Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Maserati Levante SUV - Engines, drive & performance

The Maserati Levante handles very well for a big SUV and is reasonably powerful

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

While there’s no way of completely disguising the much higher weight of SUVs compared to small sports cars, manufacturers are getting better at doing it. BMW in particular makes some very sweet-handling SUVs, such as the X3 and X5, and we can now add the Levante to that list.

It feels solid and planted on the road, with smooth, well judged steering and a suspension system that lets you feel what the wheels are doing. The Levante isn’t as good to drive as a Porsche Cayenne but it resists body lean well and feels agile for such a big car.

As well as being a good motorway tool, the Levante is capable of ‘waking up’ nicely when you want it to. There are four driving modes to choose from: Normal, Sport, Off-Road and ICE. The first three are self-explanatory, while the latter stands for ‘Increased Control and Efficiency’ and makes the Levante run as economically as possible.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In Sport mode, the accelerator becomes more responsive and the exhaust gets louder. A second click of the ‘Sport’ lowers and stiffens the suspension for the best possible handling on the kind of smooth, twisty open roads more commonly found in southern Europe than the British countryside.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

More reviews

Do note that the update Maserati gave the Levante in 2017 saw its hydraulic power steering setup replaced with an electronic one. While this configuration may bring incremental improvements in terms of economy, it also robs the Levante of much of its steering feel – an area where it previously impressed.

Petrol engine

The Levante was initially only offered with a diesel engine, but Maserati has since had a change of heart and now only sells its SUV with powerful petrol engines. The Levante S comes with a twin-turbo V6 3.0-litre petrol engine, which produces 424bhp and gets the car from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds. 

The V6 engine found in the Levante S was developed in conjunction with sister brand Ferrari. It accelerates rapidly, sounds appealing under acceleration and works well with the eight-speed automatic gearbox. It is, however, a little coarse at idle, and does not represent the slam dunk one might have expected it to.  

If that’s not quick enough, there’s also a V8 petrol engine with either 522 (GTS) or 572bhp (Trofeo). These scorch from 0-62mph in 4.3 and 4.1 seconds respectively, although the BMW X5 M Competition and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (which is £40,000 less expensive) are faster still.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
21 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers

New Audi e-tron GT now has 912bhp in RS Performance guise
Audi RS e-tron GT front quarter
News
17 Jun 2024

New Audi e-tron GT now has 912bhp in RS Performance guise

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024