An Experience, with a capital E, that’s Maserati for you. The almighty Levante Trofeo Edition is the ultimate.
Given the top-end money that a few buyers can afford, even at nearly £150,000 (including a jaw-dropping £17,280 for the Rosso Magma paint on the test car), the price is arguably of no relevance…got the money, want the car. (And there are some colours even pricier.)
Consequently, there’s no point in suggesting to a would-be Maser purchaser that they could get a similar car for half the price.
No, that’s not what the Levante Trofeo is about. What it IS about is the way it performs and the way it sounds.
The Trofeo engine is a 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8. It produces 580 bhp at 6250rpm. Heady stuff! In launch mode, engaged by selecting the Sport Corsa switch on the central console, you’re slingshotted to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds. A massive 730 Nm of torque is on tap from 2500 rpm, so foot-hard-down means huge overtaking power.
The official WLTP combined fuel consumption figure is 16.0 mpg; at the end of our week, the consumption was indicated at 16.9 mpg.
Maserati also details its braking performance, claiming that the Levante will stop from 62 mph in a mere 34.5 metres. The actual feeling is almost as exhilarating as the acceleration: eye-popping…especially considering that the car’s kerb weight is a hefty 2170 kg.
All traction is handled by Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-wheel-drive system, similar to that of so many other manufacturers; if you must, you can take the Levante Trofeo at quite silly speeds along tight, twisty roads, without straying from your lane, although this is not a recommended procedure on public roads. At such times, the steering reveals the car’s heftiness, but in the correct way, which is to say that it is never a burden but it’s feeding you proper information.
One of the joys of our week in the Levante was that the semi-autonomous features did not automatically deploy: LKA (Lane Keeping Assist) did not, therefore, keep beeping and nudging the steering wheel. I have no objection to such systems, but they should not be the default setting.
The Levante Trofeo was on huge 22” wheels shod with Continental tyres. The ride was supple and the usual challenges of UK roads were generally well dealt with.
Depending on the drive mode selected, ‘Normal’ being my usual go-to, the ride height would subtly adjust.
‘Sport Corsa’ is of course the real fun bit — there’s that performance in which the engine hangs on to higher revs and the NOISE! Aural engineering is probably as important a factor as anything else in the Levante Trofeo’s appeal. There’s this glorious high-revs howl that’s intoxicating and addictive.
The 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is faultless and huge paddles allow you to play with it…rewarding Sport Corsa selection with apparent downshift vintage double-declutching exhaust blipping. Delicious!
Let’s not get all worked up about all that high-tech infotainment in Maserati Connect. Anyone can do that. Its controls are pleasantly tactile.
Its interior is beautifully finished. As a family SUV, it of course has fold-down rear seats and a capacious boot.
Our test Levante Trofeo, yes, with all its trice-applied paint and other ‘FuoriSerie’ features (that translates from the mellifluous Italian into a rather mundane ‘custom-built’ in English) came out at £149,610. But who am I to judge whether it’s worth it?
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
A buyer’s rule of thumb for all Suzuki cars should be this: “The bigger and more expensive they come…
Honda’s HR-V, one of the original compact SUVs, has come a long way over the past 20-something years…
Why Stonic? As a name for a car, it buzzes with unfortunate associations. Why not go the whole hedge…