Maserati Insists It's A More Premium Brand Than Porsche

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That's a bold claim. Can the Grecale back it up?

Revealed earlier this year, the 2023 Maserati Grecale is a new compact luxury crossover that is the most important new vehicle for the Trident since the Levante was launched in 2016. Whereas the Levante targeted the mid-size Cayenne, this new Grecale is gunning after the Porsche Macan, which is a tall task. CarBuzz had a chance to sit down with Jerry Canlas, Head of Product, Maserati Americas, who felt so confident in his new product, he says it will easily become the brand's best-seller.

"We've historically been a sedan-oriented company. In 2016, we came out with the Levante because the industry shifted to SUVs. We were late on that party, but the Levante has been good for us," Canlas explained. "So when we worked on the Grecale we targeted the Macan, Q5 Sportback, X4, GLC Coupe, Velar and others. We are going after those. Particularly the Germans, especially the one from Stuttgart."

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Maserati just launched a configurator giving us full access to Grecale pricing. To no one's surprise, it's very expensive. The base GT model starts at $63,500, while the more powerful and well-equipped Modena (expected to be the volume seller) costs $72,900. If you want the highest-performing Trofeo model with the twin-turbo Nettuno V6, that will run $102,500. Those prices are significantly higher than Porsche, which is already among the most expensive options on the market.

For reference, a base Macan starts at $57,500, the Macan T is $63,100, the Macan S is $68,400, and the top Macan GTS is $82,900. But Maserati believes the Grecale is well worth the premium over Porsche due to its content and performance.

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"We are premium to Porsche," Canlas said. "Our pricing is purposeful. We are not looking to beat Porsche on volume. We want to be exclusive, premium, the everyday exceptional. Getting people into the brand, but not just do volume. But if you look at the content, we have more. If you look at the performance, we have more."

Canlas certainly has a point because the base Grecale GT produces 296 horsepower from a turbocharged mild-hybrid four-cylinder, whereas the base Macan and Macan T only deliver 261 hp. The Macan S is the only trim where Porsche comes ahead with 375 hp compared to 325 hp in the Grecale Modena, but the scales tip back to Maserati's favor with the Trofeo, which produces 523 hp compared to 434 hp in the Macan GTS.

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And it's not only performance where Maserati comes out ahead of Porsche. The Grecale offers more standard content than the Macan, meaning that price difference will shrink as customers add options. Don't think that Maserati has the moral superiority when it comes to costly add-ons though, as even the six-figure Grecale Trofeo model requires a $3,100 Driver Assistance Package to get adaptive cruise control, a feature that's standard on a base Toyota Corolla.

The Grecale holds the advantage in interior volume too. "We have more passenger space," Canlas said. "We have seven inches more legroom than the Macan." Maserati hasn't provided full interior dimensions for a full comparison, but after sitting in the back seat, we can confirm the Grecale feels larger inside than the Macan.

Will the Grecale be superior to the Macan? It's tough to say just from just seeing it stationary, so we hope to get behind the wheel later this year before the Grecale arrives at dealers in the fall.

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