2023 Maserati Grecale – Practical & Remarkable


In a world of uninspiring crossovers, it is not easy to find a good-looking one with a character. Practicality and styling are two important words that don’t get along well, and for many brands, it is not easy to offer both in one platform. The 2024 Maserati Grecale is one of the few entries that offers unique styling with decent practicality and driving dynamics.

The Looks: Exterior & Interior

The Grecale debuted in 2023 as a totally new entry in the brand’s model lineup, but Maserati changed a few things including the customization program to make it look and feel a little more special than the competition. Either way, the new Grecale looks gorgeous and uniquely Maserati with a huge front grille and oval-shaped LED headlights.

Despite being a crossover, the Grecale has tons of curves with minimal sharp angles, there are no unpainted surfaces to make it look more rugged. There are not many design gimmicks except the three plastic pieces on the front fenders, it looks more like a raised hatchback. From the side profile, you won’t be able to find many sharp lines until you make your way to the back. The good thing is that it comes with actual quad exhaust tips to match the sporty character of the vehicle.

The Grecale’s interior offers an elegant and sporty experience with the latest tech available. The dashboard includes two digital screens for different purposes. The upper 12.3-inch screen is the only place you can use the latest Stellantis infotainment system, and the lower 8.8-inch screen only handles the HVAC, seat adjustment and other comfort-related controls but is not as customizable as the other screens in the interior.

The latest Stellantis infotainment is extremely informative and easy to use for the most part. Even though the Grecale is not a sports car, it still offers tons of information about the drivetrain and driving dynamics. I found the fonts are a little smaller, especially for older demographics, but the resolution and the screen quality are excellent. It comes with a 360 camera with decent camera resolution.

The black and red interior might not be for everyone, but it gives the Grecale a premium look and makes the car feel special. The dashboard is wrapped with leather and high-quality materials, and there is right amount of chrome and glossy surfaces. The steering wheel looks quite unique as you have the Start-Stop button located on the steering wheel, and the metal paddle shifters feel very sporty. The only gripe that I had was the button shifters, they make the dashboard look cleaner, but it is annoying to use especially when you do a 3-point turn.

If you are tired of reading about the screens, we are not done yet. We have four digital screens in the dashboard, including the digital gauge cluster and a round-shaped digital watch that can also be customized for different features such as the compass or different watch layouts. The 12.3-inch digital cluster is very customizable, I wish the screen resolution was a little better to compete with German entries, but I like the fact that you can choose a lot of different information and find the best layout based on your driving style.

The red leather looks very sporty but it also offers the right amount of comfort and side support. It is very easy to find the perfect position, as it offers a lot of adjustment options for the driver and the passenger, including adjustable side bolsters, thigh support, heated/ventilated seats as well as memory function. Unlike other luxury entries, everything is accessible through the lower main screen, so the driver can adjust the passenger seat if needed.

The Grecale offers a decent amount of legroom and headroom for the front seat passengers, and it is also not bad when larger adults sit in the back. The only problem would be using the middle row for longer periods. Installing a rear-facing child seat is not a big deal, and you don’t have to move the front passenger seat all the way to the front, larger adults can actually sit in front of it. There are also nice creature comforts for the rear passenger seats, such as air vents, USB ports, and HVAC controls for each side.

For a compact luxury crossover, there aren’t many things to brag about the overall cargo space. Due to the sloping roofline, vertical storage space is not that much. On the other hand, the Grecale offers 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is better than most German luxury entries. As expected, it comes with a power liftgate, and the rear seats can fold flat for maximum cargo space.

The Powertrain & Specs

The new Grecale comes with two internal combustion engine options, the lower GT and Modena trims come with 4-cylinder turbocharged engines, and the Trofeo trim comes with a turbo V6 engine. All engines are placed longitudinally, and they all come with a mild-hybrid drivetrain that helps smoothen the driving experience.

There is also a fully electric drivetrain called Folgore, which will be available in 2024. Our tester is the Modena trim, which comes with a higher output engine that generates around 325 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. All internal combustion engines are paired with a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission, which can also be controlled by giant paddle shifters, and power is routed to the wheels through the AWD system.

The Experience & Driving Impressions

The new Grecale offers a forgiving but sharp driving dynamics. Thanks to the electronic suspension and different driving modes, it can be a pillowy experience in Comfort mode, and can change it is character completely in Sport mode for spirited driving. Even in the sportiest setting, the Grecale is not punishing the driver and can absorb the road imperfections, but that also means that there is more body roll and it is less confidence-inspiring compared to heavy hitters in this segment, such as the Porsche Macan.

The Grecale really shines when you push it to its limits, the exhaust pops and crackles are fun to hear, and can be muted whenever needed. It feels quite fast on the straight line, but can also be entertaining on twisties thanks to its very rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. It can send up to 50% of the power to the front wheels, but the AWD system prioritizes rear wheels most of the time, which is the right way to do it from a performance standpoint. Of course, it is not a sports car replacement with the tiny 4-cylinder engine, but Maserati offers the Trofeo trim if you are looking for maximum performance.

What makes the Grecale unique is that it can just be a “performance-oriented” great daily driver with no compromises as a family vehicle. Unlike the Macan, it has a usable interior space, especially the rear seats. It is refined and composed on the highway, very nimble in the city with a smooth ride, and it responds obediently to steering inputs at lower and higher speeds. The steering feeling is not great, but the chassis is responsive and communicative with the driver.

The Verdict

It is not easy to choose the right SUV in a market where every brand has several different offerings. The 2023 Grecale starts at $85,200 and with all optional features and extras, it is not hard to go above the 6-figure threshold, which also makes it one of the most expensive entries in this segment. The Grecale Modena is a unique one with its distinctive styling, relatively more usable interior compared to other luxury entries, higher level of standard equipment and fun driving dynamics. The 4-cylinder turbo engine pushes significantly more horsepower than other 4-cylinder luxury entries, making the Grecale the most fun option in the entry-level luxury SUV market.

Engine2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission & Drivetrain8-speed automatic & all-wheel-drive
Max power (combined)325 hp @ 5750 rpm
Max torque (combined)332 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
0-100 km/h5.5 sec
Curb Weight4123 lbs – 1870 kg
Fuel Economy (observed)20 MPG – 11.6 L/100 km
Starting at (as tested)$109,350 CAD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *