Sculpted Power – Maserati’s all-new Grecale
Review and photos by Tom Sedens. There are always more photos at the end of my reviews.
Maserati’s tradition of naming their creations after winds began in 1963 with the Mistral. The Ghibli, Bora, and many others followed. The latest is the Grecale – named after a strong, cool Mediterranean wind, it brings a new wave of technology, performance and design to the stable.
The Grecale’s style is cosmopolitan and modern. Sculpted lines fuse Maserati’s iconic design elements, such as the triple side air vents and signature grille framing the new Maserati Trident, with an audacious and pure look. Flowing curves, athletic stance and aggressive muscularity are all balanced in a sleek and fluid package. I absolutely loved the sculpting on the hood.
All exterior lighting is LED of course – the driving signature lighting is derived from Maserati’s MC20 super sportscar.
The boomerang-shaped taillights integrate seamlessly with the Grecale’s clean lines. Below are four big exhaust tips that look like they mean business.
21-inch rims fill the bulging fenders and visually complete a feast for the eyes.
The design definitely speaks to people – this thing got looks absolutely everywhere from all ages. It’s a stunner, to be sure. And my review sample’s Nero Tempesta paint, with brilliant blue and green metallic flecks that jump out at you in the sun made it even better.
Inside, the Grecale embraces its luxurious mission, combining equal elements of tradition and innovation. The styling is clean and purposeful and the materials are amazing – every surface is beautifully upholstered in stitched leather or trimmed with wood or in my review vehicle’s case, a lustrous Copper Yarn carbon fibre – the old-world craftsmanship is evident wherever the eyes look and the hands touch.
Front and centre on the dash is the famous Maserati clock – an iconic design feature for ages. In the Grecale this nod to the marque’s history and traditions becomes a digital interface, projecting the feature into the future. It can be customized with different themes and also with what information it displays, including a G-meter, compass and brake/gas pedal indicator.
The heated and ventilated seats envelop the driver and passengers in comfort as well as incredible support – the bolstering is reminiscent of a sports car. Crafted out of gorgeous leathers, they are hand-stitched and have the Maserati logo embossed on the headrest. Mine had the optional chevron stitching pattern and it is lovely to look at.
Behind the terrific grippy flat-bottomed steering wheel is a digital gauge cluster, easily configured with multiple layouts and what content is displayed.
The centre stack houses two big angled screens sized 12.3″ and 8.8″ – they look super-cool and visually act as one large curved screen. Integrating many commands on their sleek surfaces and ergonomically positioned for the driver, almost every function within the car can be controlled here and this reduces the visual clutter on the centre stack. Although I like a few buttons for certain things, I found this system and user interface worked very well and was easy to learn.
The 21 speaker, 1285 watt sonus faber premium sound system is excellent. The panoramic roof overhead is huge and makes the dark interior feel much airier.
The Grecale is pretty spacious, offering what Maserati claims as best in class cabin volume. At 5’10”, I had enough head room (a couple of inches to spare) and tons of leg room while sitting behind my own driving position.
The rear passengers are certainly treated to a luxurious world of their own, with the same cosseting surroundings and world-class materials, heated outboard seats, USB-A and USB-C plugs, their own rear touchscreen for a separate climate control zone and adjustable air vents.
The middle seating position isn’t great for anyone but kids – it’s narrow, raised and straddles a huge floor tunnel. The middle seatback folds down to become an armrest with two cupholders.
The centre console design is notably clean – free of buttons and a gear lever, it allows for spacious storage and a clutter-free feel. At the front is a big rubberized open bin and behind it is a carpeted bin under a clamshell lid, along with USB-A and USB-C plugs. The armrest flips up to reveal a large carpeted storage compartment.
The large, deep trunk is accessed by a power tailgate, of course. My review vehicle had an optional floor track system, wherein you can slide super heavy-duty tie-down anchors anywhere along the track which makes for a very flexible space. There are also bag hooks as well as 150W household and 12V plugs to power or charge accessories.
Rear seats can be flipped down (they split 40/20/40) using handles in the trunk or on the sides of the seats themselves.
Under the Hood
The motivation for the Grecale comes from one of three powerplants. The first two are turbocharged DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4s, the base GT putting out 300 HP and the Modena’s engine putting out 330 hp thanks to the help of a mild hybrid system. Stepping up to the Trofeo trim, you get a fire-breathing 530 HP V6.
All trims have an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Fuel economy numbers aren’t available, it seems.
