The 2023 Maserati Grecale is poised to become the most important vehicle the Italian carmaker sells. It’s not only looking to compete in a thriving luxury SUV segment but also trying to reshape Maserati’s image as a high-end vehicle manufacturer. Over the last few years, Maserati has stated that it plans to correct longstanding quality and reliability issues with an updated lineup. And the Grecale, alongside the MC20, is one of the first products of this new era.
That’s a lot of weight for a small SUV to carry. Yet the Grecale is well-equipped to take on the challenge. It combines a simple-yet-stylish exterior, a quiet, well-trimmed cabin, and a plush ride to deliver a competitive driving experience. This Modena trim won’t grab headlines like the 523-horsepower Trofeo, but it’ll likely be the model’s volume seller, given its $74,395 base price and available option packs. It may not be as athletic as a Porsche Macan, but the Grecale arrives as a strong contender in a crowded segment.
|Engine||Turbocharged 2.0-Liter Inline Four With 48 Volt Mild Hybrid|
|Output||325 Horsepower / 332 Foot-Pounds|
|0-60 MPH||5.0 Seconds|
A Familiar Face
The Grecale may be an all-new model, but it carries an unmistakable Maserati aesthetic. Take its wide front grille, prominent side air intakes, and small angular headlights as examples. Its front fenders even feature triple side vents, a detail the carmaker has used consistently since the 1940s. The Grecale’s rear is restrained by modern standards. For example, you won’t find a massive LED lightbar joining its tail lights. Instead, it employs simple styling cues like a small roof-mounted spoiler and a subtle gloss black diffuser flanked by quad tailpipes.
Even its standard 20-inch machine-polished trident wheels wrapped in Pirelli All-Season tires fit nicely without drawing too much attention. The Grecale’s design is uncluttered, giving it a more simple and elegant vibe rather than coming across as just a flashy luxury SUV. I can appreciate its subtleness, especially given how well it flies under the radar, but buyers looking for flare from their daily driver may be slightly disappointed. The $106,995 Trofeo and its angular bumpers and added aero components should fill that role nicely, albeit at a much higher price point.
The Grecale rides on Stellantis’ Giorgio platform, which also underpins the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Dimensionally, it splits the difference between a Macan and a Cayenne. It’s 190.8 in long, 77.9 in wide, and 65.5 in tall. This makes it 4-in longer and nearly 2-in wider than a Macan but 3-in shorter and almost the same width as a Cayenne.
The size split yields an excellent footprint, delivering competitive cargo space at 18.9 cubic feet and a cabin that feels roomy without wasted space. Crucially, the Grecale achieves this size while retaining a relatively low stance, adding to its sporty aesthetic.
A Mild-Mannered Ride
In Modena form, the 2023 Maserati Grecale counts on a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine alongside a 48-volt mild hybrid system. It’s the same powertrain as in the base Grecale GT, except that power is up to 325 hp from 296 hp while the 332 pound-feet of torque figure remains unchanged. Regardless of trim level, all Grecales count on an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
While the Modena delivers healthy power figures and a quick 5.0-second run to 60 mph, it doesn’t feel speedy in the real world. A Porsche Macan S, which starts at about the same money, is lighter and more powerful, delivering a straight-line punch that the Modena can’t match. That said, the Grecale’s eight-speed auto moves through gears quickly, making good use of the available power for effortless commuting. Despite lagging at lower revs, its four-cylinder is happy to rev and makes an excellent throaty noise with plenty of pops while doing so.
On the suspension front, the Modena comes standard with active shocks and steel springs, although the Trofeo’s air springs are optional. Maserati developed its Vehicle Dynamic Control Module, a derivative of the MC20’s Chassis Domain Control Module, specifically for the Grecale. It allows for five drive modes: Comfort, GT, Sport, Race, and Off-Road, and generally switches the Grecale’s character as you move between them.
The Modena excels in Comfort and GT modes. Whether on long highway drives or crossing pothole-filled city streets, its suspension calibration dampens road imperfections without unwanted cabin movement or vibrations. Move up to Sport or Race, and it’ll stiffen slightly, but not to the point of spoiling its ride. A consequence of this plushness is that the Grecale isn’t an athlete in the bends. It rolls and understeers, but this is a worthwhile tradeoff for an SUV destined for commuting.
The Grecale doesn’t transfer much feedback through its electric power steering system or brakes. Both components are effective but not communicative, resulting in a somewhat disconnected and mild-mannered driving experience. The Grecale is stylish and comfortable but not particularly exciting. It delivers a similar experience to competitors from Mercedes-Benz or BMW but struggles to distinguish itself from a driving perspective.
Major Cabin Improvements
Inside is where the Grecale excels most. Its cabin isn’t just an improvement over the Levante, Ghibli, or Quattroporte. It’s a massive leap forward. Its major contact points feature excellent leather trim contrasted by dark gray stitching and high-gloss black surfaces. While the Grecale shares components with other Stellantis products, it isn’t immediately apparent. This cabin feels purpose-built for a Maserati product because, finally, it is.
On the tech side, the Grecale gets a 12.3-in digital instrument cluster with a matte finish and a 12.3-in glossy upper infotainment screen with a second 8.8-in display below it. Like many competitors, the Grecale’s interior is virtually devoid of physical buttons, an unfortunate industry trend. However, thanks to the addition of its second screen, all its significant controls are always within reach. There’s never a need to dig between menus to make basic adjustments.
This Modena tester came equipped with the $3,100 Diver Assistance Plus Package. It adds active driving assist, adaptive cruise control, lane management, blind spot monitoring, and intelligent speed assist. Its active driving assist system works well for longer drives, keeping the Grecale centered in the lane without bouncing between the lines.
A major factor as to why this Grecale’s cabin feels and looks high quality is the $3,700 Premium Package which adds heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, and 14-way adjustable sport seats. With these two boxes ticked, the Grecale can go toe to toe with any competitor regarding features or quality, an impressive feat for a new contender in a crowded segment.
|Model||Base Price (Including $1,495 Destination Fee)|
The 2023 Maserati Grecale is currently available in three flavors, the $66,795 GT, the $74,395 Modena, and the range-topping $106,995 Trofeo. All three base prices include a $1,495 destination fee. My Modena tester is well-optioned, and thanks to extras like its $3,700 Premium Package, $3,100 Driver Assistance Plus Package, and $1,100 Techssistance Package, it carries an $88,295 as-tested price.
As with its dimensions, the Grecale fits between the $58,950 Macan and $73,650 Cayenne from a price perspective too. However, this Maserati costs significantly more than competitors like the $44,545 Volco XC40, $47,195 BMW X3, or $44,275 Genesis GV70 despite offering similar features. Although it’s worth pointing out that these rivals all have smaller footprints.
A lot is riding on the 2023 Maserati Grecale, and thankfully, it excels in crucial areas. Its styling, although restrained, is elegant while retaining a sporty aesthetic. Its cabin is likely the best the carmaker has produced in over a decade, and with excellent tech and safety features, it’s competitive. What sets the Grecale apart, however, is its footprint, which represents an almost ideal size for a daily SUV. It’s large enough to accommodate a family without being necessarily large.
That said, the Grecale struggles when the road gets twisty. While its suspension yields a plush ride around town, it rolls in the bends. And with its muted steering, it’s not as exciting as some competitors. The Maserati Grecale’s arrival highlights just how competitive its segment has become. While it may not be the most athletic option, the Modena makes a strong case for itself as a properly luxurious and comfortable SUV with a spot-on size and beautiful shape.