Maserati is getting ready to launch its electrified future, which will see the brand transition to a fully electric lineup by 2030. Fortunately that’s still a few years away and so in the meantime we get to enjoy all the glory of the V8-powered Levante Trofeo.
The 2022 Maserati Levante Trofeo stands out with its muscular styling and bright color options, like our tester that showed up in the a very noticeable Urban Green. With its sharp creases and sloping roofline, the Levante Trofeo is a stylish SUV, but we are more excited about is what’s under the hood.
The Maserati Levante Trofeo is powered by a Ferrari-built twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that generates 580 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. The V8 is gem. Why? For starters each of the twin-scroll turbochargers gets a dedicated intercooler. Maserati gave the V8 a few other upgrades over the version in the Quattroporte GTS, like a redesigned cylinder head.
The V8 is super responsive, without any turbo lag and a flat power band. The V8 also loves to rev up to its 6,700 rpm redline. All that power is sent to all four-wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. In normal mode, the transmission does a pretty good job of finding the right gear, but it becomes more responsive in the Sport and Corsa drive modes.
The Levante Trofeo can accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 187 mph. It literally begs to be driven hard. We also can’t ignore the excellent soundtrack that Levante Trofeo puts out with the perfect melody belting out of the tailpipes. You can also dial up the sound when you put the Levante in Corsa mode.
Moving past the powertrain, the Levante Trofeo’s chassis has a lot more sport than you’d expect in an SUV. It’s steering is perfect and fast, while body roll is kept to a minimum. We do have a few qualms with the Levante’s air suspension. In default mode the ride feels unsettled with it being too floaty, sometimes and too harsh during other times. The good news is that the Sport and Trofeo modes tighten up the suspension settings. If you’ve finally gotten the hint, we really like driving the Levante Trofeo with its drool worthy V8 and great driving dynamics. But sadly there are some areas where the Levante needs some upgrades.
The Levante Trofeo isn’t going to win any fuel efficiency competitions with its less than stellar 13 mpg city and 20 mpg highway rating.
Moving inside, there’s an 8.4-inch touchscreen, which runs a modified version of Stellantis’ Uconnect system, but it’s called the Maserati Touch Control Plus. The infotainment system does nearly everything well, but it does look a bit dated compared to the larger screens you’ll find in the Levante’s rivals.
The interior materials aren’t generally what you would expect from an SUV with a price tag over $160k. The leather on the seats and dash looks great and the Alcantara headliner is nice, but they are overshadowed by some other parts that look a bit cheap. The plastic around the center console doesn’t feel very luxurious and we could do without the carbon-fiber trim. Look even closer and you’ll see some other hand-me-downs from Stellantis, like its windshield wiper stalk and window switches, which just cheapen the overall experience. They seriously look like they were pulled out of a 10 year old Dodge.
The Levante Trofeo may be a sports car under the skin, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t double as a family vehicle. There’s plenty of room in both rows with ample legroom and headroom for everyone. The only downside of the Levante’s sloping roofline is that there isn’t a lot of cargo space in the Levante, at 20.5 cubic feet, which is lower than its rivals.
The pricing for the 2022 Maserati Levante Trofeo starts at $157,695, including destination. That price can easily sky rocket from there especially if you choose the Rosso Magma color that adds an additional $17k. With nearly every option checked, the price of the Levante Trofeo can easily crest $170k.
At the end of the day, the Levante Trofeo is a great sport SUV with its luscious engine and engaging driving experience. We’ll have to wait and see if Maserati can keep this same magic when it transitions to its fully electric lineup.