- I tested a 2020 Maserati Levante GTS SUV that with thousands in options stickered at approximately $136,000.
- The Maserati Levante GTS has a 550-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, plus a gorgeous red interior.
- The Levante GTS is beautiful, powerful, and fast. That puts it near the top of the luxury, high-performance SUV segment.
- But competition is coming — and the Levante is a great preview of what Ferrari may put on the road in the next few years.
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Let’s say you want a Ferrari, but you hail from a strange region where nobody is taught the lore of Maranello sports cars. An SUV is just your style, you decide. So you swing by your friendly neighborhood prancing horse dealership one day and ask if you can look at a couple of utes.
The dealer would thank you for your interest and slip you the business card of a colleague who represents Maserati, which since 2016 has been selling the Ferrari of SUVS, right down to the Maranello-sourced engine.
The question, of course, is why anybody would want the Ferrari of SUVs? Well, that’s a question provisionally addressed by Maserati (we won’t tarry over the adjacent question of why anyone would want the Maserati of SUVs). But come 2022, Ferrari has promised an “FUV” to be called the Purosangue — its own version of the high-riding heresy.
Interested in what that vehicle might be like, and uninterested in waiting? Look no further than the Maserati Levante GTS, which I was lucky enough to enjoy for a week. Here’s how it went:
Options trading My 2020 Maserati Levante GTS tester arrived wearing a “Blu Emozione” paint job and several thousand dollars in extras that pushed the $123,290 stick price to $136,000.
Options trading The glorious piece of Italian design is either the best-looking SUV on Earth or a solid number two, depending on what you think of the Jaguar F-PACE.
Options trading The “Nerissimo” pack was a $1,000 add-on that brought some slick, black highlights to the exterior, notably the grille.
Options trading Like Mercedes, Maserati has retained a flush hood ornament, as well as the prominent trident badge, in chrome.
Options trading The trident makes an additional appearance at the Levante’s rear. (The “Levante” name, by the way, comes from a Mediterranean wind.)
Options trading It’s important to get the entire front end of a luxury-marque SUV right, as it both proclaims the vehicle’s pedigree and makes up for inevitable compromises demanded by the ute rear end. The Levante’s headlights are dashing without overwhelming the fascia’s design.
Options trading Yes, it’s a Maserati, so it must sport the signature ports on the flanks, rimmed in chrome.
Options trading The three-season tires added another $400. The red brake calipers came gratis!
Options trading Did I say the back end demands compromises? Not with the Levante! As with the F-PACE and, to a lesser degree, Levante’s stablemate, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the Levante’s designers nailed the elegant hind-quarters.
Options trading The coupé-style fastback roof slopes to an integrated spoiler.
Options trading We have the model designation on the hatch.
Options trading And we also have the GTS call-out. This is almost the top-dog Levante — only the Trofeo sits higher in the lineup.
Options trading Let’s pop the hood and check out the Levante GTS’s powerplant.
Options trading But first, we have to contend with the most craptastic yellow plastic hood release in all of motor-dom.
Options trading Restore your sprit by gazing upon the glory of a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged, 550-horsepower V8 engine, making 538 pound-feet of torque and sending the oomph to an all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
My tester didn’t come with specs for fuel economy, but with this motor, I would expect less than 20 mpg combined, and that’s how my Levante was tracking during the week I drove it around in a combination of city/highway conditions.