options trading Maserati Levante GTSoptions trading Maserati Levante GTS

The glorious Maserati Levante GTS.

Matthew DeBord/Insider


  • 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.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading Like Mercedes, Maserati has retained a flush hood ornament, as well as the prominent trident badge, in chrome.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading Yes, it’s a Maserati, so it must sport the signature ports on the flanks, rimmed in chrome.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The three-season tires added another $400. The red brake calipers came gratis!

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The coupé-style fastback roof slopes to an integrated spoiler.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading We have the model designation on the hatch.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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 Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading Let’s pop the hood and check out the Levante GTS’s powerplant.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading But first, we have to contend with the most craptastic yellow plastic hood release in all of motor-dom.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


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.

Options trading Moving along, it’s time to slip inside and sample the red and black interior, clad in “pieno fiore,” or full-grain, leather.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading I’ve always found Maserati interiors to be nearly impeccable. In the Levante, there’s no “nearly.”

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The multifunction steering wheel is leather-wrapped. Mounted on the steering column is a pair of long, carbon-fiber paddle shifters.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The instrument cluster is all-business, with a customizable screen between the speedometer and tachometer.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading A well-designed clock and stopwatch takes up pride-of-place in the middle of the dashboard.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The start stop button is found to the driver’s left, Ferrari-style.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The joystick shifter exudes Fiat Chrysler, but one gets used to it quickly enough.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The drive mode selector is easy to find on the center console.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The remaining climate controls occupy a narrow strip on the center stack.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The interior tailoring is beautiful.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading You can find examples of it everywhere.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading And the trident makes a subtle reappearance, in red.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The backs seats are just as sweetly appointed.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading But legroom is merely adequate.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The dual-pane moonroof floods the cabin with natural light.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The infotainment system is undergirded by FCA’s excellent Uconnect. It runs on an 8.4-inch screen, which is small by the standards of the luxury market.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading Touchscreen functionality is supported by a limited knob-and-button selector. Note the switch that raises and lowers the Levante’s chassis.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading The system works well. Bluetooth pairing is a snap, there are USB ports to connect devices, and GPS navigation is effective. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. My tester also came with a mellifluous Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, for $4,000.

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GT

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Options trading So what’s the verdict?

options trading Maserati Levante GTS

Maserati Levante GTS

Matthew DeBord/Insider


The Maserati Levante GTS is a thing of beauty, but once the lookin’ is done, the driving can begin. And this is where the SUV offers a compelling reason to write the big check.

The V8 roars to life and then keeps right on roaring. The soundtrack is spectacular. But it isn’t just noise. The o-60mph run is, according to Maserati, a four-second phenomenon, but I thought it came in a hair under that. And the GTS is exceptionally capable in the corners. The best part of that is diving into a curve and then powering out, feeling the energy flow through the car, into the wheels, the tires, and then down into the pavement as the Levante grabs hold.

Yes, other high-performance SUVs can do this. But the Levante GTS does it with an exhaust note that’s downright mythological, while cosseting you in acres of Italian style. It never gets old.

You almost forget that Ferrari might be making and selling one of these things in a few years. You also almost forget that you can’t dive into curves and power out at will if you have a weekend’s worth of provisions stashed in the cargo hold, at least not without making a mess.

The word that always coms to mind when I savor a Maserati is “magical.” These machines transport me, in ways that similarly ambitious Porsches, Mercedes, and BMWs don’t. Take nothing away from those German masterpieces of SUV engineering. They, too, can be oh-so good. 

But Maseratis are more. So if you’re in this market and you’d like to stand apart, more than just a little, the Levante GTS could be your ute.

Disclosure: We may receive a commission if you click on car insurance quotes from our partners.

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

LoadingSomething is loading.

More:

Features
BITranspo
Maserati
SUVs

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.