2019 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2018 Maserati Levante

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Levante doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac Escalade are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Maserati Levante has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Escalade and Levante have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Escalade has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Levante’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Escalade are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Levante doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Escalade has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Levante doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Levante doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escalade has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Levante doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Escalade and the Levante have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Cadillac Escalade weighs 599 to 1207 pounds more than the Maserati Levante. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Maserati covers the Levante. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Levante ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Escalade’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Levante’s (6/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Cadillac pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Escalade. Cadillac will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Maserati doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Levante.

There are almost 9 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Maserati dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade’s warranty.

Engine

The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 75 more horsepower (420 vs. 345) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 369) than the Levante’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 428) than the Levante S’ standard 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Escalade 4x4 gets better highway fuel mileage than the Levante with its standard engine (14 city/21 hwy vs. 14 city/20 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade’s fuel efficiency. The Levante doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac Escalade uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Levante requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade has 4.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Levante (26 vs. 21.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Escalade has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Levante doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac Escalade higher (3 out of 10) than the Maserati Levante (1). This means the Escalade produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Levante every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A ten-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac Escalade, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Levante.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade has larger standard tires than the Levante (275/55R20 vs. 265/50R19). The Escalade’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Levante (285/45R22 vs. 265/50R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the Levante. The Escalade’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Levante.

The Cadillac Escalade’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Maserati Levante only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Escalade has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Levante doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Escalade has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Levante, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Escalade has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Levante doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Levante.

Chassis

The Escalade uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Levante doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Escalade 4x4 is quieter than the Levante S:

 

Escalade

Levante

At idle

38 dB

51 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The Escalade offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Levante can only carry 5.

The Escalade has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 9.1 inches more front shoulder room, 4.4 inches more rear legroom and 8.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Levante.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Escalade’s middle row seats recline. The Levante’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Escalade’s cargo area provides more volume than the Levante.

 

Escalade

Levante

Third Seat Folded

51.6 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

19.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.2 cubic feet

57.3 cubic feet

The Escalade’s cargo area is larger than the Levante’s in every dimension:

 

Escalade

Levante

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

n.a./40.5”/74.5”

Min Width

49.3”

39.5”

Height

33.9”

n/a

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Escalade’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Levante doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Escalade’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Levante’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Levante’s (8100 vs. 6000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Escalade’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Levante has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Escalade offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Levante doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

On a hot day the Escalade’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Levante can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Escalade has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Levante doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Escalade has standard extendable sun visors. The Levante doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Escalade has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Levante.

The Escalade has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Levante doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escalade’s Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Levante doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Escalade is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Levante doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade first among large premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Levante isn’t in the top three.

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Maserati Levante by over four to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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