Sunday, 6 September 2020

2021 Maserati Levante Review

 

2021 Maserati Levante

Overview


There's something about the 2021 Maserati Levante that just screams Italian exclusivity. Perhaps it’s the SUV's seductive bodywork or it distinctive trident logo in the grille. 

More likely, it's the Levante's hot-blooded power-trains, which emit intoxicating sounds through its exhaust pipes. 

While many of its rivals start with a turbocharged four-cylinder and graduate to a V-6, the Levante skips the four, offers a twin-turbo V-6 as standard, and allows buyers to opt for a 590-hp twin-turbo V-8. 

2021 Maserati Levante

Maserati also offers traditional Italian luxury inside, including optional leather-and-silk upholstery. But, due to some unfortunate parts sharing with more common Jeep models, the Levante's luxury cabin isn't fully realized. 

Still, its boutique nature and head-turning styling makes it a desirable choice for buyers whose neighborhoods are already filled to the brim with SUVs from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.

2021 Maserati Levante

What's New for 2021?

The Levante receives Maserati's new infotainment interface for 2021, but unlike its sedan siblings—the Ghibli and Quattroporte—it sticks with an 8.4-inch display. 

The new software is based on Google's Android Automotive and offers a voice-activated virtual assistant, in-dash navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto; a wireless charging pad is also new this year.

2021 Maserati Levante

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  •  Base: $74,000 (est.)
  •  GranLusso: $80,000 (est.)
  •  GranSport: $80,000 (est.)
  •  S: $85,000 (est.)
  •  GTS: $122,000 (est.)
  •  Trofeo: $173,000 (est.)

    Although it adds more than $10,000 to the bottom line, I'd spring for the S model and its more powerful twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.

    The S also adds 19-inch wheels with a staggered setup, a leather interior with stitched dashboard and door panels, and steering column-mounted paddle shifters.

    2021 Maserati Levante


    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    While the Levante is not the quickest or the most powerful performance-oriented luxury crossover, it certainly plays one of the better soundtracks. 

    Under the hood of most Levante models is a twin-turbocharged V-6 routing its 345 horsepower—or 424 horses in the S—to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. In our testing of a Levante S, it delivers a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.1 seconds, besting the Mercedes-AMG GLE53. 

    2021 Maserati Levante

    The GTS and Trofeo models come with a twin-turbo V-8 making 550 and 590 horsepower, respectively. The GTS launches itself to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, while the Trofeo does it in 3.6. With its adaptive shocks set in Sport mode, the Levante's ride is jarring when driving over all but the smoothest road surfaces. 

    Comfort levels are much more agreeable, though hardly supple, with the shocks in their default setting.

    Practical Italian: Second Maserati SUV Coming in 2021
    2021 Maserati Levante

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG


    On paper, the Levante is no fuel-sipper. In fact, its EPA estimates for V-6 models are closer to V-8–powered rivals than to other V-6s. 

    According to research, the V-6 has a highway fuel-economy is much higher than its ratings suggested with a 24 mpg; the V-8–powered GTS also out-performs its EPA rating and delivers 20 mpg.

    2021 Maserati Levante

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    At first glance, the inside of the Levante appears rich and well-appointed, especially in our Levante S, which features the full-leather treatment in a rich dark-brown hue. 

    Open-pore wood trim, a leather-covered dashboard, tasteful chrome accents, and the traditional Maserati analog clock all give the Levante a classy and old-school luxury ambience. 

    2021 Maserati Levante

    Looking closer, however, reveals parts that are obviously shared with other Fiat Chrysler brands—for example, the window switches, wiper-control stalk, and ignition button are the same as the Jeep Cherokee's—which is a disappointment.

    2021 Maserati Levante

    The controls are functional, though, and better than some of the ergonomically questionable examples Maserati has come up with on its own over the years. Speaking of ergonomics, the driving position in the Levante is great and clearly set up for spirited motoring. 

    2021 Maserati Levante

    Like a pair of Versace stilettos, the Levante puts a big emphasis on style. Its cargo area still accommodates a respectable number of carry-on suitcases (eight behind the rear seat, 19 with the rear seats folded), even if others in this segment fared much better. 

    Park them all side by side, however, and the Maserati's bravura overshadows the practicality of its rivals.

    Levante | Maserati, Maserati interior, Maserati suv
    2021 Maserati Levante

    Infotainment and Connectivity


    I haven't had the chance to try Maserati's new infotainment interface, but it's said to be brilliantly rendered on the Levante's 8.4-inch touchscreen. 

    Most vehicle functions, including the climate controls, are adjusted through the infotainment display, but the system also offers a voice-activated virtual assistant. Navigation is standard, as are SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

    A wireless charging pad has been added as well. Although an eight-speaker stereo system is standard, buyers can upgrade to either a 14-speaker Harman/Kardon setup or a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system.

    2021 Maserati Levante


    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    The Levante has not been crash-tested; as a result, its performance in this area remains unknown. A few driver-assistance features are standard, and other more advanced tech is optional across the range. 

    Key safety features include:

    •  Standard automatic high-beam headlamps
    •  Standard blind-spot monitoring
    •  Available automated emergency braking
    • 2021 Maserati Levante

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage


    The Levante's warranty is nothing special, with a four-year or 50,000-mile policy covering everything, including corrosion protection and roadside assistance. 

    Rivals offer something special to stand out from the crowd, such as complimentary scheduled maintenance or an unlimited-mileage roadside-assistance plan—but not Maserati.

    •  Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    •  Power-train warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    •  No complimentary scheduled maintenance.

    • 2021 Maserati Levante




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