In terms of driving, it’s very similar to the previous model year; this should come as little surprise, given these are largely cosmetic updates. Which isn’t really a bad thing.
Maserati views itself as a maker of grand tourers rather than sports cars, and the Levante has been designed as an SUV in this style, capable of both refined, luxurious comfort and fast, sporting performance.
The increased effort to differentiate the GranSport and GranLusso trims reflects this, with GranSport gaining some new exterior features, a matt black grille and some sporty carbonfibre panelling inside. Meanwhile, GranLusso gains its own exterior elements, including more chrome on the grille.
That said, the interior feels solid and well-built but still lacks the grandeur of some rivals. And, while the 8.4in infotainment touchscreen does have new graphics, they can’t disguise the fact that the unit isn't as large, shiny or intuitive to use as systems offered by rivals.
The Levante’s standard air springs do well to roll along with reasonably fluency, while still offering a decent level of driving feel and response. And the 424bhp petrol engine, while mostly offering quiet cruising, is capable of a satisfying roar when called upon — the sort of aural theatre you’d hope for and expect from a Ferrari-powered Maserati.
The revamped gearstick might seem like a trivial change, but it does offer a more satisfying feel, and moving the parking brake switch to the top of it frees up room for a revamp of the drive mode buttons on the centre console. Off-road mode gets its own button — one that Levante owners are likely to never press, but will like to know is there — as well as switches for ICE (Increased Control and Efficiency) and Sport modes.
There’s also a separate switch to activate the Skyhook sport suspension, which lowers the car by 20mm and stiffens the ride. Having the freedom to easily operate that independently of the Sport drive mode (which offers faster gearshifts, a more aggressive throttle map and more engine noise) does make it easier to find a satisfying balance of ride and performance.
We also sampled the diesel-engined Levante that, unless pushed hard, lacks the soundtrack you’d hope for from a Maserati and doesn’t match the petrol in the performance stakes either.