Make and model: Maserati Grecale
Description: Midsize SUV
Price range: from £61,570 (plus options)
Maserati says: “The new Maserati Grecale SUV is ‘The Everyday Exceptional’: with the right balance between sportiness and elegance, it inaugurates a new segment for the Brand.”
We say: The Grecale is a great addition to Maserati’s model range, offering a practical luxury car that’s very competitive on space for passengers and luggage.
Maserati’s mid-size SUV is finally here, entering into an extremely competitive market. Launched at the end of 2022, the Grecale certainly fits Maserati’s modern image with a touchscreen focused interior, elegant styling and plenty of space.
Following on from the larger Levante SUV, the Grecale is tasked with significantly increasing Maserati’s sales numbers and profitability. It joins a number of premium mid-size SUVs in the marketplace, such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X3/X4 and Jaguar F-Pace.
An all-electric model is planned for the UK later in the year which will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model Y, BMW iX3 and Genesis Electrified GV70.
As of June 2023, media reviews of the Maserati Grecale have earned the car an overall Expert Rating of 61% on The Car Expert’s award-winning Expert Rating Index. The launch of a new electric version will likely produce more reviews later in the year so this rating could well move up or down a few points.
What is the Maserati Grecale?
The Grecale is Maserati’s answer to the Porsche Macan. It’s a mid-size luxury SUV that sits below the larger Levante in Maserati’s lineup. Whilst this segment of the market has grown considerably over the past few years, Maserati is fairly late to the party with its offering for this class. But this doesn’t mean it’s not a strong contender to take on its German rivals.
Something of a tradition for Maserati, the Grecale is named after a famous Mediterranean wind. But look past the name and it’s a luxury family car or, thanks to its ride height, an upmarket alternative that’s easier to get in and out of than a saloon.
Cars in this class tend to carry a family resemblance to their siblings. From the outside, the Grecale is clearly inspired by the Levante but gets a different headlight design. The two models don’t feel drastically different in cabin space, so it doesn’t seem like you’re missing out on a great deal of room by opting for the Grecale.
The ride height makes it easily accessible, which is especially useful for passengers in the back or helping children into car seats. It’s practical but the luxury touches throughout make it a desirable car to spend time in.
We like: An attractive alternative to popular manufacturers
We don’t like: Too close to the Levante for comfort?
What do you get for your money?
The entry level GT trim starts from about £61.5k, rising to just under £68k for the Modena and a smidge under £100k for the Trofeo spec. For a car in this class, the Grecale starts from around £10k more than rivals like the BMW X4 and Range Rover Velar. As always, the top-spec version is the priciest and arguably an unnecessary sporty upgrade for a car that’s not a sports car.
An all-electric version dubbed the Grecale Folgore is expected later in the year, so expect prices for that to be considerably higher. Until then, there’s a choice of a 2.0-litre petrol engine (with a bit of mild hybrid assistance) or the 3.0-litre petrol V6 engine as found in the MC20 sports car.
The Grecale hasn’t yet been tested by Euro NCAP to establish its safety credentials, but some tech such as automatic emergency braking comes as standard. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control are all part of an optional driver assistance pack, which is around £2,500 on top.
A three-year warranty comes with the vehicle, as well as the opportunity to enter an extend that for a fourth year at extra cost.
We like: Choice of petrol or (soon) electric power
We don’t like: Too much safety equipment is optional rather than standard
What’s the Maserati Grecale like inside?
It’s suitably swanky inside, effortlessly oozing the luxury feeling with comfy leather seats, soft touch materials and a solid central screen. The main touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Another smaller screen juts out towards the bottom of the main touchscreen, which houses the climate controls. Annoyingly, it’s easy to brush your hand on this section when using the main screen and accidentally change the temperature or volume settings.
Between the two screens sits the gear selector buttons, so it makes you look around for a gear stick until you get used to this placement. Instead, it frees up space between the driver and passenger for cupholders and an armrest.
In terms of practicality, there are Isofix points in the rear seats. Passengers in the rear have plenty of head and leg room, even with a taller driver up front. Indeed, the decent levels of space in all directions make the larger Levante look rather inefficient.
We like: High quality materials add to premium feel
We don’t like: Over sensitive climate control screen
What’s under the bonnet?
GT and Modena trims get the same 2.0-litre petrol engine but Modena gets a slightly more powerful iteration. Both come with mild hybrid assistance, which gives a small boost to performance and economy but doesn’t allow for electric-only running. All specs are paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and there are paddles behind the steering wheel to change gears manually. The top-spec Trofeo shares its 3.0-litre V6 engine with Maserati’s new MC20 supercar, but the power is toned down for the SUV.
From Modena to Trofeo, power jumps up by 200hp, which makes the Trofeo louder and much quicker off the line. The next version of the Grecale will be the fully electric Folgare (Italian for ‘lightning’), which is expected to arrive in a few months.
The mild hybrid tech helps the four-cylinder Grecales achieve around 31mpg, while the Trofeo gets about 25mpg. This sort of fuel economy range is pretty par for the course for mid-size luxury SUVs, but better fuel economy can be achieved with something like a plug-in hybrid Range Rover Velar.
What’s the Maserati Grecale like to drive?
The minor power difference between the GT and Moderna means the entry-level model is a good pick. Its hybrid engine smooths out the ride but there’s a little lag off the line if you plant your foot hard. For gentle cruising, all versions of the Grecale are more than capable.
Top-spec Trofeo is more vocal with its 530hp V6 engine and more pleasing for enthusiastic drivers. Thanks to four-wheel drive as standard, all versions feel grippy and handle well around windy country roads. Inside, road noise is the only sound that reaches the cabin but this is pretty minimal.
The electric power steering firms up the faster you go so it’s very responsive, taking very little input to change lanes. At slow speeds, steering is lighter which makes it easy to manoeuvre the vehicle in tight car parks. Front and rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera, come as standard on all specs. A 360-degree camera system can be added as an optional extra.
Most of the functions are housed in the central screen, which can be a little distracting to use whilst on the move. But when the driving mode changes it shows on the screen and there’s a dedicated area that explains how the driving dynamics have been tweaked for that mode. A graph shows levels of: responsiveness, stiffness, efficiency, acceleration and electronic controls.
We like: Relaxed driving experience and power when you need it
We don’t like: Echoey indicator noise
The Grecale fits seamlessly into the luxury SUV market, filling out Maserati’s model line up to offer a good alternative to German brands. It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of practicality, up-market feel and good tech.
However, rivals still have the Grecale beaten on price and more efficient engines as some offer plug-in hybrids. It’s a little disappointing that safety equipment like blind-spot monitoring doesn’t come as standard considering the price point.
If you’re looking for something a little different than the usual fare, the Maserati Grecale is definitely worth some consideration. It’s a relaxing space to be in if your daily commute involves motorway driving or a lot of sitting in traffic.
If you’re looking at the Maserati Grecale, you might also be interested in these alternatives.
Model tested: Maserati Grecale Trofeo
Price as tested: £107,605
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 twin turbo
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 530 hp
Torque: 620 Nm
Top speed: 177 mph
0-62 mph: 3.8 seconds
CO2 emissions: 254 g/km
Euro NCAP safety rating: Not yet tested
TCE Expert Rating: 61% (as of June 2023)
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