2022 Maserati Levante

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2022 Maserati Levante Review: Much Improved

The luxury performance SUV segment wasn't as busy when the Maserati Levante entered it back in 2017. It was the first Italian supercar manufacturer to pull the trigger, and we expected great things. What we got was a mediocre brisk SUV, equipped with the infotainment system from a soccer-mom wagon. For something wearing that coveted Trident logo, the Levante just wasn't good enough - a perfect example of parts-sharing gone wrong.

Over time Maserati added more models to the range. The power delivered by the twin-turbo V6 was dialed up to 424 hp, and a Ferrari-derived twin-turbo V8 with 550 hp was added to the lineup. Is the Levante still a bit 'meh', or does it combine an SUV's practicality with the exhilarating soul of an Italian supercar? And is it enough to win buyers over from German rivals like the Porsche Cayenne?

2022 Maserati Levante Changes: What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Maserati Levante?

For the 2022 model year, last year's lineup of GranLusso, GranSport, and GTS trims are realigned, rearranged, and renamed. The base model is now the GT and it receives the 345-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine also found in the Ghibli and Quattroporte GT models. Next up, the Modena gets the more powerful 424-hp V6. Slotting in between the top trim and the Modena is the limited-run F Tributo, which is released as a tribute to the racing roots of the brand. The Modena S is the top "normal" Levante with its 550-hp twin-turbo V8. The flagship is the 580-hp Trofeo, which we review separately. The front fender badging is revised in line with the new trims and the 2022 Levante bears the new restyled Maserati trident that we first saw on the MC20 and has now spread to all the 2022 Maseratis.

Pros and Cons

  • Handsome Italian design
  • Available with Ferrari power
  • Many customization options
  • The interior looks good
  • Gearbox is superb
  • Levante pricing is absurd
  • Cargo space is below par
  • Parts bin sharing still drags the interior down

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2022 Maserati Levante Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Modena S
3.8L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Maserati Levante Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Levante has a lot going on in this department. An adaptive air suspension is standard, as are various driving modes. Most of the time, the 2022 Levante SUV will be stuck in Comfort, and it does an adequate job. The system isn't as well sorted as the unit you'll find in the Range Rover Sport, but for its first-ever SUV, we reckon Maserati did a splendid job with the new Levante. The ride is comfortable, and the cabin is well-insulated.

In Sport mode, the suspension stiffens up to minimize body roll. It does so very well, but it sacrifices all comfort. Couple that with steering that provides a reasonable amount of feedback, and you have a smooth handler. To some, the fast steering rack may be troublesome, which is something we noticed in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio as well. It's something you have to get used to, but once you get there, you'll never want to go back. The Levante turns in willingly, egging you on to push a bit harder. That's part of the reason why the V6 Levantes felt so disappointing. We always knew the chassis could handle more, and we had to wait for the Modena S and Trofeo to prove it. The brakes on the V6 models are good, but the Modena S gets bigger six-piston Brembo brakes to scrub speed more effectively.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Maserati Levante A Good SUV?

This is a tough call. We do like the idea of an Italian luxury performance SUV. We can't deny that the Levante has loads of character, especially with the Ferrari-sourced V8 under the hood. It's also competitively priced when compared to the Porsche Cayenne. The styling is epic, the interior looks good, and it is more engaging than most performance SUVs.

The competition is stiff. Less expensive SUVs easily trounce the GT and Modena. The Modena S model is a special car, but at nearly $120,000, it's too costly. German rivals like the X5M and RS Q8 are quicker and retail for less (BMW) or only slightly more (Audi). When parting with more than $80,000, you expect something exceptional, and the Levante just isn't. We're sorry to say this, but Alfa Romeo did a much better job building an Italian performance SUV.

Check out other Maserati Levante Styles

2022 Maserati Levante Comparisons

Porsche Cayenne
Porsche Macan CarBuzz

2022 Maserati Levante vs Porsche Cayenne

Mercedes-AMG was the first manufacturer to shoehorn a powerful engine into the front of an SUV. This was back in the year 2000 when a 342 hp naturally-aspirated V8 was considered impressive. Porsche basically copied Merc's homework and built the Cayenne, and it has been the standard in the segment ever since. With nearly two decades worth of experience in building such things, the Cayenne is hard to beat.

The base Cayenne is down ten hp compared to the base Levante, but that's the only department where Maserati can claim a win. The Porsche is more spacious, better built and comes with a vastly superior interior with better technology. The driving experience in the Porsche is sublime. In this department, Porsche's long history in building high-riding, tarmac-shredding cars shines through.

The only criticism we can level against the Cayenne is that it feels a bit clinical. It's so good at covering ground at high-speed that it feels rather undramatic. The Levante has more flair, and each drive feels more like an occasion. In our opinion, your money is better spent on the superior, brilliant, and less expensive Cayenne.

See Porsche Cayenne Review

2022 Maserati Levante vs Porsche Macan

It seems odd to compare it to two Porsches, but there's an excellent reason for that. The Macan may appear smaller, but the size difference isn't that big when you look at the figures. The trunk is only three cubic feet smaller than the Levante's. The good news is that most of the Macan range undercuts the Levante when it comes to price. The new Macan GTS is $1,300 cheaper than the base model, but its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 produces 434 hp and 405 lb-ft, closer to the Modena's output.

The base Macan is powered by a turbocharged four-pot, but the car is much lighter, so it has no problems keeping up with the base Levante. Retailing for $54,900, it's an absolute bargain in comparison. But the Macan show's real star remains the GTS, which is cheaper than the base Levante. In this Macan, you'll find the same twin-turbo engine than in the Turbo it replaces. The power output is 10 hp more than that of the Levante Modena and with the Porsche's much lower weight, its 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds is perilously close to that of the V8-powered Modena S. If anything, the Macan handles even better than its bigger brother, making an even more compelling argument against the Maserati.

See Porsche Macan Review
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