For the sake of clarity, I reviewed the middle Modena trim. Acceleration feels ferocious and unrelenting, with 100 km/h arriving in 5 seconds flat, the quad exhaust pipes bellowing out a symphony of signature Maserati sound. In Sport mode, the sound is most aggressive, the cacophony of engine roar punctuated by a delicious raspy snap during gear changes. It’s almost obnoxious and I loved it! With that said, I felt that the vehicle didn’t perhaps feel as fast as it is. That’s weird to say when it is fast, and when it feels fast, but when I’d look down at the speedometer after a quick blast down a merge ramp, the numbers weren’t where I’d expect them to be. But to be clear, this Modena trim is quick and probably more than most drivers need. For the record, if you want more, that Trofeo trim will do 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds!
The transmission shifts seamlessly when commuting, but can also snap off lightning-fast shifts when called upon, and can be manually controlled using the paddle shifters.
The driver can choose between multiple drive modes – Off-Road, Comfort, GT and Sport – each impacting the vehicle’s responsiveness, transmission programming, suspension tuning and even the exhaust sound. In Comfort mode, the air suspension offers up a truly pillowy ride. Sport mode firms things up and brings the Grecale’s thrilling handling capabilities into focus. It is a highly capable, competent and athletic crossover, but it does feel heavy when thrown into corners. The knob for selecting the modes is on the steering wheel, along with the push-start ignition.
Braking is powerful and easy to modulate, with excellent pedal feel.
Visibility out of the vehicle is decent, although the massive C-pillars make for terrifying moments while shoulder-checking.
The door handles inside and outside are electronic buttons. The exterior handles are flush and you depress the opening mechanism inside with your fingers as you grab it – inside, there are cool buttons on the doors that pop the door open.
My vehicle was equipped with a special launch edition package – it includes awesome 21-inch rims, the aforementioned Copper Yarn carbon fibre trim and air suspension.
The button-based gear selector uses big wide buttons that span nearly the whole width of the centre stack. Located between the upper and lower screens, it doesn’t feel intuitive and can’t be used without looking down and finding the right button. This makes multi-point turns in a parking lot no fun at all.
Another ergonomics issue, although not a deal-breaker, is that the massive shift paddles (beautifully crafted out of aluminum) are directly in front of both steering wheel stalks, and every time you need to signal or use the windshield wipers, your hand will come to rest and reach around those shift paddles. I got used to it after a while, but it feels really, really odd at first.
WAF (Wife Approval Factor) was off the charts. She absolutely loved the exterior, the finer details inside and how easy it drove.
Performance, style and craftsmanship are Maserati’s hallmarks and the Grecale brings it all to the table. It shares a platform with its cousin, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and an immediate question that comes up is that it costs nearly a quarter more. Believe me when I tell you that the moment you lay eyes on the Grecale, in particular the interior, you will understand where the extra money is going. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Stelvio, but you can see a lot of shared Fiat/Chrysler parts inside. Not so with the Grecale – it actually feels very special inside.
Maserati’s artisan and sporting traditions are evident in the Grecale, but have been reinterpreted with a truly modern touch. The styling, technology and performance all work together to convey a sense of harmony – this Mediterranean wind is truly something to behold.
Pricing: 2023 Maserati Grecale
Base price (Modena trim): $85,200
Options: $650 yellow painted brake calipers; $1,000 metallic paint; $500 roof rails; $150 hands-free tailgate; $4,900 full premium leather interior with chevron stitching; $500 trident logo headrest stitching; $1,650 Copper Yarn carbon fibre trim; $250 sport pedals; $1,500 adaptive LED Matrix headlights; $1,250 laminated glass; $1,000 surround view camera; $100 115V plug in trunk; $500 trunk cargo rails; $3,900 Driver Assistance Plus package; $4,400 Modena Premium Plus package; $5,650 Modena Limited Edition; $2,499 Full front film
Freight and PDI: $5,000 (yes, that is correct – I almost fell off my chair)
A/C tax: $100
Additional fees: $695 Maserati admin fee; $6.25 AMVIC fee; $16 tire tax; $3,893 Federal Luxury Tax
Price as tested: $125,309.25
Disclosure: Vehicle was provided by Maserati of Edmonton.
If you enjoyed this review, feel free to check out my other vehicle reviews under the car reviews tab at the top of my blog.
A note about the pricing: while the base vehicle in each trim seems pretty well equipped, it appears Maserati has taken a page out of the German playbook, offering up endless possibilities on the option sheet. As shown above, my $85,200 Grecale Modena ended up costing over $125,000 after options and some crazy costs and fees are added. I generally don’t add the site-based stuff and fees to the pricing section, but as a fun exercise, I wanted to show how quickly these things add up. Keep in mind, this price still doesn’t include GST.