The 2021 Maserati Levante screams Italian exclusivity. It could be the SUV’s attractive bodywork or its distinctive trident logo on the grille. It’s more likely that the Levante’s powerful engines, which emit intoxicating noises through its exhaust pipes, are responsible. Many of its competitors start with a turbocharged 4-cylinder and then move to a V-6. The Levante, however, skips the four and offers a twin-turbo, V-6 as a standard. Buyers can also choose a 590-hp twinturbo 8-cylinder. Maserati offers traditional Italian luxury inside. It also has leather-and-silk upholstery by Ermenegildo Zgna. The Levante’s luxurious cabin is not fully realized due to parts sharing with other Jeep models. Its unique design and distinctive styling make it an attractive choice for buyers whose neighborhood is already crowded with SUVs from Audi and BMW.
What’s new for 2021?
Maserati’s 2021 infotainment interface is available to the Levante, but it retains its 8.4-inch display unlike its sedan sibling, the Ghibli and Quattroporte. This software, which is based on Google Android Automotive, offers voice-activated virtual assistants, in-dash navigation and Apple CarPlay. A wireless charging pad is also available.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
The S model, with its twin-turbocharged V-6 motor, is more expensive at more than $10,000. The S model also features 19-inch wheels in a staggered configuration, leather interior with stitched dashboard, door panels and shifters mounted on the steering column.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
Although the Levante may not be the fastest or most powerful luxury crossover in performance, it does have one of the best soundtracks. The Levante’s most popular models have a twin-turbocharged, V-6 engine that delivers its 345 horsepower (or 424 horses in S) to all four wheels via an eight-speed auto. The Levante S was tested and achieved a 5.1 second acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, beating the Mercedes-AMG GLE53. The GTS and Trofeo models are equipped with twin-turbo V-8s that produce 550 horsepower and 590 horsepower, respectively. The GTS was able to accelerate to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds while the Trofeo took 3.6. The Levante’s adaptive shocks are set to Sport mode and can be quite disruptive on roads with uneven surfaces. The shocks are in their default setting, which is surprisingly supple but makes the ride more comfortable.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The Levante is not a fuel-sipper on paper. The Levante’s EPA estimates for V-6 models, 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, are closer to V-8-powered competitors than other V-6s. The V-6 performed well in real-world testing. It achieved a highway fuel economy result of 24 mpg, which was much better than the ratings. The V-8-powered models received ratings of 13 mpg for city driving and 20 mpg on the highway. We also measured them at 20 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The interior of the Levante looks rich and luxurious at first glance. This is especially true in our Levante S tester vehicle which had the full-leather treatment in dark brown. The Levante’s interior is elegant and traditional with its leather-covered dashboard, open-pore wood trim and a chrome-accented Maserati analog clock. However, closer inspection reveals parts that are shared with other Fiat Chrysler brands. For example, the window switches and wiper-control stalk are identical to the Jeep Cherokee’s. This is disappointing. These controls work well and are better than the less functional options Maserati has created over the years. The Levante’s driving position is excellent and well-suited for motoring. The Levante is a stylish pair of Versace stilettos. The cargo area was still large enough to hold a decent number of carry-on suitcases (8 behind the rear seat and 19 with the rear seats folded), despite the fact that others in the segment did better. The Maserati’s brilliance overshadows its practicality, though, if you place them all side-by-side.
Connectivity and Infotainment
Although we haven’t had a chance to test Maserati’s new infotainment interface yet, it is said to be stunningly rendered on the Levante 8.4-inch touchscreen. The infotainment screen can adjust most vehicle functions, including climate control, but there is also a voice-activated virtual assistant. The standard features include navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio and Apple CarPlay. An optional wireless charging pad was also added. An eight-speaker stereo system comes standard. However, buyers have the option to upgrade to a Harman/Kardon 14-speaker setup or a Bowers & Wilkins 17-speaker system.