24 mpg result. The V-8–powered models earned ratings of 13 mpg city and 20 mpg highway and delivered 20 mpg in our testing. For more information about the Levante's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
At first glance, the inside of the Levante appears rich and well-appointed, especially in our test vehicle, which featured the full-leather treatment in a rich dark-brown hue. Open-pore wood trim, a leather-covered dashboard, tasteful chrome accents, and the traditional Maserati analog clock all give the Levante a classy and old-school luxury ambience. Looking closer, however, reveals parts that are obviously shared with other Stellantis brands—for example, the window switches, wiper-control stalk, and ignition button are the same as the Jeep Cherokee's—which is a disappointment. The controls are functional, though, and better than some of the ergonomically questionable examples Maserati has come up with on its own over the years. Speaking of ergonomics, the driving position in the Levante is great and clearly set up for spirited motoring. Like a pair of Versace stilettos, the Levante puts a big emphasis on style. Its cargo area still accommodated a respectable number of our carry-on suitcases (eight behind the rear seat, 19 with the rear seats folded), even if others in this segment fared much better. Park them all side by side, however, and the Maserati's bravura overshadows the practicality of its rivals.
Infotainment and Connectivity
We haven't had the chance to try Maserati's latest infotainment interface, but it's said to be brilliantly rendered on the Levante's 8.4-inch touchscreen. Most vehicle functions, including the climate controls, are adjusted through the infotainment display, but the system also offers a voice-activated virtual assistant. Navigation is standard, as are SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A wireless charging pad is also included. Although an eight-speaker stereo system is standard, buyers can upgrade to either a 14-speaker Harman/Kardon setup or a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A few driver-assistance features are standard, and other more advanced tech is optional across the range. For more information about the Levante's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic high-beam headlamps
- Standard blind-spot monitoring
- Available automated emergency braking
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Levante's warranty is nothing special, with a four-year or 50,000-mile policy covering everything, including corrosion protection and roadside assistance. Rivals offer something special to stand out from the crowd, such as complimentary scheduled maintenance or an unlimited-mileage roadside-assistance plan—but not Maserati.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance