With the introduction of the 2023 Maserati Grecale, the brand fields a compact luxury SUV for the first time.
Competing in one of the most competitive automotive market segments, the new Grecale battles with such stalwarts as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT4, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan.
Officials are hoping that a healthy dose of standard equipment, exceptional performance and a lack of aggressive pricing will enhance its appeal while ensuring its exclusivity, as its starting price of $63,500 is at the higher end of the class.
The Grecale is a five-seat SUV that’s built on Stellantis’ Georgio architecture that also underpins the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. But that’s where the commonality ends. Maserati is lessening its dependence on Ferrari powerplants; its own engines power the Grecale.
The new SUV is offered in a trim walk now standard across the entire Maserati line: base GT, mid-level Modena, and top-of-the-line Trofeo. The first two are hybrids, the third is the high-performance model powered by the MC20’s Nettuno V-6 engine.
The Grecale will get an all-electric Folgore version in fall 2023.
However, the first vehicles being offered by Maserati are limited edition “PrimaSerie Launch Editions” with 21-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive air suspension with adaptive damping, 14-speaker Sonus Faber sound system and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
The tacky styling details that plague some SUVs are noticeably absent here, lending the vehicle a sophisticated, adult aesthetic. It’s sleek shape and athletic stance give it a properly sporting, upscale appeal.
The Grecale greets you with a massive Maserati grille appropriated from the MC20, and wears its classic trident badge and triple portholes on the fenders. It’s a sportier, more aggressive look than the larger Levante SUV. But the Grecale does co-opt the Levante’s overall form and window shapes. Its soft beltline is supple, yet strong, lending a timeless appeal to its overall appearance.
Walk around the back of the Grecale, and you’ll find boomerang taillights that get their shape from the boomerang headlights used on the Maserati 3200 GT concept car designed by Italdesign Giugiaro. Trofeo models are distinguished by their dual exhaust, while Modena and Trofeo models get a 1.3-inch wider rear track.
Maserati boasts the new Grecale has best-in-class head and leg room, although it hasn’t supplied any numbers to back up the claim. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of space for corn-fed Americans both front and rear, and feels larger than many competitors.
Trim materials are posh, with matte open pore wood and sumptuously stitched leather with an intoxicating aroma and energetic stitch pattern that give it a modern vibe. The cabin has a layered feel thanks to the interplay of design and materials.
The interior gets four screens, including a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a clock whose face can be changed to compass, or other readouts. Below it, dual screens reside on a bent base separated by the transmission buttons. This allowed designers to provide ample storage space on the center console for a wireless charger, covered bins and cupholders that can’t hold cups or thermoses with a really wide base.
The front bucket seats are well bolstered with seat bottom cushions that have manual extensions for longer-legged drivers. It’s quite spacious, and cargo room is generous, with 19 cubic feet of storage space with the folding rear seats in use.
As in many Maserati models, there’s a choice of two powertrains. GT and Modena trims get a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a 48-volt mild hybrid system that develops 300 horsepower in the GT, and 330 hp in the Modena, which the automaker expects to be the Grecale’s most popular trim.
Trofeos receive a revised version of the MC20’s Nettuno 6-cylinder engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo mill that produces a whopping 530 hp. An 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard.
While the EPA hasn’t released fuel economy figures, our mixed city/highway/suburban driving loop returned 28 mpg.
Accompanying both powerplants is Vehicle Dynamic Control Module, or VDCM, that controls the character of the vehicle’s different systems through five different drive mode settings: Comfort, GT, Sport, Corsa (Trofeo only), and Off-Road. When paired with the Grecale’s air suspension and adaptive dampers, which are standard on the Trofeo and optional elsewhere, the VDCM has significant control over this vehicle’s character.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the Grecale. Nor has Maserati released specific details on the driver assistance safety features the Grecale will offer, although you expect it to include the usual systems.
When it comes to tech, the Grecale is up to date, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen that uses the latest version of the Maserati Intelligent Assistant, or MIA, infotainment software that uses an Android Auto operating system. MIA allows each driver to build their own profile, not just with music choices but with vehicle settings such as temperature and seat and mirror positions. The system allows for two smartphones to connect to Bluetooth simultaneously, as well as use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 8.8-inch screen below it controls the rest of the car’s functions, including ride height, climate control, seat heating and ventilation and other vehicles functions. The screen initially seems busy, but quickly proves easy and quick to use. A head-up display is optional.
A 1,200-watt, 21-speaker Sonus faber audio system is standard, and provides very impressive sound, some of the best in any car, at any price.
While we spent most of our time driving a Grecale Modena, we also had the chance to drive the Grecale Trofeo. And while they may look similar, they feel like two different cars. The Modena is a great GT car, with atheltic and quick when you need it and quietly comfortable when you require it.
The Trofeo is a different beast. It constantly growls and burbles, unleashing ferocious speed at the drop of the throttle. Reaching 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds, about 1.5 seconds quicker than other Grecales. But its ride is noticeably harsher than the Modena’s.
But the Modena is easier to live with as a daily driver, its comfort coming though no matter the sporty shenanigans you’re indulging in. Part of the credit goes to the steering, which is accurate, communicative and well weighted. But another is just the Grecale’s overall demeanor; it feels engaging enough to make you want to shift manually through its column-mounted shift paddles. But the ZF is very adept at negating the necessity, especially in Sport mode. Speaking of Sport mode, flipping between the various driving modes lends the Grecale a noticeably different character, especially with the adaptive dampers and air suspension.
Best of all, the all-wheel-drive system favors the rear wheels in Sport mode, so you can make the tail wag when needed.
2023 Maserati Grecale Modena specifications
|Dimension||L: 190.8 inches/W: 77.9 inches/H: 65.6 inches/Wheelbase: 114.2 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||Not rated|
|Performance Specs||330 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $64,995, including $1,495 destination charge; As tested: Not available.|
|On-Sale Date||Fall 2022|
The 2023 Maserati Grecale is the sporty Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s GT cousin. A bit more polished and with a far nicer interior the Grecale is the perfect compromise between and comfort delivered with the perfect level of luxury. No, it’s not cheap, but Maserati is chasing class production, not mass production.
2023 Maserati Grecale — Frequently Asked Questions
How much will the Maserati Grecale cost?
The 2023 Maserati Grecale starts at $63,500, plus $1,495 destination charge, options and taxes.
Who owns Maserati now?
Stellantis N.V., formed in 2021 in a merger between Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam.
What is the Maserati logo?
The Maserati logo, a white trident on a blue background, symbolizes Neptune’s trident at Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. The Maserati logo was first introduced in 1926 by the Maserati brothers.