GTS All-wheel Drive Sport Utility
2019 Maserati Levante

2019 Levante Photos
 Editors' Pick
Autoblog Rating
7.5

The Levante GTS and Trofeo are Ferrari-powered monsters, but it's hard to overlook a middling interior that uses some parts you'll find on $30,000 Chyrslers. Doubly so when you consider the Levante's pricing.

Industry
8
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. — The wine glasses are rapidly draining. It's getting late, and Maserati design chief Klaus Busse appears to be fighting a cold. Yet he can't resist sketching something on a menu to illustrate his point. The A6GCS quickly takes shape. One of the most celebrated Maseratis ever, Busse uses this beacon to reconcile the Italian marque's transition to crossovers. It's how he explains and rationalizes the Levante, a stylish SUV aimed directly at the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe. The A6GCS, a rare, Pininfarina-built sports car, lives on in today's Maseratis, he argues. This includes the Levante, a handsome crossover aimed at suburban cruisers bored with the notion of German luxury. Can a brand with rich sporting heritage reconcile with evolving market trends? It must, even if the connection to a mythical 1950s racer is a bit tenuous. But a pair of Ferrari-powered V8 twins, the Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo, make that progression easier. Prodigious outputs of 550 and 590 horsepower help. They are the top-shelf Levantes. You buy them when the powerful twin-turbo V6 Levante and Levante S simply won't do. You're talking six-figure prices, decadent interiors and more than a bit of bling. Well-heeled professionals drive the Levante, which starts at $75,980 and packs 345 hp, or pony up $11,000 for the Levante S and its 424 horses. The V8 starts at $119,980 for the GTS, and the Trofeo comes in at a lofty $169,980. These buyers haven't just made it, they're likely set for life. "We're not in the boy racer clientele," Busse says. "There's a certain level of accomplishment that you feel in driving a Maserati." That's probably true. But should the Trofeo be associated with generational wealth? I'm pondering this as I pull a hard right, kick up some dirt and pull onto the Pacific Coast Highway. The ocean laps to my left as the eight cylinders unlimber and I find myself reaching 60 miles per hour with little effort. The quoted time is 3.7 seconds, which feels dead on. I cue up Corsa, the sportiest of the Levante's drive modes, one that's only available on the Trofeo. The road is winding. I fall into a rhythm as I make my way up the coast toward Big Sur. The car's selling point is the engine, but the Skyhook suspension with electronically controlled damping keeps this 4,784-pound SUV reasonably tied down and poised. The cabin is quiet, as expected for the segment, allowing for easy conversation. The comfortable seats provide a decent view of the road, though the dramatic design does compromise some visibility. That's a good thing. I'm driving the Levante the day before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Vintage cars contrast with the leisurely beach-going crowd in old VWs and Toyotas. With a long hood, proportionally attractive curves and just a little bit more chrome than you typically see on a modern vehicle, the Maserati gets plenty of glances. Focusing again on the Levante as the road gets …
Full Review
CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. — The wine glasses are rapidly draining. It's getting late, and Maserati design chief Klaus Busse appears to be fighting a cold. Yet he can't resist sketching something on a menu to illustrate his point. The A6GCS quickly takes shape. One of the most celebrated Maseratis ever, Busse uses this beacon to reconcile the Italian marque's transition to crossovers. It's how he explains and rationalizes the Levante, a stylish SUV aimed directly at the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe. The A6GCS, a rare, Pininfarina-built sports car, lives on in today's Maseratis, he argues. This includes the Levante, a handsome crossover aimed at suburban cruisers bored with the notion of German luxury. Can a brand with rich sporting heritage reconcile with evolving market trends? It must, even if the connection to a mythical 1950s racer is a bit tenuous. But a pair of Ferrari-powered V8 twins, the Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo, make that progression easier. Prodigious outputs of 550 and 590 horsepower help. They are the top-shelf Levantes. You buy them when the powerful twin-turbo V6 Levante and Levante S simply won't do. You're talking six-figure prices, decadent interiors and more than a bit of bling. Well-heeled professionals drive the Levante, which starts at $75,980 and packs 345 hp, or pony up $11,000 for the Levante S and its 424 horses. The V8 starts at $119,980 for the GTS, and the Trofeo comes in at a lofty $169,980. These buyers haven't just made it, they're likely set for life. "We're not in the boy racer clientele," Busse says. "There's a certain level of accomplishment that you feel in driving a Maserati." That's probably true. But should the Trofeo be associated with generational wealth? I'm pondering this as I pull a hard right, kick up some dirt and pull onto the Pacific Coast Highway. The ocean laps to my left as the eight cylinders unlimber and I find myself reaching 60 miles per hour with little effort. The quoted time is 3.7 seconds, which feels dead on. I cue up Corsa, the sportiest of the Levante's drive modes, one that's only available on the Trofeo. The road is winding. I fall into a rhythm as I make my way up the coast toward Big Sur. The car's selling point is the engine, but the Skyhook suspension with electronically controlled damping keeps this 4,784-pound SUV reasonably tied down and poised. The cabin is quiet, as expected for the segment, allowing for easy conversation. The comfortable seats provide a decent view of the road, though the dramatic design does compromise some visibility. That's a good thing. I'm driving the Levante the day before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Vintage cars contrast with the leisurely beach-going crowd in old VWs and Toyotas. With a long hood, proportionally attractive curves and just a little bit more chrome than you typically see on a modern vehicle, the Maserati gets plenty of glances. Focusing again on the Levante as the road gets …
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Retail Price

$119,980 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

NA Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 3.8L V-8
MPG 14 City / 18 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 8-spd auto w/OD
Power 550 @ 6250 rpm
Drivetrain Q4 all wheel
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