The brand-new Maserati Grecale compact luxury crossover has arrived in the USA and it has a tough job ahead of it. Slotting in below the mid-size Levante, the 2023 Grecale dives headlong into one of the most hotly contested segments of the car market where it faces off against massively talented rivals such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, and the cheaper, in-house Alfa Romeo Stelvio, with which it shares its Giorgio platform. The regular Maserati Grecale on review here comes in GT and Modena flavors - both powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 296 and 325 horsepower, respectively - but there are also V6-powered Trofeo and electric Folgore versions, which we review separately. Maserati has a lot riding on the Grecale and it seems to realize that, endowing the car with powerful engines, a spacious interior, a superb ride/handling balance, and emotive Italian styling. However, with a $65k starting price, the 2023 Maserati Grecale is priced at a steep premium, like other Maseratis. Is it worth more than a Macan?
The Grecale is a brand-new class of Maserati, and the first time the storied Italian brand is represented in the compact luxury crossover segment. It sits on the versatile Giorgio platform shared not only with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, but also the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it's been fettled to handle and perform like a thoroughbred and to do its sporty heritage proud. There are two trims in the range, the GT and Modena, both powered by turbocharged four-cylinder engines, with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard AWD. The range is topped by a Nettuno V6-powered Trofeo and there will even be an electric Grecale Folgore.
With its $65,300 base MSRP, the price of the new Maserati Grecale GT is around $4k higher than that of the base Porsche Macan. The only other trim is the Modena, and that will cost you $74,900. These prices don't include Maserati's $1,495 destination fee.
See trim levels and configurations:
The Grecale's chassis engineers purposely avoided setting up the car as stiff as a board, so at first, you're taken by surprise by the way the nose lifts like a bonafide muscle car when you floor it, and the moderate lean dialed into its cornering behavior - much like the Stelvio that shares its platform. And that's a good thing, because there's just enough yield in the suspension to communicate the car's behavior on the grip limit, giving clear feedback on your inputs, while riding much more comfortably than a Porsche Macan, especially in the Comfort setting. It might not be as overtly sporty and chuckable as a Macan, but it will lean, settle, and blast through a corner, even in the base four-cylinder trim. It rides more softly than the V6 Trofeo, despite the latter's air suspension, and while the Trofeo's steering is more communicative and not as overly light, the GT and Modena tuck into a corner more keenly with their lower nose weight. We think the chassis tuning of the Grecale is spot-on, with a better balance between ride and handling than a Macan, and that's no faint praise.
Judged as a product and on its feel and numbers, the Grecale has what it takes to take the fight to the class leaders. The engines don't sing sweetly but are powerful enough, the tech and build quality are faultless, it's really spacious inside, and it's even beautiful to look at, inasmuch as an SUV can be; this is a Maserati, after all. But therein lies the rub, as it's also priced like a Maserati, and if you have to shell out nearly $20k more than the starting price of an X3 or Stelvio, you have a right to expect something exceptional indeed. The Grecale is sultry, comfy, spacious, and sporty in equal measure, which makes it a better overall package than an X3 or Macan. But that price is hard to swallow and difficult to justify, especially considering a Stelvio is a very similar car for almost $20k less.
Quicker, more powerful, and more spacious than a base Macan, and priced around $4k more, the base Grecale GT can still make a case for itself. It's fairly comprehensively equipped, with leather upholstery, a power liftgate, a fully digital cockpit, navigation, Wi-Fi, dual-zone climate control, all-round parking sensors, forward-collision warning, and a premium 14-speaker Sonus Faber audio system all included in the price, but it's a bit cheeky that heated front seats, a sunroof, and most of the driver assists such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring cost extra. You don't even get the driver assists on the Modena, but it does add a sunroof, the Handling package with its adaptive suspension and LS diff, and a few other items. But all of that adds another $10k to the price, so we'd stick with the relative value the GT offers and add the basic $1,300 Driver Assistance package to it to at least get adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and driver-alertness monitoring.
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