Like the powerful western Mediterranean winds that inspired its name, Maserati’s Levante lineup has been redefining the SUV landscape since its 2016 debut. It’s a stupendously fun hauler that’s not just a head-turner but an aural masterpiece that roars like its Ferrari cousin, handles like its sexy Ghibli sibling and seats five in splendor.
The latest family member, the Levante GTS, boasts a 550 hp 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine assembled by Ferrari in Maranello that sprints from 0-60 mph in four seconds to a top speed of 181 mph.
The GTS is sibling to the top-of-the-line 590-horsepower Levante Trofeo V8, which scoots from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds to a top speed of 187.
They join the base Levante and Levante S, both equipped with V6 engines that, while not as cracklingly snarly as the V8s, still provide plenty of pep (345 and 424 hp, respectively). And like all Levante SUVs, the powerplants are mated to the superlative, creamy-smooth eight-speed ZF gearbox.
On the road, a Levante feels firmly connected thanks to a double-wishbone, five-link suspension system with air springs and electronically controlled shock absorbers — what Maserati has dubbed “Skyhook.” In concert with Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System, a Levante is remarkably nimble and balanced when roaring through tight curves, accelerating onto a freeway and, yes, even off-roading.
Whatever the model, Levante cabins are sublimely tailored, rich with hand-stitched leather and wood surroundings that make for an indulgent yet playful experience.
The base Levante and Levante S are available in two option packages: the GranLusso is focused on luxury, while the GranSport is more about engaging driving dynamics.
Pieno Fiore natural leather is standard in the Levante Trofeo, available as an option on all Levantes and comes in three colors (red, black and tan) with specific stitching on the seats and double-stitching on door panels. There’s also optional Ermenegildo Zegna silk inserts made in Trivero with a patented process that sounds fancy and expensive.
Available interior trims include open-pore regimental wood veneer, 3D matte carbon fiber or high gloss metal net weave
Exteriors come in a rainbow of delicious-sounding colors: Grigio Metallo, Verde Ossido, Nero Ribelle, Blu Passione, Rosso Rubino and Bianco Alpi. The optional Blu Nobile sparkles with glass flakes when exposed to sunlight.
Maserati also offers three brand-new high-gloss interior veneers, and the MTC+ infotainment system has been enhanced with updated display graphics and improved climate control system ergonomics.
“Best Full-Size luxury SUV” – Texas Auto Writers
That the Levante lineup is impressive shouldn’t really come as a surprise: essentially, it’s as close as we’re going to get to a Ferrari SUV.
What is surprising is that their latest, the GTS, was chosen last year as “SUV of Texas” and best “Full-Size Luxury SUV,” by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
Yes, you read that right – Texas, where Ford sells more F-150s than anywhere else in … the … world.
Boy howdy, it must really be good. Peruse our current Levante Inventory online on ParkPlace.com.
* Pricing starts at $76,980 and rises to $169,980