MSRP
$77,500
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2020 Maserati Levante Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.0

The 2020 Maserati Levante has a lineup of powerful engines and engaging handling. However, its ride can be stiff, and it has poor fuel economy.

  • "The Levante S puts a definitive emphasis on 'sport,' landing somewhere between pure luxury SUV models and the fire-breathing beasts from the BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG factories.” -- Edmunds
  • Make no mistake, this is a sporty SUV, but it’s far from the type of sporty that enthuses its driver to set a personal best time on the trip to the grocery store. … Instead the Levante revels in a kind of quiet confidence–you know it’s quick and handles well, but you don’t feel inspired to use all that capability all the time as you would in a more focused sports car. Instead, you’re content to meander down roads rather than charge them, with an occasional redline blast just to wake yourself up a little.” -- Automobile Magazine (2019)
  • "The driver-adjustable Skyhook damping system and electrically assisted hydraulic steering give you a clear feel of the road, and the standard limited-slip rear differential ensures good acceleration out of corners.” -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Maserati Levante comes standard with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 345 horsepower. Three optional engines are available: a 424-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, a 550-horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, and a 590-horsepower 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The Levante has quick acceleration, but power is less impressive at higher speeds. Critics are divided on the merits of the exhaust note, which can be loud. Some say that it’s satisfying, and others wish it was more aggressive.

With the V6 engine, the Levante returns an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, which are among the lowest values in the luxury midsize SUV class. Models with the V8 engine get 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

  • Its turbo V6 engine makes healthy power – 0-60 mph takes 5 seconds flat – and sounds wonderful doing it, but the engine is a little slow to respond when driving in Normal mode.” -- Edmunds
  • "These are heavy and relatively brick-shaped vehicles, so acceleration does taper as the aerodynamic load piles up above reasonable speeds. And despite the engines' eagerness and power, the Ferrari provenance doesn't count for as much as Maserati might like when it comes to sound.” -- Car and Driver (2019)
  • "When roads improved (read: smaller and twistier), we threw the Levante into Sport mode and the 430-hp, 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 snarled and growled its way down a couple of the ZF automatic’s eight gears to get back in the meat of the powerband. We suspect most Levante owners will soon tire of the barking, un-baffled exhaust in this setting. We enjoyed it, though we couldn’t quite decide if the Pentastar-derived V-6 sounded 'Maserati' enough.” -- Automobile Magazine (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Levante has sporty handling, well-weighted steering, and controlled motions around turns. Some reviewers think the suspension is stiff and ride quality is harsh, while others say it’s compliant. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a performance adjustable air suspension.

  • The steering feels direct and precise, with the right amount of effort depending on speed. The Levante is quite fun on tight, twisty roads with its grippy tires, low body roll and torque-vectoring electronics, allowing it to make unnaturally sharp turns. But it wiggles and dances a bit through sweeping curves that aren't perfectly smooth, diminishing driving confidence. … We weren't impressed by this SUV's ride quality. Even on its softest suspension setting, the Levante gets upset by small, sharp bumps. The optional 21-inch wheels share some blame here.” -- Edmunds
  • "More tall wagon than traditional SUV, the Levante takes corners more like a sports sedan than a sport ute, even though it weighs more than 4,500 pounds.” -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • The Levante’s normal suspension setting has plenty of compliance and both throttle tip-in and automatic gearshifts are smooth. Manual shifts when just toodling around town seem to lag a little compared with shifts paired to aggressive throttle inputs.” -- Automobile Magazine (2019)
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