New Maserati Grecale GT 2023 evaluation
You would possibly assume the Grecale is a bit late to the social gathering, however with customers nonetheless shopping for luxurious SUVs of all sizes of their hundreds, it could be silly for Maserati to let just a little tardiness cease it getting in on the enjoyable. Tech, luxurious and driving dynamics are all spectacular elements of the Grecale bundle, and it’s sprinkled liberally with Italian charisma, too. The important thing right here is that in contrast to the mid-spec Modena or the near-£100k Trofeo, this base GT mannequin has all of the allure with out a heinous price ticket.
In the event you’re one of many many automobile consumers within the UK that every 12 months decides to place your cash down on a midsize luxurious SUV, take notice. There’s now a brand new and distinctive Italian participant within the subject, the Maserati Grecale.
The Grecale is marketed as sitting on the top-end of its phase, primarily towards rivals just like the Porsche Macan and Vary Rover Velar. Maserati’s gone all-in on a mannequin which may lastly deliver some quantity and presence to the vary that has flattered to deceive up to now. We’ve already pushed the mid-level Grecale Modena, and now it’s the flip of the entry-level GT mannequin, which kicks off at £61,570.
Maserati would possibly market the Grecale as a Macan rival, however place the 2 facet by facet and also you’ll discover the Maserati’s really the larger automobile, with a barely bigger footprint and extra space contained in the cabin. The inside is an actual spotlight as a result of the Grecale feels genuinely luxurious, and we’re not simply speaking generic ‘premium SUV’ luxurious right here. The supplies used throughout the cabin, whether or not or not it’s on the seats, dashboard or door inserts, is all waxy, luxurious and extremely detailed. Different components that stand out embody the column-mounted aluminium paddle shifters and non-obligatory open-pore timber trim – components that reiterate how costly the Grecale feels.
Tech can also be remarkably good, with a slick dual-screen centre stack that’s fast to reply and straightforward to make use of when you’re in control, with the caveat that the decrease display screen’s features generally is a little fiddly to make use of on the transfer. The digital driver’s show is pretty commonplace however the brand new digital interpretation of Maserati’s clock is a pleasant shock, even when some would possibly really feel that it’s one other pointless train in digitisation. One component that didn’t go down significantly effectively is the push-button gear selector that bisects the 2 touchscreens – we like bodily buttons however for choosing gears this simply isn’t very intuitive.
The Grecale’s driving method is one acquainted to many trendy Italian vehicles, whether or not that be an Alfa Romeo or Ferrari. That is outlined by very mild and really quick steering – a mix that originally makes the Grecale really feel lighter and extra agile than it really is. This featherweight really feel is shared by the pedals, and even the door as you shut it behind you. It doesn’t make the Grecale really feel flimsy, quite delicate and light-weight. In contrast, Porsche typically goes down the precise reverse route in terms of the tactile components of the Macan, with heavy steering, pedals and a chunky bodily gear selector.
Underneath the Maserati Grecale’s sculpted bonnet sits a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a considerable mild-hybrid system backing it up. Moderately than simply streamlining the engine’s operations, there’s sufficient punch within the small electrical motor to do a comparatively good job of filling within the gaps in torque that the turbocharger can’t fairly get to. With 296bhp it’s not a fire-cracker, however then it’s stronger than Porsche’s 262bhp four-cylinder engine in its base Macan, and has extra charisma in addition. Efficiency is spectacular contemplating the comparatively subdued on-paper figures – the automobile hitting 62mph in simply 5.6 seconds.
Simply as within the Modena and Trofeo, a twist of the steering wheel-mounted drive mode selector will discover Sports activities mode which unlocks a sharper throttle, a extra noticeable enhance from the MHEV system and an exhaust flutter below onerous upshifts. It may not make you go any sooner, however helps underline the Grecale’s connection to its extra unique Maserati stablemates. The gearbox itself can also be excellent, with sharp shifts and clean operation. The all-wheel drive system additionally nonetheless feels fairly rear-biased in its torque supply, serving to the automobile come throughout as agile when powering out of tight corners.
Pootle round at regular speeds and the Grecale will match its quoted 30mpg-ish gasoline financial system determine, and whereas that is very removed from spectacular, most petrol-powered midsize SUVs within the class match that type of determine. Lastly, a phrase on the journey. This base GT mannequin options passive dampers on a coil-spring setup, and by and huge it’s a properly balanced association. The 20-inch wheels on our check automobile (19s are commonplace, 21s non-obligatory) appeared to discover a good understanding with the street floor and the compromise between physique management and low pace composure feels effectively judged, if a tad on the agency facet.
The place the Grecale hits the candy spot most precisely is in its sense of fashion, status and luxurious. Whereas some would possibly level out a sure resemblance to a well-liked compact crossover constructed by the blue oval from some angles, the Grecale has loads of street presence that consumers on this phase will lap up. There’s additionally the truth that many can be able to shift out of their Macans and Velars, vehicles that don;t have direct petrol-powered replacements on the playing cards, Maserati would possibly simply have this nonetheless in style area of interest all to itself.
|Mannequin:||Maserati Grecale GT|
|Engine:||2.0-litre 4 cyl turbo MHEV|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive|