Updated: 4 days ago
Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at MikeHagertyCars.com are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical. Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days. Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during last month's Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Half Moon Bay, California.
Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.
Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at our host hotel, the Aristocrat, down Highway 1 to Highway 84, onto Stage Road (named for the former stagecoach stop still---but barely---standing on the corner), past the historic (since 1889), socially-aware and only-in-Northern-California funky San Gregorio General Store, through some marvelous twists and turns that lead back to Highway 1 and ultimately back to the hotel.
At the hotel, support teams from Page One Automotive and DriveShop sanitize the vehicles as they return while journalists choose their next vehicle from a total of 20 cars, trucks and SUVs provided by their manufacturers. This goes on for eight hours on day one, minus a 90-minute lunch break, and for three hours on day two.
My first drive on day one was the 2022 Maserati Levante Trofeo.
While a lot of excitement is focused on the new MC20 supercar, we're living in an SUV world, and the Levante is an important product, especially here in the U.S.
Of the four models of Levante available (GT, Modena, Modena S and Trofeo), the Trofeo is the powerhouse, with a 580-horsepower, 538 lb-ft V8 putting power down through all four wheels and knocking off 0-60 runs in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 187 miles per hour. Those are numbers that, apart from 0-60, I didn't even attempt to verify, but they feel absolutely realistic.
The 2022 Maserati Levante Trofeo has a base price of $160,900. A lot of that is the engine. The Levante GT, with two fewer cylinders and 235 fewer horses, begins at $84,700. But choosing the Trofeo also means getting a lot of what the GT offers as optional equipment standard---and some significant upgrades in cabin materials.
Unfortunately, we don't have a window sticker to tell us exactly what on this particular Levante Trofeo was standard equipment, what was optional and how much the total is. A reasonable guess, given the base price, is somewhere north of $170,000. Yes, there are a lot of high-powered SUVs on the market right now for that much money or a bit less. But Maserati's unique selling proposition is its Italian approach to styling, luxury and passion.
Based on our experience in October of 2019 with a Levante S GranSport on the old TireKicker site, we'd love a week in this '22 Levante Trofeo to get a full review done.