The 2021 Maserati Levante is a midsize two-row luxury SUV. The Levante has few direct competitors since it’s slotted above the lower trims of luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and Audi Q7 in terms of pricing and performance, but it sits below the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. Its closest competitor is the Porsche Cayenne, which delivers similar levels of performance in a similar pricing bracket.
Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 Maserati Levante and see if it’s the right SUV for you.
What’s New for 2021?
The front and rear ends of the Levante have been refreshed for 2021 with what Maserati calls a “tuning fork” front grille and “boomerang” tail lights. See the 2021 Maserati Levante models for sale near you
What We Like
- Exciting Ferrari-derived engine options
- Satisfying exhaust note
- Agile handling for a midsize SUV
- Head-turning styling
What We Don’t
- Tight cargo space
- Subpar interior quality for the price
$77,890 to $152,690
The 2021 Maserati Levante has two Ferrari-derived engines available; a 3.0-liter V6 and a 3.8-liter V8, both of which are turbocharged. Neither are laudable for their fuel economy, but the V6 is a little more efficient than the V8. The V6 is rated at 16 city/22 highway/18 combined mpg. The V8 returns 13 city/20 highway/16 combined mpg.
You get the V6 in the base and S trims and the V8 in the GTS and Trofeo models. All four trims have different performance numbers. The base Levante makes 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The S model turns those numbers up to 424 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. The V8-powered GTS makes 550 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque while the range-topping Trofeo is rated at 580 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. Every Levante comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Standard Features & Options
There are four models of the 2021 Maserati Levante available; Levante, Levante S, Levante GTS, and Levante Trofeo. The V6-powered base and S models both offer the more premium GranLusso trim and the sporty GranSport trim. Every Levante comes standard with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system.
The base Levante ($77,890) is equipped with the standard turbocharged V6 engine. Standard features include 19-inch aluminum wheels, bi-xenon headlights, adaptive air suspension, Skyhook performance suspension with electronic damping, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, leather seats, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8.4-inch infotainment system with navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay, a backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot alert, and soft close doors.
The Levante GranLusso ($83,890) gives this SUV a more premium look and feel. Upgrades include silk and leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, open-pore Radica wood interior trim, 14-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio, body-color side skirts and GranLusso rear spoiler, and adaptive LED matrix headlights.
The Levante GranSport ($83,890) calls back to Maserati’s race-bred heritage. It has 20-inch aluminum wheels, red brake calipers, 12-way power Sport front seats, a black leather Sport steering wheel, body-color side skirts and GranSport rear spoiler, and the same LED headlights and premium audio system as the GranLusso.
Upgrading to the Levante S ($88,890) turns up the performance with 424 horsepower. The standard equipment list is similar to that of the base Levante, but comes with the boost in performance plus black brake calipers. The S model is available with the GranLusso ($93,890) and GranSport ($93,890) trims, which are the same as they are on the base model.
Enter turbocharged V8 excitement with the Levante GTS ($125,490). On top of adding two cylinders and turning up the performance to 550 hp, standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, blue brake calipers, a perforated leather interior, 12-way power sport front seats with memory, a black leather sport heated steering wheel, aluminum paddle shifters, and inox sport pedals.
Finally, the Levante peaks at the Trofeo ($152,690) model. On top of its thrilling 580-hp rating, you get 22-inch wheels, blue brake calipers, interior contrast stitching, high gloss carbon fiber interior trim, and some of the same features found on the GTS model like inox sport pedals, aluminum paddle shifters, and 12-way power sport front seats with memory.
The Maserati Levante has not been rated for crash-worthiness by NHTSA or the IIHS.
Standard driver assistance features on every 2021 Levante include a backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot alert. Available safety tech on top of that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a surround-view camera, a Highway Assist System, active blind-spot assist, forward collision warning, and traffic sign recognition.
Behind the Wheel
It may not come as a big surprise considering its brand’s reputation, but the 2021 Maserati Levante is a thrill to drive. Its handling is better than most SUVs thanks to its low center of gravity and well-tuned suspension, but it never feels rough or uncomfortable in everyday driving.
The base engine is strong, but the upgraded V6 in the S model gives it some extra kick that makes it feel even more like a Maserati from the driver’s seat. If you have the appetite and the budget for the V8, you’ll be rewarded with tremendous acceleration with a 0-60 mph time of four seconds or less depending on the trim.
As for the interior, seating space is good in both rows, but the cargo area is a little tight. Also, the quality of the materials is pretty good, but a bit unimpressive when you consider the cost of this SUV. If you look at some similarly priced competitors from other luxury brands, you’ll find nicer materials and more features.
As enjoyable as this Maserati is, there’s no getting around the fact that the fuel economy of the Levante is among the worst in its class. If you want something practical with frugal fuel costs, this is not the SUV for you. If you’re looking for a satisfying blend of decent fuel economy and an engaging driving experience, that can be found elsewhere in this segment at a more affordable price point.
That said, if you want an SUV with performance and an exhaust note that is worthy of the Maserati trident in the grille, the Levante has a driving character that few can match.
Other Cars to Consider
2021 Porsche Cayenne — The Porsche Cayenne is another midsize two-row premium SUV with a focus on performance. The Cayenne is a bit more dialed-in and well-rounded than the Levante when it comes to combining genuine luxury, SUV versatility, and sports car-like performance in one well-executed SUV.
2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport — The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a more off-road-oriented SUV than the Levante and it’s available with three rows of seats. The high-performance supercharged V8 models are comparable to the V8-powered Levante trims, plus there are diesel and plug-in hybrid options.
2021 BMW X5 — The higher-end X5 models like the X5 M could be compared to the Maserati Levante. The X5 is a bit more versatile with more cargo space than the Levante, but it doesn’t quite have the same character or eye-catching look.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — Like the BMW, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class has higher-end models that are comparable to the Levante. The GLE-Class is available with three-row seating and the GLE 63 S is even more powerful than the Levante Trofeo.
Used Bentley Bentayga — The Bentley Bentayga has been around long enough that used examples can be found for around the same price as a new V8-powered Levante. The Bentayga is in the next level of luxury compared to the Levante while still delivering thrilling performance.
Used Mercedes-Benz G-Class — For something a little more rugged and less sleek, consider a used Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It has a strong lineup of engines and isn’t afraid of off-road adventures.
The 2021 Maserati Levante is a good midsize luxury SUV, but its value proposition is questionable when compared to competitors. If you don’t insist on V8 performance, the S model with the upgraded V6 over the base trim is the sweet spot for strong performance while keeping the price tag under $100k.
What’s great about the Levante is that you can pick your trim based on what you’re looking for in a high-end SUV. If flat-out performance is what you’re after, then take your pick of the two V8 models and customize it to your liking. If you’re willing to settle for the V6, the GranLusso and GranSport trims make it easy to prioritize luxury or sportiness, respectively. Find a 2021 Maserati Levante for sale