With a wink to its past and a clear vision of its future, Maserati is positioning itself as an automotive force in the luxury midsize SUV segment. Their newest addition to the iconic Trident brand is the Maserati Grecale SUV. The carmaker calls its newest vehicle “Everyday Exceptional,” believing it strikes the balance between their four pillars: elegance, performance, innovation and versatility. Inspired by the brand’s gold standard MC20, this dynamic design takes horizontal architectural elements and makes them vertical.
Fans of Maserati will undoubtedly be familiar with their first foray into the SUV race, the Maserati Levante. Like the Levante, the new Grecale is also available as Gran Turismo (GT), Modena and the high-powered Trofeo models—each iteration signaling an increase in automotive engine power. Slightly smaller than its older sibling, the Grecale will soon be available in a fully electric version called Folgore.
The Grecale boasts an impressively spacious interior, and excels in drivability, handling and acceleration: zero to 60mph in 3.6 seconds in the Trofeo; a top speed of 177mph, also in the Trofeo; and most impressive sound quality. The latter achievement was attained through a partnership with Sonus Faber. Utilizing the extensive knowledge and expertise of Sonus, the Grecale features a 360-degree immersive acoustic experience. A 14-speaker surround sound system is standard in all models of the SUV, while enthusiasts can upgrade to the 21-speaker surround sound system that will stun even music experts.
While test driving the vehicle through the streets of Milan—in the Grecale Modena model, with the upgraded speaker system—we were shocked by the clarity and intensity of the sound. Easily audible from outside of the car, the audio system is a definite highlight. The sound system is so sophisticated that while utilizing Maserati’s Intelligent Assistant for navigation, the Grecale displaced the active music to the passenger side of the vehicle allowing the driver to clearly hear the next guided instructions—unlike many conventional audio systems that layer turn by turn instructions over the top of active sound, often creating uncomfortable sound inflection points.
Sound aside, the drive experience in the Modena is undoubtedly enjoyable, from the amenable steering wheel to the smooth acceleration. While leather seats are standard on luxury vehicles, these Maserati seats are comfortable and adjustable regardless of height. The same goes for the back seat due to the expanded wheelbase.
Another clever interior feature is the dual multimedia consoles. Unlike other auto brands that prefer a single oversized touchscreen, the Grecale sports a primary 12.3-inch Ultra HD screen that functions as navigation, Bluetooth integration and other typical vehicle diagnostic information. Beneath the primary screen is a smaller 8.8-inch Ultra HD screen that moderates the comfort of the car through volume, climate and other secondary controls. While the two screens service different aspects of the ride, they don’t overwhelm the driver with size and scale. However, should one look for a traditional tactile turn-knob for volume control, Maserati has removed this component in favor of a touchscreen.
Interestingly, Maserati has removed the physical arm typically used to shift gears. Instead there’s a push-button system wedged between the two center consoles. While this allows for more room in the middle console, it creates some clunky moments when shifting. Should one need to reverse quickly while driving in urban settings, they may need to take their eyes off the road in order to ensure proper gear selection. When speaking with Maserati lead designers and engineers about this design decision, their response was one of optimism—noting that change is inevitable and with time an owner will adjust and learn the button placement. That said, the sleek design, high-quality materials and sheer size of the Grecale’s interior will surely satisfy drivers and passengers.
Currently available in four colors and with five different drive modes (Comfort, GT, Sport, Race and Off-Road) exterior and interior combinations are plentiful. Buyers can also opt to receive a wearable digital key, replacing the need for a physical remote. This key is functional even if dropped in water and can easily withstand sweat and typical wear and tear.
As we see more and more brands enter the SUV segment, Maserati—a relative latecomer—will rely on its iconic history, beautiful design and user customization to garner attention. Potential customers can access the Maserati website and design their own Grecale with custom color palettes, computer-generated race seats, laser-etched sunroofs, ice white tires and a new digital Trident logo that screams futurism.
From the careful consideration to detail to the historically renowned design, the new Maserati Grecale will command attention any time it hits the road.
Maserati has made the Grecale Modena Limited Edition available for sale on their website. The vehicle starts at $77,400, while the Grecale GT starts at $63,500 and varies based on customization options chosen.
Images courtesy of Maserati