It seems like a small thing: a lefthand turn at a lightless intersection in Fredericksburg, Virginia. But in many respects, this moment defines the capabilities of the 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo SUV. The Trofeo is a new version of the Levante SUV, with side air-intakes that hint at a powerful twin-turbo V8-engine with 590 horsepower built by Ferrari. The Trofeo accelerates like a cannon: zero to 60mph in just 3.9 seconds. And in that moment in Fredericksburg, it’s as if the Trofeo instinctively understands the need for speed and agility, delivering a quick roar of acknowledgement before taking the corner with ease—and speed.
No matter where in the world you’re driving, you may feel like you’re in Italy when behind the wheel of the opulent Levante Trofeo. The exterior styling is distinctly Italian, with a silhouette that flows from an imposing Trident-sporting grille and front feline headlights, to frameless doors and a muscular rear haunch for an overall look that evokes a coupe.
Once in the driver’s seat, the start/stop button isn’t where some may expect, as it’s low and left of the steering wheel. And when you reach for the shifter, you’ll soon realize that “Corso” is Italian for sport-mode. A Sport Skyhook button on the center console makes the suspension stiffer for a sportier ride that can be used in conjunction with the Corso mode. The Trofeo is an all-wheel-drive SUV but, most of the time, engine power is geared toward the rear wheels until slippery roads or hard cornering and acceleration prompt an instantaneous shift of torque to the front wheels. That rear wheel bias is one reason the Trofeo is so quick.
Driving from Fredericksburg to Chancellorsville—a 30 minute drive with usual traffic—gave us a lot of seat time in the Trofeo, and it remained a comfortable experience. The headroom in the Trofeo is extraordinarily generous: if you’re tall, this is an appealing SUV. Interior styling is attractive and the new Pieno Fiore leather is buttery to the touch—plus there’s a variety of trims to choose from. The Trofeo comfortably seats five and the rear cargo space is more than ample.
The infotainment system is managed via an eight-inch touchscreen that’s simple to use. Music-lovers will appreciate the optional Bowers + Wilkins sound system not only for its deserved reputation for musicality but for its technical ability to scan compressed music files and restore sonic details for improved high-fidelity.
Another great option is a soft door-close mechanism that quietly and automatically does the job without the need for slamming, while ensuring those in the backseats haven’t inadvertently left a door ajar.
The Maserati Levante Trofeo starts at $169,980 and is available for purchase.