The luxury performance SUV market in the USA is growing, and the Maserati Levante has had to step up its game. It got a facelift a couple of years ago, and its trim lineup was shuffled to make finding the best model for your needs easier. The Italian automaker seems to feel that the 2023 Levante is capable of going head-to-head with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5 M while it still has a V8 in the range - the automaker confirmed the V8 will go out of production after the 2023 model year. With few updates for 2023, you still get the powerful twin-turbo V8 that makes 550 horsepower on the top Modena S, but you also get the unimpressive infotainment system inherited from the cheaper Stellantis products. So, is it confidence or resignation that has led to the decision to make no changes moving towards the next generation model?
For the 2023 Maserati Levante, the only notable change is that some previously optional driver-assistance features, like forward collision avoidance, are now standard across the range. This follows after a facelift in 2021 and a lineup revision in 2022.
A new Maserati Levante SUV will cost you over $90k, even in its most basic configuration. The price of the 2023 Maserati Levante GT is $90,700, while the Modena surpasses six figures, starting at $101,400. Topping the range is the Modena S at a staggering $127,600. These are the MSRP prices of the Maserati Levante and do not include tax, registration, or the $1,495 destination and handling fees.
See trim levels and configurations:
Maserati doesn't just make cars that look good; they feel good, too. This relates to their handling as well as their comfort levels. The latter is thanks to the adaptive air suspension, which has various settings depending on the mood you're in. Comfort will be the go-to, as the Levante is still a luxury SUV that focuses on delivering a smooth riding experience. This pairs well with the well-insulated cabin that keeps unwanted noise outside.
But if you do want to have some fun, flip it to Sport mode, and the suspension stiffens a bit to minimize body roll. This lets you take corners a bit more aggressively or overtake without a fuss, but you have to sacrifice comfort. In this setup, the Levante almost begs you to play with it, thanks to a good amount of feedback from the steering, which is quick and responsive. Unfortunately, you need the power of the Modena S's V8 engine to really get the best experience, and the stronger Brembo brakes give you the confidence to push it to the limits.
A luxury performance SUV is a difficult car to judge, considering how many different hats it has to wear. The Levante balances these quite well, but when you stack it up against capable, truly athletic rivals like the BMW X5 M and Audi RS Q8, it comes up short. Not only is it more expensive and not quite as excellent to throw around corners, but it's less refined in the cabin, too. You can thank the parts-sharing from Stellantis for the latter, which begs the question of why Maserati expects you to pay so much. It's mostly down to the iconic Italian styling, no doubt. It's a decent offering from a non-German brand, but, in review, the Maserati Levante simply doesn't do enough to warrant paying close to six figures, or even more if you actually want a model worth owning.
The reason you buy a luxury performance SUV is for the combination of these two characteristics, and the only model that really gets this right is the Modena S, which comes with the stronger V8 engine - but only for this year. It's sourced from Ferrari, so you know it will deliver the thrills. The top-tier trim is also the most well-appointed of the lot, coming with the most upscale materials and the banging Harman Kardon sound system. It's also the only trim with standard LED headlights.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Maserati Levante: