2022 Maserati Levante Modena S

The powertrain, noise, feel and driving experience are exactly as expected for an exotic Italian brand.
The powertrain, noise, feel and driving experience are exactly as expected for an exotic Italian brand.

by Jon Pangindian | September 1, 2022


Little did I know that during my week with the 2022 Maserati Levante Modena S it would attract this much attention pretty much everywhere. Hats off to Maserati for building one of the most stunning midsize luxury sport utility vehicles on the market. While there are some high points in the Levante such as the exterior design and engine choices available, its weaknesses may make it a tough choice for buyers. The Levante is certainly a vehicle that people will absolutely love or hate.

In order to make all those wonderful noises in the Levante Modena S, under the hood is an engine derived from a Ferrari mill. Unlike its competitors, none can lay claim to sharing this level of pedigree. Make the most of this engine by dialing it up to Sport mode and using those massive paddles mounted to the column behind the steering  wheel. The engine screams when revved to redline and the exhaust note gets the adrenaline pumping. A competing Mercedes-Benz GLE or BMW X5 can only dream of sounding this good at full throttle.

The 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 pumps out a healthy 550 horsepower at 6,750RPM and 538 lb-ft. of torque at 2,500RPM. 0-100 km/h comes from a sprint in around 4.2 seconds. It’s an impressive number for a impressive for a 4,800-pound luxury crossover but not as quick as the BMW X5 M50i. The BMW will do the same run in under four seconds but with less drama or theater coming from the engine, a personality trait the Maserati has to its name.

The Levante GT comes standard with a boosted V6 pushing out 345 horsepower and the top of the line Trofeo beats out our Modena S with 580 horsepower from the same V8. Depending on your budget, you can get as crazy as you want. All Levantes come with Maserati’s Intelligent all-wheel-drive system. Active Air Suspension can be found underneath if you decide to fine tune ride quality for whatever the situation may be.

With a stiff ride and low-profile tires, expect to feel uneven road surfaces even left in Comfort mode. Switch things up to Sport and expect a more unforgiving ride but handling is dialed in. On ramps are eaten up with ease and the fun factor increases immensely. Of course, the worst challenges a Levante should face may be high levels of snow or unpaved driveways up in cottage country.

The exterior design is where Maserati has truly knocked it out of park. With a few nips and tucks made in 2021, very little was needed to improve this crossover’s looks. The only updates to be found are on the Maserati logo and trim badging now found by the side vents. The fascia is aggressive and sophisticated, and commands attention. The Giallo Modenese paint works well, and black 22-inch alloy wheels make the color pop even more and add to the overall look perfectly.

Where the Levante Modena S falls apart is the interior. The optioned Zenga Pelletessuta upholstery feels and looks like wicker. These do not give off a luxurious vibe and were pointed out by several passengers. The Stellantis switchgear and buttons shared with various Jeep and Dodge products are a let down. The infotainment system comes straight out of Stellantis products and with an 8.4-inch screen, it looks rather small when stacked up against its competitors. As good as it works, the Levante’s interior just doesn’t feel like a premium product.

This is where the Genesis GV80 proves that you don’t need to spend over $100,000 for a premium interior. Thankfully, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and connected each and every time the car was started. The Bowers & Wilkins sound system is better than average, but far from some of the best units out there from Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.

The Canadian pricing for the Levante Modena S starts at $142,500. Those looking for a more wallet friendly price tag but similar looks can opt for the entry level GT with the V6 starting at $105,200. Those looking for the top spec will choose the flagship Trofeo with its additional 30 horsepower, which rings in at $181,500. These are eye-popping numbers but when you consider the pedigree of the Maserati nameplate, it makes the pill much easier to swallow.

Buyers that are in the market for the Levante Modena S are not concerned about fuel efficiency and pretty much know what to expect with a big boosted V8 under the hood. City economy is rated at 17.4L/100km and highway at 12.0L/100km for a combined 15.0L/100km, expect to visit the pumps quite frequently. The 80-litre tank emptied quickly and requires 91-octane premium grade gasoline.

The 2022 Maserati Levante Modena S may fall behind its competitors when it comes to interior quality, technology and fuel economy, but it’s not all bad in the slightest. The powertrain, noise, feel and driving experience are exactly as expected for an exotic Italian brand. This thing has panache, and that’s something that none of the Levante’s German rivals can offer. The cool factor is there, and makes the Levante Modena S a winner.

See Also:

2020 Maserati Levante Trofeo

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e

2022 Genesis GV80 3.5T Prestige

Vehicle Specs
Midsize Luxury Crossover
Engine Size
3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
Horsepower (at RPM)
550 at 6,750
Torque (lb-ft.)
538 at 2,500
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé